Thursday, October 6, 2016

Swarm, Swarm, Swarm!

When we are having chicken or turkey, we often have a cat stampede:

This is, of course, our fault because we trained everyone to expect treats.

These free-for-alls would be fine except that some of the cats, mainly Possum and Wendy, tend to be "bitey," nipping us as they snatch the food from our fingers before anyone else can get to it. Harris and Lion are gentlemen and never bite. Toffee can't help himself sometimes.

We can toss the treats to save our fingers, but that means Harris and Possum will get all of it. Possum will move surprisingly fast for food considering how lazy he is the rest of the time. The others, especially Lion, are too polite and let him grab what's supposed to be theirs. 

Wendy always acts to startled that I'm tossing her a treat that while she's still staring at me in [feigned] disbelief, Harris or Possum has gobbled it all up under her nose. Her imaginary melodrama is costing her calories; you'd think she'd get over it after so many years and lost bits of birdie.

Possum has begun hollering at me in the mid morning, demanding "second breakfast" for himself, which means everyone gets freeze-dried hare, chicken breast, wild boar, or whatever I've got from the pet store. Possy is the only cat who needs to watch his waistline, so I don't mind treat time being a daily, or twice-daily routine. Harris and Lion are very lean, so I feed them extra bits of cheese when I'm having some. And even Possum does not seem to be as rotund as he appears in his "belly" photos. He is 15.3 pounds, down from an all-time high of 17.5, which was porky. He'd look very trim if he lost about a pound but our vet doesn't think it's that necessary. When he stretches out to his full length — standing on his hind legs to swat at me and to put his paws on the counter to monitor my treat-producing progress, he is a very long "tall" cat. 

Even so, Possum doesn't get quite as many treats as the others do . . . but he doesn't know that.


  1. I have a question. How do you keep up with cat hair. I had a Maine Coon but he didn't shed much. I have a white long haired domestic and fine white hair is everywhere. Have to clean shutters of certain a week and vacuum, every other day.

    1. Hi MrsB! How do I keep up with cat hair? I'm not sure I do. Cat fur is a fact of life around here. We have a small apartment, 800 square feet, so it's fairly concentrated. Our cats all have longish, silky fur, which I find much easier to clean up than the stiffer fur of shorthairs. I vacuum once a week and it takes a long time because I'm thorough. In-between vacuuming I sweep as necessary. For furniture and curtains, I use 3M lint rollers (the ones with red textured heads that are rough in one direction and smooth in the other). I use them a LOT. It's a good thing to do while talking on the phone, for example.

      I don't have shutters, wall-to-wall or lots of hard-to-clean upholstery. Most of it is smooth or lightly textured cotton, which is easier to de-fur. It also helps to have lots of bare wooden floor. Brushing lace curtains is a nuisance and I'm thinking of trying something different soon.

      We have adapted in other ways to having lots of cats. Because we have a mix of cat colors, we wear a lot of gray! We almost never wear black or navy unless we are heading right out the door, and we change as soon as we get back home. We tend to warn visitors not to wear dark colors here, too. We also hand them sticky rollers right before they leave!

  2. We have that similar dynamic at our house except we have one kitty (Twee) who does not understand treats at all. Even if you get her alone in a quite moment with no other cats around and you offer her something to eat, she does not understand. Food comes at food time, and outside of that it is not food.

    We did get her to understand that when we threw a small handful of dry food on the ground that was food, and she would get some then, but I haven't been able to do that in years

  3. I won't tell him! Beautiful kitties! Chucky always wants kibble, but he cannot have it (only the outside cats get kibble as treats), so I fake him out by sprinkling nutritious yeast on his food; the smell is the same!

  4. make with the treat giving....that is a lot of fuzzy cute!

  5. Have you tried feeding the cats with a fork? (Or chopsticks, or any other suitable implement)? It saves the fingers, and you can offer bits to each in turn…


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