Angry Eyebrows

This is not Cheddar. Angry Eyebrows took him away before we could snap a pic. This is a different ginger cat I spotted at another adoption fair. Super cute. I visited him twice.

This is not Cheddar. Angry Eyebrows took him away before we could snap a pic. This is a different ginger cat I spotted at another adoption fair. Super cute. I visited him twice.

Ask Matt what my favorite part of going to the pet store is and he’ll easily answer you.

“The cats. She loves to see the cats.”

Every time we go to PetCo or Petsmart, I immediately make a beeline for the spot where rescue organizations set up shop with their furry felines. It’s been months since we lost Pink, and I can’t deny that I miss the pussycat purr in our home.

Last weekend we needed dog treats and we decided to go to PetCo since it carries Charlie’s favorite in bulk. We also put the treats on top of Lexie’s kibble to encourage her to eat.

We walked in the store, and right into heaven … or should I say a cat adoption fair.

The second cage had an orange stripey cat. he came right to the front and pressed his body against the bars. I’m a sucker for a ginger.

“He’s a cutie!” I whispered to Matt. He nodded.

As I pushed my finger through the cage bars to touch the kitty’s nose, a woman wormed her way between Matt and me.

“Would you like to hold him?” she asked, already opening the cage and reaching in to grab the cat.

“Umm, sure,” I said. I was happy to hold a cat again, but not exactly sure I was ready to make a commitment right then and there.

The woman put the cat in my arms. As I looked up to ask the cat’s name, I was startled. By the woman’s angry eyebrows. They were clearly painted on … in an angry fashion.

“His name is Cheddar,” she said. We asked if he got along with dogs, and she said she had one dog at home but she wasn’t really sure how they got along. The woman told us she has numerous cats, and they all got along.

We told Angry Eyebrows that we had two dogs, and she bristled. We said they were relatively small, and lived with a cat before. She looked away, disinterested.

Matt ran his fingers over Cheddar’s paws, and asked if he was declawed. She said no, and we both expressed relief. Me because I don’t believe in declawing a cat, and Matt began to mention the … (record player screeches)

The dog door.

“Oh, do you want an outdoor cat? We don’t allow outdoor cats. We want our cats to stay indoors. Always. It’s too dangerous for cats to be outside. ….” (fade to black)

Oh. No.

I explained that Pink was not an outside cat. She loved sleeping on her cat perch or the couch. But she had wandered out the dog door a few times, only to wander about five or six feet before running back inside. I explained all of this, but Angry Eyebrows wasn’t having any of it.

She grabbed Cheddar, and pulled him tightly to her chest. And with that, our cat adoption interview was over.

This was for a cat we didn’t really want to adopt in the first place, but suddenly I was pissed that I was summarily dismissed.

I wondered if we would ever be allowed to adopt a cat with our dog door. I imagined us boarding over the hole in the side door, and growing frustrated as Charlie took to pooping in the library again. With gusto.

Could it be Angry Eyebrows was right?

Regardless, I came to accept it just wasn’t the right cat.

We’ll keep looking. I know the fuzzball is out there.



Kibble wars

Charlie caught in the act — stealing kibble from Lexie’s bowl.

We told Charlie, “No cat food for you! One year!” Clearly he didn’t get the “Seinfeld” reference. He still sneaks and nibbles.

If he’s not taking Pink’s cat food, Charlie will grab a mouthful of Lexie’s kibble. This pushes Lexie to the puppy chow. And Pink has been spotted gobbling out of Lex’s bowl.

Quite simply, feeding time in our house has turned into food wars.

Charlie came with a yummy bag of puppy kibble, and instantly turned his nose at it. He’s much more interested in the food that isn’t his. Lexie’s run-of-the-mill dog food is gold to him. Pink’s kibble is divine. Her wet fishy-smelling cat food? Charlie is over the moon.

All the while, his puppy chow sits untouched.

The finest puppy kibble couldn’t lure Charlie to his bowl.

So we went out and bought some Eukanuba puppy chow. It didn’t take long before he was sneaking over to Lexie’s bowl and grabbing a mouthful.

Lexie seemed unimpressed, and nibbled at Charlie’s food, wondering what the big deal was all about.

Since the cat isn’t a complainer, it was probably days before we realized she hadn’t eaten. Charlie had been devouring the dry and wet food, and by then Lex has joined in on the kibble larcenies. Pink watched from atop her new cat tree, and plaintively forced a weak “mew.”

Matt hatched the plan. He grabbed a cardboard box that already had an entry spot and an open top. We put Pink’s food in the box, and she could climb in, with protection on three sides. This seemed to work, until Pink followed a floating fuzzball into the front room, leaving the kibble open for the taking. Charlie and Lexie were eager to munch.

Realizing I had to do something, I took on a new persona: Jillian the lunchlady. I’d like to think I’m a bit cuter than the school marms at my alma mater Field Elementary, but I held firm to their discipline. The approach was simple: Put treats in each pet’s bowls to lure them there, then stand in the middle to monitor as they ate. Hopefully from their own bowls.

Pink prefers to dine at a Paul Newman establishment. Lex and Charlie prefer to eat her leftovers.

Honestly, Lex always has been a self-regulating dog when it comes to her food. So getting her to eat on command was more of a wish than a command. Surprisingly, the organic blueberry treats (!) were a hit, and she lingered to eat some of her kibble, as well. Charlie powered through his treats, and ate most of his puppy chow.

Pink was extraordinarily interested in her food for about a minute, then retreated back to the tree. Of course, Charlie made a beeline for her bowl.

“NO!!” I screamed.

He stopped in his tracks. And went back to his bowl.

A rare surveillance photo of Charlie eating from his actual bowl.

Thinking things were under control, I went to the front room to watch some television.

A few minutes later, Charlie rushed in, and spilled a mouthful of Lexie’s kibble at my feet.

Clearly we’re not close to an armistice in this food war.

As we’re finding with our puppy training efforts, these things take time.