The revolt of my two cats has taken a turn for the best for them and for me. For the background story see:
The primary plan
Norie was put on a weight reduction diet and lost one pound within the prescribed amount of time. The plan involved feeding the maintenance amount of foods to help Norie loose the weight slowly but maintain the lesser weight of Sister.
The regimen was that each cat gets one half of a small can of cat food three times a day (7AM, 11:30 AM or 12 PM , and 5 PM) depending on when I leave the house before noon or after noon. Then there is 1/4 cup of dry for weight control and fiber at night per cat per day.
My secondary plan
I have been following this regimen faithfully. In my mind I figured if they eat the dry food at 9 PM, closer to their bedtime, they would feel full longer and they would not wake me up at 6 AM wanting food.
But oddly in the evening their little inner clocks made them want the dry food at 8 PM! So when this happened I gave them some wet food in case they were really hungry. ( I am after all a cat mommy and therefore a sucker! LOL.)
It turns out they wanted the dry food an hour earlier and would sniff at the wet food or nibble a little and walk off while literally shaking their heads.
So the wet food would get thrown out or not eaten until it had been sitting out too long. That bothered me a lot because I hate wasting food, whether human or feline! So I began to gradually delay the dry food to 9 PM from their requests at 8 PM.
Every evening became a struggle of wills.
The two ganged up on me. One sat and stared at me or meowed pitifully, harshly and persistently. If I walked into the kitchen or near the door with the dry food they both would get very excited and almost dance for joy, thinking I was going to give them the one thing they desired most…the dry food!
Finally I realized how badly they wanted the the dry food at 8 PM! See video below of how they communicated their wishes for food!
The night things changed
So the other night as I walked into the kitchen Norie was sitting by a small, empty, plastic, food ball I used to help slow their eating and provide some hunting instinct stimulation. She set the ball spinning around with its empty, hollow sound; then looked up at me briefly staring at me and uttered a silent meow. (See end of video above for silent meow in response to my question.)
If you have never seen one, the cat moves its mouth as if it is meowing but no sound comes out. I read in a humorous book about cats, “by a cat,” that they do this to express emotions so deep that they can’t express them with sounds.
I started to think.
Maybe I was being too unyielding about the time of the dry food. After all I always put a little wet food out at night for them anyway. And they do usually let me sleep till 7 or even 8 AM. Why was I being so stubborn about the 9 PM feeding?
One moment of hesitation
For one moment I stood there unsuccessfully fighting off laughter. They sat looking at me, hopeful. The palpable suspense of the waiting cats seemed to hang like the drop of water you know is going to fall from the leaky kitchen faucet but takes forever to make its descent into the noisiest spot in the sink. When you hear the “kerplop” you know time must go on.
Sister began meowing pitifully; Norie sat staring at me. After composing myself, I caved and gave them the dry food. After Norie ate some she took one more swipe at the empty treat ball and looked at me.
I know that I am in deep trouble now!!
But at least they know that I am trying to understand their needs and wants, right?? I have to admit I do cave in when they do something funny. I need to practice my poker face!