a patient boy

Day 18: Inside

At every meal, Mooster waits patiently at the door for Bella to finish eating. The blurry tail reveals that he’s not really that patient. He also howls every 30 seconds. Charming.

Here’s the story: I rescued Bella when I was at Ohio State. For two years, it was just us, and we were thick as thieves. Bella is the best kind of cat–a little bit independent but will still snuggle with you and greet you at the door.

Bella is what you call a free-choice feeder. When I used to leave for the weekend, I could leave three bowls of food on the counter and she would simply eat when she was hungry. She’s a nibbler, so the three bowls would last the weekend and she wouldn’t be dying of starvation when I got back. Free-choice feeding means there is always food available and the cat takes a few bites here and there. It’s up to her to eat when she’s hungry.

Then Mr. Phish came on the scene and we rescued Genevieve. I thought all cats were free-choice feeders. That’s how Genevieve ended up looking like this:

Free-choice feeding was, ahem, not a good option for her. She was used to scavenging for food, so if there was food out, she ate it. All of it. All the time.

Here’s current-day Genevieve, just for comparison:

She’s like a tiny petite flower now. And all we did was switch from free-choice feeding to scheduled meal times.

Even after six years, Bella hasn’t caught on to the structured feeding time thing. She still comes and go as she pleases, taking a few bites and then walking away. Mooster loves this, because he has figured out that he can wolf down his food and then go eat Bella’s delicious crunchy food too. As a result, he’s starting to look a little round himself.

So we’ve resorted to private feedings. Bella eats in the upstairs bathroom with the door closed, so she has as much time as she wants to leisurely eat. The other two eat in the kitchen at warp speed. Every day, at every meal, Mooster trots upstairs and sits at the door. He can hear Bella crunching inside, and he knows that she will leave one or two pieces behind for him.

And when I open the door, he charges inside to see what’s left. Scavengers. You’d think he hadn’t eaten in a week, the way he carries on.


16 thoughts on “a patient boy

  1. That is cute and funny the way he waits at the door. Your cats are so pretty. Hugs and nose kisses for them form me and the crew.

      • I bet so…my cat Patches sits at the bedroom door and howls if I am not up at my usual time. Sometimes I would love to sleep in just for a few minutes but she thinks differently. 😦

  2. Pingback: double dose of papa « this clever camera

    • It actually was. All we did was switch to two set feedings a day. I still cannot believe how big she was. Now, she’s so skinny, I’d like to get a few more pounds on her!

    • I wish I could take more credit. It was really just the switch from free choice feeding to set feeding times that did it. We’re wishing we could get her to eat a little more these days!

      • We changed from free-feeding to feeding times a long time back. We even changed to a better cat-food-product, but only one of our cat has lost a half kilogram. Not to mention they HATE the feeding schedule, haha. πŸ˜›

      • Yeah, ours aren’t too fond of the feeding schedule either. They act like they are DYING of starvation OMG must be feed immediately. They are quite the little drama queens (and kings).

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