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.
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!
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,
Thanks for this entertaining blogpost, Sherry! We have a tuxedo cat who adopted us. He refuses sudenly after LOVING to drink from a plastic container his water. Now he ONLY drinks from the birdbath outdoors. BUT, he lies next to the wall, door or bottom of the stairs in the exact same position as your Maggie. His name is Stash for Moustache, which he proudly displays. He loves to run up to children on the street and roll over to be petted. Whereas indoors, he can suddenly swat you one, claws in or out depending on his mood, if you try to pet him the way strangers/passersby can do freely on when they find him rolling before them on the sidewalk. Toys no longer interest him, but catnip still can arouse his playfulness. Blessed are the animals who know where their food is found. And this a.m., Stash would ONLY eat the snacks that make up his diet because he eschews all canfood of any kind or caliber, as well as hearty pellets, from the palm of my outstretched hand. Go figure.
Oh, Donna, how lovely to chat with you here! Glad you found my cat story entertaining. After reading your comment, I see that you have live-in feline entertainment as well. Stash sounds like a character. Maggie often pulls the “rub my tummy” stunt. You go to rub and smack, she gets you every time! Your story is great. Thanks for reading and commenting. Dear friend, I miss you!
Very entertaining, Sherrey! Not a cat owner, I’m not sure about how to answer your question.
Oh, wait: Fast food restaurants usually use red as part of their decor. Red is said to stimulate appetite. Because cats are human too (at least your cats are) perhaps they are responding the same way. Ha Ha!
Marian, for a non-cat owner, you’re certainly quick on picking up the human traits of cats. We appreciate the nutritional tidbit on the color red and appetite stimulation. Perhaps that also relates to hydration!
I enjoyed your story, Sherrey! The mystery of the water bowls 😉
Dogs have owners, cats have staff. At least, that’s how we feel. Most of the time, one of our three (usually Junior, the oldest) will alert us when it’s time for lunch. If Junior, he’ll make a number of short howls. I’ve tried to wait him out, but I also give in. Raji, the youngest, seems to be delegated to be the dinner bell using a few high-pitched squeals and squeaks. Wendy, the middle child and a tortie, patiently waits. Both of their watering stations are white and of the fountain variety. I haven’t seen any preference in water station, even though they are quite difference from each other. Now, where I am seeing strong preferences is in cat litter.
Some months ago, my local pet store ran out of my preferred cat litter (The World’s Best Cat Litter). Generally, I avoid clay litter so, in desperation, I bought a bag of Sustainably Yours Natural Cat Litter. Well, they LOVE the new litter. So much so that they pile on in the one litter box and often ignore the other two litter boxes! Admittedly, this new cat litter is great: highly absorbent, a lot less dusty than other brands, and not as smelly. But I still had some of the World’s Best and I want to use it up. As long as they keep using the one litter box, I’ll have the World’s Best on hand for a long time … lol.
I’m tempted to revert back to World’s Best (since it’s been well in stock lately) because Sustainably Yours is much more expensive. And yet. They like it. They like it a lot. I’m just staff 😉
“Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” Agreed!! It seems cats have a built-in clock when it comes to mealtime or treats. Our two know exactly when it’s time for their treats–8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Don’t plan anything for either of those times. Enjoyed your story on the cat litter preferences. Our Maggie is aging and it seems she sometimes forgets where she is supposed to poop and pee. That makes for extra work keeping that cleaned up. Economy comes into play, so keep using that World’s Best until it’s gone.
Don’t forget who’s management and who’s staff! ;
Hi, Sherrey. I enjoyed your story about Maggie & Iggy. Regarding cats 🐈⬛ 🐈 understanding what people are saying, I said to our younger daughter (age 41, single and loving her life as a teacher) that her big tiger cat Miles is very affectionate. He right away began nuzzling her lips. 🙂
Barbara, thanks for dropping in! Good to see your lovely smile. I laughed until my sides almost split at your story of Miles and his affectionate personality. Our Maggie is the loving one around here. She has gotten into the habit of touching my face with her paws. I’m not sure whether they’re love pats or attention getters!
I believe our two kitties understand every word we speak!
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