Sunday, December 04, 2016

Cat Social Dynamics

     The subtitle should probably be "Food First!"

     The Huck and Rannie dynamic is uncomplicated -- he's a great big, bouncy, rambunctious tomcat in his middle years, while she is small, slender, elderly, and rarely interested in roughhousing.  She usually says terrible things to him in Cat if he gets too near; he sometimes tries to get her in a half-Nelson when he's in a playful mood and when he does, she complains in language that nearly turns the air blue.  She rarely raises a paw to him, though, perhaps because she knows he'd only take it as play.  Meanwhile, he ignores her growls and yowls with what looks like a shrug. 

     Both cats are now eating prescription diets.  Rannie Wu is on food to help her liver (and which she seems to have a lot more luck keeping down than regular cat food), while Mr. Huck gets something to help prevent the formation of crystals in his bladder.

     Neither cat minds the special food; in fact, they appear to prefer it. Rannie started on her diet a week or two before Huck, and when we went to pick up his food, all the veterinarian had was the canned version.  We put the dry version on order and bought several cans to tide him over.

     The cats are fed separately because Huck's appetites are truly immense and unless prevented, he will gobble down his meal, shoulder Rannie to one side and eat her food.  We've fed them apart for years.  With plain (though high-quality) kibble, Huck always finishes first.  He's slower with the canned food, taking time to polish every last bit from his bowl

     Rannie figured out something was going on when we began opening the can of Huck's food in the kitchen, but aside from looking up and sniffing, she didn't seem very interested.

     A couple of days into the canned food, Tam had fed them and on noticing Rannie was done, opened the door into the back of the house and followed Rannie to the office/cat room.  Huck still had a little food left and was working on it.  Rannie Wu walked over, looked at it, turned and shot Tam a "How could you?" look -- and then turned back, reached out and popped Huck good and hard on the back of his head!

     I'd like to tell you he took it to heart or was at least startled, but Tam says he didn't appear to even notice.  I stopped by the vet the next morning and got a half-dozen cans of Rannie's special food the next morning and I think she's forgiven us.


Anonymous said...

Years back, mine was on my lap here at home (she considers it *her* territory) when I needed to get up I picked her up and set her down (yes, nicely) stood up to make an adjustment and noticed her walking away.

After she got about 8 feet away or so, she stopped, turned around, looked back over her shoulder to me and *hissed*.

In a not happy voice I told her "Don't YOU hiss at me!"

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You're lucky you can feed them separately;the layout here makes that claose to impossible. Archie is a piggie and gobbles up anything the others walk away from.

Roberta X said...

Unusually -- and perhaps aspirationally, for the time -- Roseholme Cottage, like some of the other small 1920s houses in the neighborhood, has a door between the dining room and the back (and only) hallway, which isolates the private and public sections of the house when it is shut.

Anonymous said...

Huck sounds like my Pug, on a similar prescription diet. I have to watch him with the other dog's food, because he will eat that up, too. In fact, he will eat dirt. Might explain his weight.