I’ve learned a lot over the years about cats and their traits and preferences. It’s been an interesting and enjoyable journey. One thing that was always fairly straightforward with all of the cats I’ve loved is their eating habits. You put down a plate or a bowl of food and they eat it. Oh, we’ve had cats, over the years get sick and stop eating. Red Flag! That cat gets an immediate trip to the vet. We discover the problem, attempt to remedy it and usually the cat will resume eating—depending on the problem and the age of the cat and so forth.
Then Came Olivia (yeah, that’s the title for my next Calico Cat Mystery). Well, she has never been a very good eater, yet she’s a fairly big girl and has plenty of meat on her bones. At nearly 11 pounds, I’m sure she’s just fine. But darn it, I want to see her eat.
As a kitten, she got canned and dry kitten food and I’d see her eat it. In fact, I’d sit and watch to make sure which cat was getting the right food—Sophie, our senior cat, does not need the rich kitten food, and Olivia, as a kitten, couldn’t have regular cat food. Sometimes Olivia would not eat while I watched, so I’d leave the area and go about my business. The food would often disappear at some point, but I wasn’t always sure who ate it.
I’d sit with Olivia when I’d feed her and watch her sneak up to the plate as if stalking it, take a sniff, maybe a taste, and dart off to parts unknown. Sometimes I’d watch for thirty minutes—nothing. I’d leave the area and come back to find the food gone.
When we switched Olivia to adult food she started eating a bit of the canned version more often. Then she stopped altogether. She still wasn’t losing weight, so I was pretty sure she was eating enough kibbles to keep her going. The vet finds nothing wrong with her and, as I said, she is maintaining a good weight. She just thinks canned food is gross—unless she decides she wants to eat it.
Well, I’ve quit putting a plate down for her when I feed Sophie (who adores canned food). Sometimes she hears the can open and tears into the kitchen all excited, runs to her feeding spot and waits. So I fix her a plate. Sometimes she will eat it. Often, however, she will sniff the food and walk away. Sometimes she’ll refuse the food, then come back and eat it.
Lately, however, she is back to ankle-hugging me while I prepare Sophie’s meal. She runs to her old eating spot waiting for her plate. Eight times out of ten, lately, she’s been eating it, especially if it contains liver. Who knew? We’re feeding a lot of liver-flavored cat food these days in case Olivia feels like eating it.