Friday, February 20, 2015

Cats du jour: If Mohammed won't go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohammed

Laverne has been having a vomiting problem.  It's probably because she hoovers her food up in about ten seconds, not even chewing. She is like the people who chugged beer for the beer-bike relay my college had every spring: the objective was to get the beer down the throat as fast as possible so the next bike rider could start.

Rice being an engineering school, there was no shortage of engineering expertise applied to the beer can: strategically-placed holes, funnels attached to the top of the can. The beer was poured out into a bowl to flatten before being restored to the modified cans.

The alumni team, of course, just drank straight beer out of the regular can. And they were faster. But they had had more practice.

So Laverne sucks down her food in about two seconds and then hovers over Shirley, who is daintily picking up one kibble at a time, contemplating it, then chewing it 32 times. She will eat four or five kibbles, then sit up, look around, and wonder about Life.

This makes Laverne crazy. Can't Shirley see that there is food? Right there? Why isn't she eating it?

Then Laverne will push Shirley out of the way and start eating Shirley's food. Sometimes, Shirley just lets it happen, which makes me say, "Dang, Shirl! You need to stick up for yourself!"

Other times, I will hear the sound of the dish being pulled across the floor with a determined little cat paw. That is when Shirley is reclaiming her food.

What this reduces to is that we cannot let them eat unsupervised because Shirley is too much of a pacifist. If left to its natural end, Shirley would starve to death and Laverne would explode. Although I am generally in favor of letting nature takes its course - pacifists can exist only when those around them are pacifists or when those around them are willing to fight so those who will not fight do not have to get their hands dirty (this is not unlike the anti-vaxxers relying the integrity of most parents to vaccinate their children - anti-vaxxers get the luxury of not vaccinating only because most people can look at history and see that children used to die of diseases that are mostly unknown today and that vaccines are a good thing), I love my kitties and want both of them around.

So we have to supervise them while they eat.

And we have to feed Laverne in stages because she has been throwing up. When she throws up, she usually aims for the rugs that cover only 20% of the floors and avoids the 80% wood or tile floor that would be so much easier to clean.

Her throwing up leads to this discussion, every single time, even when SH is out of town and I am merely reporting:

Me: I had to clean up Laverne's vomit. Again.

SH: You probably used too many paper towels!

Me: There is no such thing as too many paper towels with cat vomit. I polled my co-workers. They agree with me.

SH: You are wasting paper towels.

Me: You are welcome to be the person in charge of cleaning cat vomit in our house and hence have control of the paper towel usage.

So we have been feeding Laverne in stages - half her supper at 5:00; the second half at 5:30 once the first half has digested and has not been returned to the floor.

I made the mistake of leaving the cat food container on top of the stove.

Laverne is not stupid.

Shirley might be stupid. Laverne is definitely not.

I was in the basement watching Californication - is it just me or is that kid Becca kid of unlikeable and creepy? -- when I heard a crash. I knew immediately what it was. I ran upstairs and sure enough, the cat food container had been knocked to the floor, which popped the lid off, which released the flood of manna to Laverne.

I ran up and Laverne was all, What? I was hungry!

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