The cats revolt.
It sneaks up on you at first.
The affectionate one suddenly is more affectionate than usual. He climbs up onto your lap, rolls around and purrs vigorously.
No matter what you’re doing, he’s hard to resist, and a lovefest ensues. As you pet him and snuggle him, he wallows in your embrace. What a special kitty!
A little while later, the aloof one approaches. She hasn’t come up to be pet in a week or two, but suddenly, she seems very loving. Since petting this one is so rare and short-lived, her cuddly attention is a real treat.
Then the old one starts running around your feet. As you head down the hall, the old one rushes ahead of you, stopping to sit expectantly in front of the empty food dish.
And you realize you had forgotten to get cat food during the last trip to the store.
The other cats also rush to the food dish and sit with an air of expectation and a hint of impatience.
Since you sure don’t plan on going into town today, you give the cats a real treat instead of the standard chow they are clamoring for.
You get out the turkey that’s being saved for something else and chop it into fine bits, distributing it evenly between the dishes.
You have to lock the old one in the bathroom with her dish, because if you don’t, whenever she eats canned cat food or something else special, she wolfs it down quickly, then rushes over to another cat, smacks that cat on the face with a paw to chase it away, then eats the remainder of that cat’s food – quickly, so she can get to the next one, too, before it gets eaten up.
After the other cats have safely (and happily) eaten all of their turkey, it’s safe to open the bathroom door. Surprisingly, the old cat rushes out and heads straight to the empty cat food dish – the turkey untouched.
Now, that’s odd. Normally this cat will eat anything at all. She hovers around the kitchen during meal preparation hoping for food to drop on the floor for her to snap up. She tries to sit on the kid’s lap during meals, and when she’s successful, she tries to share the kid’s meal. It doesn’t matter what the food is – rice, broccoli, pasta, cheese, peas – when Mom’s back is turned – or sometimes, when Mom is looking and the kid is just feeling cheeky — the kid feeds it to the old cat, who gobbles it down.
There won’t be any cat food until tomorrow, so you give the old cat other offerings to tide her over: milk (ignored). Cheese (the cat turns her face away). Cream (runs straight from the untouched dish back to the empty cat food dish). Rice and mixed vegetables (no, thank you). (By the way, dairy upsets a cat’s stomach, so unless you’re out of cat food, it’s best avoided, and should be watered down when given.)
Sighing, you put away your project and head to the store. When you get back home, cats swirl around your feet and meow as you open the bag and fill the dish. The other cats sit nearby, watching intently as the old cat eats first (lest they get slapped across the face), then move in on their meal once she walks away, satisfied.
Later that night at dinner you get up a moment to get something else.
The moment you turn back toward the table, you catch the old cat eating some of the dinner food – broccoli and cheese – out of the kid’s hand.