Friday, May 2, 2008

My Crazy Cat Pika

He is my one and only cat. There was a time just 5 years ago that we owned 4. Tiger was a stray that we took in, after feeding him for a year outside. He was orange and small but the same age as Pika. KAT (Kristopher Anthony Tom) was my mother in law's cat for a year, and then soft hearted Terry rescued him from a life of loneliness to come live in a house of cats, dogs kids and the great outdoors. He died when he was ten from a deteriating hip. Then of course, there is Sonny who died just this spring, and that leaves my one and only, Pika. He is the most loving cat I have ever met, and Sonny was the most loving before him.

When Sonny died, Pika most certainly showed signs of confusion, especially around meal time. He always ate off to one side in the kitchen because we couldn't put them too close together. Sonny was a fast eater and the BOSS of the bowls. Pika had to eat fast and get out. Often, they ate, and then traded bowls, with Sonny leaving nothing behind, and Pika's dish still half full, for Sonny to polish off.

Pika was quite confused when he no longer had Sonny's bowl to lick out, and could quite easily finish his own supper without the eagle eyes of Sonny watching him. To help with the transition, we left Sonny's bowl there, and I even put a tiny bit of food in it occasionally, so Pika would feel like he was getting extra. But eventually, we stopped doing that, and removed the dish altogether. Now since Pika always ate over by the phone and Sonny ate by the water dish, there was a big void spot over there, on the nice eating mat that was made for pet dishes. So, one day, I moved Pika's bowl over there, to give him a new pet friendly place to eat. His old spot was usually bombarded with the phone cord, or the pantry door was partly open and his dish would get pushed under it, making it impossible for him to get the last little bits of food. On the first day of this new location, he sat in his old eating spot, and looked at the bowl of food over in Sonny's spot. He, pondered this new location, and thought about it, and looked and then..... lost out, because then big black dog Mollie saundered in, and jubilently ate every last morsel of food, leaving Pika still sitting there wondering what the heck was going on. We tried for 2 more days to feed him there, and he wouldn't eat. So back to the old spot. This time, we moved it an inch closer to the mat each day, until it was almost by the waterbowl. He eventually ate with gusto, as usual and didn't bat an eye at the new location.

Then about 2 weeks go, Pika stopped eating. He begged and meowed like he was hungry, but when we put food in his bowl, he would sniff it, and walk away. We tried new flavors, we tried warming it up, and we tried taking it away, putting it back, taking it away,.... you know, letting him know if he doesn't eat it, its gone. Mollie loved the new Pika... because Mollie would give him a minute to decide and then MOLLIE TO THE RESCUE!!! She would clean up all the food. Two weeks, all meals. He ate his crunchies, which are way down the hall in the cat barn, so we knew he would live, but still, it started to bother me. We checked his teeth, and I clipped him good, thinking he might not like his mane getting dirty...

Then, a couple of days ago, in desperation, I moved his bowl back to the old feeding spot.... and, he ate. And now, he eats without hesitation, every day since! I have no idea what triggered this new no eating phase, but back in the old annoying spot, he is quite content.
Below is this morning, back to his old spot and you can see where Sonny ate, over on the right, next to the water bowl.

1 comment:

GailM. said...

OMG, you scared me to death... I was reading and reading, I was thinking... oh, no... something is wrong..... Whew, I'm glad everything is ok!! That cat looks so cuddly in all those baskets.