2013-05-30 / Lifestyles


Lois A. Corcoran

Remember Caramel, our feisty feline? He’s a cute little tabby, but for years, that’s been his only redeeming factor. I should be so lucky that his temperament would match his looks.

We discovered almost immediately how verbal he is. I always thought tiny “meows” sounded sweet, but a never-ending succession of them grows old pretty fast.

Then there was that other habit of his. Any time I headed toward my office, his official feeding station, he all but tripped me to get there first.

Worst of all were was his frequent assaults. Being ambushed was a given. I just didn’t know when or where the attack would take place. Often this occurred after eating, so he literally bit the hand that fed him.

But therein lay the problem. I did not know it then, but he wasn’t getting enough to eat. His vet recommended a half cup of food a day, and who was I to argue? Trouble was, Caramel would eat it all at once and then, without fail, toss his cookies.

So I began dispensing a few morsels at a time throughout the day to my bulimic feline. But, like someone on a diet, all he thought about was his next meal. That is, until The Experiment.

Tired of our cat’s constant meowing, my husband Dan heaped the feeding bowl with kitty food. Clearly, Caramel thought he died and went to heaven. He chowed down like it was his last meal. I held my breath, waiting for an eruption but nothing occurred. He simply licked his chops and took a long nap.

For the most part, this has become the norm. Caramel follows his self-prescribed fiestas with self-prescribed siestas.

But old habits die hard. Like Pavlov’s dog, our cat was so conditioned that he still occasionally races me to my office when I’m headed that way. He arrives first, only to realize that there’s still food in his dish. Then he looks at me with this puzzled expression on his face.

Okay, that’s not exactly true. A cat’s facial features never change a whole lot. But I know confusion when I see it.

At any rate, I’m happy to report that the assaults have ended.

Occasionally, he over-imbibes and leaves an unsightly deposit on the rug. But for the most part, he’s learned to stop eating when he’s full.

I should be so lucky.

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