New Kitties Alter Household Routine

by Kevin Burton

   Does anyone make “kitty on board’ stickers the way they make ones for “baby on board?  If so, I might need one as a reminder.

   Our house had been cat-less for two years before we adopted 11-year-old Gabbie and 6-year-old Ronnie last month from Save the Kitties, a cat rescue place in the town north of us. 

   You could call our renewed household habits the feline version of “the things we do for love,” in the tradition of the old 10CC song.

   For example we are now careful to open the door to the garage and close it behind us before we hit the button to open the big garage door.  This we do just in case one of our girls gets a notion to make a break for it.  It all likelihood, Gabbie is too old and Ronnie too rotund to make a successful dash. 

   But I also need to keep Ronnie out of the garage so I don’t mistake her for our 2012 Toyota Camry, as the two are similar in size and color and my vision is not so keen.

   We can’t leave people food or liquids unattended. I no longer leave coffee or water sitting out in the Bible study area downstairs to do a quick errand upstairs. Water in my yellow plastic cup probably seems about the same as water left in their orange bowl.

   Also there has been a change to feeding time.  I can’t just roll out the buffet table the way I did for my old cat Mex.  Why? Because Gabbie will eat whatever she wants and then Ronnie will eat her portion and wipe out whatever leftovers Gabbie leaves.

   So Monday I started feeding them separately.  I gave Ronnie her portion downstairs in the laundry room, then brought Gabbie upstairs to my office, close the door and fed her there.

   How little Gabbie ate of the Fancy Feast chicken feast in gravy was a revelation.  I had thought Ronnie’s leftover grabs netted her maybe 60 percent of the food. But at times it may have been 80 percent.  That would explain why Ronnie looks even rounder after almost a month at our house.

   So this has to be a permanent thing unless we (or you dear reader!) can think of a better solution. 

   And Ronnie will thank me later. Is it true or did I only imagine that she couldn’t make a routine jump onto the bad last week?  I didn’t actually see this. I heard her little bell tinkle then I heard her hit the floor.

   Cats are very easy to care for, their use of a litter box being a key feature of why I prefer them over dogs. This feeding routine adds time and effort I didn’t want to put into this, but these are the things we do for love.

   It is possible that Gabbie genuinely loves me back.  This is not something I can prove. But actions speak louder than words, which is good since her vocabulary is limited.

   Gabbie comes around just to hang with daddy.  She reads Bible memory verse cards with me most mornings. She watches NFL games with me sort of. She’s even less attentive than I am.

   But she seems to be there mostly for the Kev time. She asks for food when she is hungry but her every utterance is not based on what she can get in the bowl. Ronnie is more Machiavellian.

   I just googled “how to train a cat,” but what I was really looking for was jokes, since any cat worth having will resist training in the most ingenious ways. I was hoping someone like Dave Barry would have written something. Barry is a noted dog person (nobody’s perfect) so it couldn’t be him. But somebody like him. 

   Some cat training things popped up on google. People appear to be serious about this! I will look into it just in case, but I have my doubts.

   The new routine is still being shaped I am sure.  Surely there is another shoe to drop now that first impressions have been made.  

   When they arrived, the cats were an injection of positive feelings into a life stressed out of its normal shape by the virus and other things. We will keep that in mind when they inevitably throw us curveballs and hairballs.

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