If you are a feline parent, you’ll appreciate this story about our two kitties. I believe we all know that our pets have mental capabilities beyond our comprehension. Usually, it appears to work on the premise of confusing those who care for them.

We have two cats. The older of the two came to live with us about 13 years ago. Magnificat, or Maggie for short, is a black-and-white tuxedo we adopted from a neighborhood vet clinic. Until about three years ago, Maggie owned the house and garage. Maggie has always been an indoor cat
so the outdoors was of little interest other than watching birds and other critters through the windows. It wasn’t debated to whom the food and water bowls and yes, the litter box, belonged—they were hers alone.

Maggie napping on the back porch.

Our second cat came to join us around the three-year point mentioned above. Ignatz aka Iggy is a black Bombay. His coat and body structure are elegant, and we adopted him from the wild. Iggy was a stray before my husband decided to feed him, and naturally, Iggy became a member of the family.

Having lived on his own for some time, it was clear that Iggy had no desire to be an indoor cat like Maggie. However, over time, he has come to understand the benefits of the house and being with the rest of us. Yet, he is prone to being alone most of the time he’s inside. To make sure we know he is not napping, he puts into action his love of chattering. Some of his vocal sounds are like a conversation. One of his favorite sounds is “meyowt.” There’s no mistaking what he wants when that pops out. Yep, Iggy’s quite the talker!

Iggy thinks he’s hiding among the ferns.


The kitties are pretty good about sharing the feeding and watering bowls as well as any toys. Maggie is old enough now that toys don’t intrigue her. Iggie is too busy napping inside or exploring outside to have an interest in toys. Litter boxes are a different thing and are definitely private property!

Their feeding dishes are identical, except one is larger than the other. The water bowls are identical except in color. One is red and the other blue. And now begins the story of Maggie and Iggy and their water bowls.

Not too long ago it became evident there was an equal amount of water drunk from each bowl daily. Then a sudden change came about. The red bowl ran almost dry daily. The blue bowl remained full. No amount of talking or explaining made a difference. When the red bowl went almost dry, Maggie had evidently been appointed to stand beside it and give us a harsh look. Luckily, one of us got the message and refilled the red bowl.

For several days over the last couple of weeks, we’ve talked a lot about why they drink only from the red bowl. One morning I casually said to Husband Bob, “You know those cats and their red and blue bowls would make a great animal post for the blog.” I think they overheard us talking. They are back to drinking from both bowls! I’m sorry to disappoint them by writing about their strange behavior anyway.

Has any cat owner ever been able to figure out the minds of cats and their behavior? How is it they seem to know and/or understand what you’re saying? We don’t dare mention treats in earshot of these two. And if those food dishes look the least bit empty, we hear about the problem from Iggy constantly! 

Enjoy August and the rest of summer,