I promise I will not overpopulate this blog with stories about our cat, but she did something the other day that reminded me way too much about human behavior. Hang with me a moment and I’ll bring this full circle.
Lexi’s stomach is our clock. When it’s time to eat she will come and get us if we’ve failed to appear in her feeding area with tinned cat food in hand. She sits and watches while we open the can, scoop part of it into her dish and mash it with a spoon before she digs in.
The other day I was working in my office and noticed it was nearly time to feed her, so I thought I’d just put her food out a bit early and continue on with what I was doing. I figured she’d find it when she came upstairs.
A short while later there she was–sitting beside me mewing for her food. “It’s in your room. Go get it,” I told her. (Yes, I really do talk to the cat.) She continued to sit there and look at me, so I got up from my desk and walked to her feeding area with her close behind.
I pointed to her dish and she glanced at it, then looked back at me: ‘Why aren’t you putting my food in there?’
We stood watching each other for a moment and then I decided to experiment. I picked up the spoon we leave on the counter, chopped around in the food I’d already put out, banged the spoon on the side of her dish like I always do, and then backed away. She went right to it and started eating, and I thought: holy cow, cat–that is entirely too ritualistic!
I know there are all sorts of good habits and good reasons to maintain them, but it made me wonder about those habits that we humanoids finance that maybe, sorta’, kinda’ don’t serve us, or others around us, very well.
Isn’t it funny what one cat and a can of cat food will conjure up?
Author Note: Perhaps you think our cat is brain damaged. She’s just a cat who didn’t have a very good life before we rescued her from the local shelter, and we love her dearly.