Today’s post comes from Sherrilee.
All I seem to do is go from one pet issue to another.
For many years, I had to keep Zorro (my old cat) and Nimue (the “baby” kitty) apart during feeding. Zorro learned early in his life that he needed to eat at meal time; an earlier Irish Setter was rabid about getting to food, including Zorro’s food, no matter where I put it. Even after the Irish Setter had gone to the big dog park in the sky, Zorro still came around at breakfast and dinner for his food.
When Nimue came along, she wasn’t even remotely interested in this kind of schedule. She would show up and have a few bites, then wander off. A classic free feeder. Since I was already keeping the dog separated between the kitchen and breakfast room, I started keeping Nimue on the counter near the sink and Zorro on the window ledge. Then the rest of the time Nimue’s food was on top of the fridge, where Zorro couldn’t reach it.
Now that Zorro is 18+, he has decided he can be more relaxed about his meals and has reverted to free feeding as well. For a while now I’ve been thinking that I don’t need to make sure they are separated at “meal time”, but hadn’t done anything about it.
As you can imagine, keeping Nimue on the counter has engendered some bad habits – mostly that she thinks being on the counter is just fine. Unfortunately when I am using the counter for something else, this isn’t all that fine. I spent A LOT of time wiping the counter down and pushing her away. I know, I know, entirely my fault.
Then last week I was making coffee with my one-cup drip and decided to run down to the basement to do the kitty box. As I was coming back up the steps I heard a “clunk”. You guessed it – she got up on the counter and knocked the coffee over. And this was NOT an accident; the coffee wasn’t anywhere near the edge. Coffee, wet coffee grounds went everywhere. The kitchen still smells a little like a coffee shop.
That was the last straw, so I took her food bowl from the top of the fridge and put it on the window ledge. Now at meal time, I fill up the two bowls on the ledge and no food is put out on the counter. She’s 8 years old and having a little trouble getting used to the new regime. Every morning I end up “showing” her where the food is now located and I’m still shoving her (gently) off the counter 8-10 times in the 30-45 minutes I’m in the kitchen before going to work. Sigh. I figure it will be a while before she gets the hint.
Any traditions that you’ve abandoned?