Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Curse of the Wet Food

When we traveled to Massachusetts for the wedding, we abandoned the Bitter and the Leopold for four full days with bowls of food and water staggered throughout the house, the sliding glass door wide open, soft places to curl up, and our blessings.

Upon returning, it seemed that the "wet food" curse had been broken. Bitty is the one that dictates the wet food in the household. Though mild tempered by nature, she turns into a tiny demon in the morning, opening her throat and gargling out loud meows from deep in her chest cavity until you have no choice but to feed her. Her meows aren't normal, either. Leopold has a variety of meows to choose from- the pathetic boy meow that's high pitched and slight, the deep, booming meow he uses when you're breaking his "closed door policy" (which, he's found, is incredibly effective if he puts his mouth to the bottom of the door, and projects his voice into the entire room), the short and tiny trill he uses when you wake him up from a deep sleep, etc. When Bitty meows, it's like someone's got a chokehold on her throat. Like her vocal cords have been grated. Her meow rattles around in her throat until it comes yelling out, sore and angry, and her face contorts into a jackal's smile.

The day after we returned, as I mentioned, I thought the curse had been broken. I stumbled out of bed to make my coffee, and Bitty sat in her little bed dwelling underneath our dining room chair and just blinked at me repeatedly. And Leo, who takes cues from Bitty, stayed calm and collected, folded up like a little chicken with his legs tucked under in the morning sunlight. So they didn't get wet food. And I joyously retold the story to Charlie when he awoke, and he said we could save wet food for "special occasions" (whatever special occasions for a cat are).

But the next morning, when I stammered out of bed, bleary eyed and annoyed to be awake without caffiene in my system, the chorus of chortled meows hit my eardrums more angry than ever to have missed a day of wet food. Bitty ran around the kitchen island like an irate baffoon, scuttling between my legs and meowing non-stop, which set Leopold off with his high-pitched whines. Charlie and I are 100% sure that Bitty is a mentally challenged cat. My dad, a man of wisdom, will say he tries not to attribute much intelligence to a cat... but I've lived with many cats in my day, and can tell the difference between a normally functioning cat and Bits. She sleeps at least 22 hours a day, she is deathly afraid of everyone but me (she's warming up to Charlie, and she loves our friend Nick, go figure), and I've already covered the meow. She doesn't understand the function of the squirt bottle. It works well with Leopold-- we've got it down to simply showing him the bottle when a bad behavior is on display or even being considered, and it stops him in his tracks. I can squirt Bitty repeatedly and she just looks at me, confused and upset, and then continues to meow. And on the last visit I had to the vet, they told me she'd never lost her baby teeth. That's right. All the teeth in her tiny skull are baby teeth. All the teeth that contribute to her strange overbite (that's right, my cat with the huge, lamplike eyes and the ridiculous overbite) are baby teeth. And her bottom incisors are in the wrong spot.

So we're back on the wet food track; there was a bit of an issue when we switched from the seafood pate (which made our house smell like the Boston Harbor) back to the meaty bits but we've overcome this problem, and we're eating again without complaint. We love her to death. But we're pretty sure she's not at 100% functioning capacity.


Colleen said...

since milo has been staying with tom and i we have been having a similar cry baby problem...then we discovered that milo is petrified of the vacuum (sp?). tom had the genius idea of setting up a booby trap where the vacuum sits in the kitchen by his bowl where he whines in the morning at the first sound of my alarm....ugh. and when he makes a peep tom leans over the bed and plugs the vacuum in which turns on and milo goes bolting from the room and hides under the couch silent for at least the next 10-15 minutes....ahhh glorious sleep!

Melina said...

your flippin pictures are flippin awesome oh my LORD such personality in those cats!!!

Cassandra said...

"And Leo, folded up like a little chicken..."