Cats are indeed mysterious creatures! Trying to figure out what really is going on in their highly intelligent brains, and truly understand what motivates their often fascinating behavior can be mind-boggling for those of us who absolutely adore them.
While there are experts in feline behavior who are constantly studying and observing kitty characteristics and, as a result of their tireless scientific research proclaim that they have finally discovered the reasons for each and every miniscule action that our beloved fur-family members make, I find myself often scratching my head in bewilderment. I mean – really – while their answers seem quite logical, how can any human truly unravel the mysteries of their behavior?
Take kitty feeding time, as an example. Since we are devoted to our cats we want to please them. We offer them up their favorite food and cross our fingers that they will oblige us by eating it. Nine times out of ten they get busy chowing down on that dinner, but for no apparent reason, on that tenth time – they glance up at us with that all too familiar accusatory look as if we had suddenly gone bonkers.
So you will understand my frustration, let me explain what goes on at our house. When Dr. Hush Puppy refuses what has historically been a meal that he relishes, in response to his bald-faced displeasure, I get down on my knees, pick up the dish and substitute the refused food with a different variety fervently praying it will be accepted. And just as I am speaking to him soothingly, and placing the bowl before him, of course he turns up his nose at my offering.
However all of a sudden, perhaps after catching the scent of raw meat, Sir Hubble Pinkerton arrives on the scene. My only explanation for this behavior is that he thinks that what I have offered Dr. Hush Puppy is definitely the “bees knees” and far better than sliced mice. He makes a giant leap for Hush Puppy’s food dish and begins to consume it at record speed. What follows is that in spite of Dr. Hush Puppy’s recent rejection of the meal, all of a sudden Dr. Hush Puppy decides that he wants it; and makes no bones about it.
He gruffly pushes Sir Hubble Pinkerton aside and plants his body over the food dish and ravenously begins vacuuming it up as if it was the last food on the planet; and he was starving to death. Following this rude intrusion, Sir Hubble then looks up at me with a condemning expression on his face. Of course this bring tears of guilt to my eyes, so to redeem myself I open another can of that particular food and set it down for Sir Hubble.
But somehow my attempt to atone for my sins of neglect falls on a deaf nose. Because what invariably happens next is that Sir Hubble become belligerent and covets Dr. Hush Puppy’s dinner. He then shoves Dr. Hush Puppy aside and polishes off the now- puzzled kitty’s dinner.
What makes this behavior even more exasperating and mysterious to me is that since Sir Hubble purloined Dr. Hush Puppy’s dinner, Sir Hubble’s plate is still filled with the same food. But Dr. Hush Puppy only sniffs at it, turns up his nose and without even touching it at all, walks away in contempt.
I would love to know what Cat-Daddy Jackson Galaxy would have to say about this strange interaction and explain its meaning to me. Why can’t they just eat together peacefully like they always did? Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Perhaps someone reading this may have some rational reasons for what seems to me as very odd behavior. What is your diagnosis of this ever- repeating frustrating situation?
Photo credit: Jo Singer