After our last vet visit, I have had to put two cats on a restrictive diet and one cat on a higher calorie meal plan. Needless to say, I am being awakened by the crying ‘Meows’ of hungry cats at approximately 4am. Two cats get dry diet food and regular portioned out wet food twice a day. I place the appropriate amount on two ends of a plate so there is no sharing and plenty for everyone. When they are done, the food gets picked up, lest the dog sneaks in and snatches whatever is left. The cat that needs to fill out more waits. I whisk him up and take him through the garage and into our back room. Here he can indulge leisurely ( he is such a slow eater whereas the other cats eat everything like it’s going out of style ) and I can monitor how much he ingests. I am on food patrol.
Meanwhile, we have our new lady, Cindi, and she’s getting more and more comfortable at home which translates to some new and ‘testing her boundaries’ behavior that has to be addressed. She’s becoming more protective. The positive side of this is she trusts and feels secure with us. Yet, I have noticed some aggressive growling towards other pet family members getting too close to a food/water bowl or bone. Some human friends whom have dropped in have gotten the look and accompanying noises too. So she is chastised immediately, as I was taught, with a bass sounding “NO!” and she seems to get the hint. But like raising a child to say “Please” and “Thank you” it takes a lot of consistent reminding, depending primarily on my constant observation and only somewhat on their willingness. Also, she has to be continuously checked and tracked when she tries to lunge towards other dogs or people on a walk. I am learning to keep her right smack closer to me on the leash at these times, pulling her in and praising her when she doesn’t get distracted. Cindi is a superb dog and I want her to stay sweet, social and behaved so I am watching training videos and taking successful, experienced dog owners’ advice.
It is all worthwhile, of course. All three cats have become more affectionate – I am guessing due to some jealousy issues but also because we are making the effort to let them know they are loved just as much as the new arrival. Or, perhaps, it is the revised and structured feeding?
Whether it is a newborn baby sibling or an unfamiliar species you bring home, we all have to make adjustments in order to integrate the new personality, learn to abide by different schedules and spread more love around with assurance and tenderness, albeit firmly.
After a morning walk