By Jo Singer
The other day while I was checking out the Pictures of Cats website I ran across a most thought provoking question posed by Michael Broad, “How does your cat read you?”
The question immediately got me thinking about Dr. Hush Puppy, one of our two Oriental Shorthair kitties. For the longest time I have been wondering if our highly intelligent and curious cat is actually eavesdropping on the conversations my husband and I have when we are planning to go out to dinner and deciding what kind of food is appealing to us.
The reason I am suspicious that Dr. Hush Puppy is spying on us is that during our conversations, he cocks his head and gets an intense expression of his face. The only conclusion to which I can arrive from his behavior is that he is listening intently to our every word.
Now it’s highly possible that perhaps his odd behavior stems from his extreme pickiness about the food that he deems acceptable. But just like anyone who lives with a finicky feline, I am positive that I am not the only one who gets frustrated and arrives at their wit’s end; ready to tear their hair out when no matter what we dish up is met with an upturned nose. This rejection of our tender offerings cannot be considered anything less than a potent communication of displeasure.
Therefore I must confess that when it comes to his meal-time habits, Dr. Hush Puppy has me wrapped around his little paws. Since he knows that I worry about him when he doesn’t eat, he can play me like a Stradivarius violin! And just like any compliant kitty servant, I allow it. This finicky feline reads me like an open book, and knows I will ultimately succumb to his demands.
In fact, depending on his pleasure, he now insists that I feed him around the house in different locations. These areas range from a private little “grotto” in the living room, to “breakfast in bed” on our sofa. He even finds the top of the cat tree to be an infinitely desirable dining spot since he can survey his surroundings for any potential hungry intruder.
Dr. Hush Puppy has me chasing him around the house to grant his every wish. Sometimes he will start eating in one location; only to finish in a totally different spot. What is even more time-consuming is his insistence that I keep him company while he dines. Folks, don’t get annoyed with me, but he is driving me nuts. I am beginning to have fantasies of donning a black dress with a little white lacey apron to stylishly serve up his meals on Spode china, offered up on a sterling silver tray.
Because it is crucial for felines to not miss too many meals since this can put cats at risk of developing a serious liver condition called hepatic lipidosis, I have naturally acquiesced to his whims. But some folks think I am nuts and only reinforcing his skillful manipulations and spoiling him to death. They suggest instead that I simply wait until he is sufficiently hungry which would motivate him to eat where and when I feed him.
But that’s impossible since Dr. Hush Puppy reads me so well. He would know in a heart-beat that I am not into changing him, or endangering his health.
I am of the opinion that no cat on the planet exists that cannot read our intentions and energies. After all, for ages, in reality they have been our masters. What do you think? Tell us in a comment.