Frivolous Friday – On the Cat’s Terms

Feeding Olivia is often a challenge. We’ve learned that no matter how cunning and clever we try to be, she is more cunning and clever. In fact, nearly everything related to Olivia is on her terms. You may recall that I’d stopped offering Olivia canned food. She just won’t eat it. She will sniff the plate, then tear off down the hall like it bit her or something. Sometimes she’ll circle back around when she thinks we’re not looking and she eats it, but mostly not.

“It’s her feral background,” I say. Wild cats like to eat in private. I’m good at making excuses for Olivia. (Note, of course she has free-flowing kibbles and she is not losing any weight). It’s the helicopter Mom in me that wants to see her baby eating the good stuff—what I consider the more nutritious food. It had become so stressful for me and wasteful to even try to feed Olivia canned food, that I stopped offering it to her altogether. Occasionally, I think she finishes what Sophie leaves, but it’s all done rather clandestinely.

Well, the other night Olivia came into the kitchen when I was fixing Sophie’s food. Sophie LOVES canned food and she wants it five times a day. I feed her three times and in between I offer her what she didn’t finish at the previous feeding. Otherwise she’s begging for food again.

So that evening,  I’m fixing Sophie’s plate and here comes Olivia. “Mew-Mew.” She’s rubbing on me, flopping over on her side and rolling back and forth (cute). So I dug out a can of her favorite cat food—she loves those with liver flavors. I fix her a plate and place it at her regular feeding spot. What does she do?

She sneaks up to it like it’s something foreign. She sniffs it from a distance, then moves closer and sniffs it. She even tasted it, then she is off. She tears around the room, scampers down the hallway and disappears. She returns and engages in a wild and crazy play session with some of her toys, runs at high speed through her tunnel back and forth a couple of times, then flies up and over the sofa, down onto the floor, and she disappears. A little while later I look over and there she is lapping up the food and licking the plate clean. Why does she do that? Was that high-speed jaunt around the room a victory sprint? Did she want to get some exercise before eating? Was she celebrating? Who knows, but like any doting cat-mom, I am thrilled to see her eat what I think she should be eating.

Mind you, Olivia weighs just under 11 pounds. She’s a healthy girl. But in this house, no matter what we think is best for her—everything seems to be on Olivia’s terms.

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