Not All Cats Are The Same

We took Elvis to the vet’s yesterday for a check-up and some blood tests. The blood test required him to not eat for 12 hours beforehand, and it got me thinking about how different our cats are.

When Lola went to have her teeth cleaned back in January she wasn’t allowed to eat beforehand either. And she spent almost all of the 12 hours loudly voicing her displeasure at the lack of food. The result of that was a very restless night, as she kept us awake with all her yelling.

Elvis on the other hand didn’t yell. He was very quiet. But each time that it was close to a meal time he would do his best Puss In Boots impression, with the widest eyes he could muster, and give the sweetest questioning meow. And then when I fed the others but not him he looked at me with such a bewildered and betrayed expression..!

As far as I can remember we haven’t had to withhold food from Sampson at any time, so I don’t have any evidence of how he’d react. But given that he’s so very food oriented I can’t imagine it would be fun for anyone involved. I expect he would get very hangry, and almost definitely take out his frustrations on the two cats that would be getting fed.

Hopefully we won’t have to find out!


Lady Joyful

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Slow Down!

I’ve written many times about how greedy Sampson is. He’s very food focused, and seems to be highly attuned to the sound of the food box being opened.

His food focus has been a problem. He tries to steal any human food that’s accidentally left anywhere he can get to. (Or some places that he shouldn’t be able to!) He eagerly licks clean the food bowls of the other cats and indeed will steal their food if given the opportunity. There have even been a couple of occasions that he has made himself sick from eating so quickly.

We seem to have finally found a solution for his meals. A solution that slows him down so that he doesn’t bring his food back up. As an added benefit, if he’s eating slower it gives more time for Elvis to finish his food without Sampson jumping up to steal it.

The solution is a little activity centre. We spotted it in the reward shop of the site we use for most of our cat-related shopping, and as we had enough points to get it we decided to try it out. I’m so glad we did – it’s fantastic.

Slow Down! 2The activity centre consists of two parts. The white base has little bumps on it to help keep the food from sliding around too freely. The blue dome clips on over the top leaving a few little openings perfectly sized for a paw to sweep into and pull bits of food out.

Using the activity centre requires Sampson to use his brain to get his food. He can’t just mindlessly wolf it down without a thought.

The first time we fed him with it he was a bit unsure. I had to show him how to hook the food out a couple of times before he would even attempt it. He’s gradually got used to it though and now uses it like a professional – his paw flashes in through the opening, curls around and swipes some of the pieces of food out where he eagerly munches on them.

Slow Down! 3Whilst he has got faster at eating from the activity centre as his proficiency and understanding of it increase, he is still eating at a much more reasonable pace than when he was just eating from a normal bowl.

It’s a good solution, I feel.


Lady Joyful

The Wolf, The Sheep and The Cabbage

Elvis on the CabinetYou might be looking at that title and thinking “that’s a weird title to have on a blog about cats!”

You’d be right to be confused. And you can blame husband for that.

I should start by explaining a bit about our cats. If you’re a regular reader of my posts you probably already know something about them!

A lot of the time our three cats get on fairly well. They’re by no means the best of friends, and you’re unlikely to see them snuggling up together.

That's a pretty vicious looking "sheep"!
That’s a pretty vicious looking “sheep”!

But from time to time they’ll permit nose kisses or a friendly licking session. Sometimes they’ll even play together.

Sometimes though those play sessions get a bit rough. A bit hissy. And that’s where the title of this post comes in.

If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s a logic puzzle. You have a wolf, sheep and cabbage and you have to get them across the river, but you can only have one in the boat at the time. You can’t leave the wolf and sheep together, because the wolf will eat the sheep. If you leave the sheep and the cabbage together, the cabbage will get eaten. The puzzle is to work out how to get them all across without anyone getting eaten.

Hopefully I haven’t lost you!

So, how husband came up with this analogy…

Sampson in the Scratch HouseAt bedtime we have to have Sampson not behind a door because he scratches awfully (even with sticky back plastic up! Although I think this new brand is less sticky which may be the problem…) But then Elvis kept bothering Lola at night, keeping us awake with the sound of bickering. We figured we’d have Elvis through with us as well which solved that problem.

That reminded husband of the logic puzzle. Lola is obviously (according to husband!) the sheep. The problem was between Elvis and her, which means Elvis is the wolf. Therefore Sampson is the cabbage. It’s fitting, because sometimes he seems to have the brains of a cabbage..!

But sometimes… the cabbage attacks the wolf. And that seems to be where the analogy falls apart!


Lady Joyful