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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cat Herders Day

December 15 is Cat Herders Day. The day is for people who feel that they are trying to do the impossible, as if they were herding cats.

In a way, I literally herd cats twice a day, every day. I have six cats: Jewel, Harmony, Melody, Luna, Kit, and Flash. Feeding time is herding time. I feed only canned food. Jewel, my oldest, is on a prescription diet because of her kidney insufficiency. Flash, my youngest and the alpha cat, has to eat alone because he will eat the other cats' food. He will start eating from one bowl, and then quickly switch to another, so no one else can eat in peace. So my six cats eat in three rooms.

I look around to see where the cats are. If I see them all and none of them are in my bedroom, I pick up Flash, put him in my bedroom, and close the door. Sometimes other cats are in the bedroom, though. It is usually one or more of the three littermates (Harmony, Melody, and Luna.) If I cannot get them out of the bedroom, I pick up Flash and put him into the small bathroom off my bedroom and close the door.


I then get Jewel to go into one of the spare bedrooms. Sometimes I pick her up, but often she will go there on her own.


Harmony, Melody, Luna, and Kit go into the kitchen, eagerly awaiting their food. I put all six bowls on the counter, pick up the cans of food and open them, and begin scooping the food into the bowls. As I do this, I try to keep Kit, who has climbed onto the counter, from getting at the food until the bowls are ready to go and placed on the floor. I tell him "Wait until you're served!" I put two bowls on the kitchen floor. Kit immediately jumps off the counter and claims one of them. Harmony quickly moves to one as well; she usually gets the one on the far right. I then put two more bowls on the kitchen floor, and Melody and Luna begin eating.

Kit, Luna, Melody, and Harmony. Kit hadn't fully gotten over his shyness at the time this photo was taken; he had not yet started climbing on the counter to try to get the food and he was not yet claiming one of the first bowls.

I then pick up the remaining two bowls. I bring the bowl of Hill's Prescription k/d to Jewel. I then bring the remaining bowl to my bedroom for Flash. If he is in the bathroom, I let him out. Even though I feed him last, he will not necessarily be the last to finish eating; he inhales his food!

In the morning, I let Jewel and Flash out after everyone has finished eating. In the evening, I let Jewel out after all the cats are done eating, but Flash has to stay in the bedroom until I am done with dinner. He tries to steal my food too!

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