Married to the Empire

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tough Love

Calvin went to the vet's office for a weigh-in on Monday. He's still dropping weight, even though I do know he's eating. (I just don't know how much he's eating.) To make matters worse, Doogie is packing on the pounds. He seems to like the new renal food a little too much!

I was desperate enough to buy a Feline Wellness magazine for $6 at Sprouts. I totally felt like a crazy cat lady handing that to the cashier, but it happened to say on the cover, "24/7 Feeding--Is it good or bad?" Since the vet tech mentioned on Monday that we probably need to start a feeding schedule with them, rather than letting them graze, I thought this article might be helpful.

Well, it was. It mentioned that cats in the wild eat on a 28-hour schedule. Domestic cats aren't terribly different, and their digestive systems aren't really intended for constant grazing. It made the timed feeding thing sound easy, especially as it said it can be flexible (I guess unlike dogs who want to be fed always).

So, we started it Wednesday night. I dumped their bowls and washed them. Both cats were on high alert at this and waited anxiously, because whenever I wash their bowls like that, they get all fresh food, and it makes them happy. But I set down empty bowls and walked away. I came back a few moments later and took pictures, as they were still standing there looking confused. Lots of meowing at me.

Doogie later took to standing in the foyer. He knew he'd catch us if he was there, as we couldn't go from one side of the house to the other without passing through. Any time we walked by, he'd look at us, then run to his food bowl. Our poor baby was so confused.

He got destructive during the night in his frustration. At around 2:30am, I heard falling glass. I went to investigate, and he'd knocked over a glass of water I'd foolishly left out. When I got up in the morning, I found all this:

To give perspective on that last photo, that mat sitting by the piano bench in the living room is supposed to be by the front door. He was busy during the night, as I guess he had to do something to compensate for not being able to eat.

They were quite excited to get to eat in the morning. Then I took it away again. More confusion, kitties seeking me out throughout the day to complain about the poor service, lots of meowing at Steven when he returned home from work. They were definitely telling him how horrible I'd been to them all day. They got to eat again in the evening, but then it was put away. I think it's going to take some time before they adjust.

This tough love stuff really stinks.


becky s. said...

LOL! Our kitty was (and is) a much "easier" child than either of our daughters and, it sounds like, than either of your kitties! Good luck and hang in there!

AnneK said...

You might feel like a crazy cat lady, but I think they are really lucky to have you as their mama.

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

Awww this is so cute (though I know it's not very cute for you right now! :-)).

I've always fed my cats at set mealtimes. I have wondered if that was the right way to go, or if leaving food out all the time was just as good. I can't imagine moving them from one to the other!!

Amy W said...

It's amazing how much they act like children! Hopefully they will adapt soon. I got a good chuckle from your pics. :)

Kirby3131 said...

I leave dry food out all day/night but at 5pm I give my cat a wet catfood treat (1/2 of a very small can) -- around noon she starts in on this - is it time? is it time? and running to the dish and standing next to it. She's even been known to fall to the ground as if too weak to hold herself up.

Cats are entertaining that's for sure and they hate a routine change.

Good luck! and I hope the destruction stops, goodness.


Shannon said...

I found your blog while looking for info on the DFW chapter of the 501st. I've kept reading because I enjoy your craftiness and thriftiness, too, but your cat chat has been very helpful as one of my kitties was recently diagnosed with renal disease. He's in the early stages, but it's been comforting to read about feeding tricks and other types of food available (my vet insists on Hill's Science K/D). So I wanted to say "thank you," and share one of my favorite patterns. It's for recycling pillow cases into shopping totes: