Jeff and I are still periodically fostering for PAWS Chicago, and this past week we had two little boys, one gray tabby and one all black cat. The night before we take our fosters back to be spayed/neutered, we always have to fast them.
What an incredibly guilt-rending thing to do to poor little kittens! The gray guy kept following me around, hoping that eventually I will get the hint and put down his food plate. When I didn’t, he found some old crumbs on the floor that I promptly picked up. I must have seemed like a witch to him, so I picked him up and hugged him, and from his vantage point he looked around for his food plate or for water. Yes, fasting includes no water…which is the worst feeling of all.
The little black guy, I had a hard time getting a picture of him with my camera phone–he kept crying out to me and wandering around for his food. He cried and cried, and when I picked him up to hold him, he purred briefly, then when he realized I wouldn’t feed him, he did this angry cry/meow.
Joe, our cat, is a good big brother to his foster siblings. He loves to play with them, teach them how to scratch on the scratching posts, and to teach them how to climb a cat tree. He also loves to “borrow” their kitten kibble even though he’s a big boy. Jeff and I always have to chase him away and bribe him with adult food–which the kittens actually prefer because it smells like fish. So, the kittens crowd him out from his adult food and leave the kitten food abandoned–so Joe thinks, “hey, that sounds like a fair trade!” and tries to sneak over there again. It takes some agility to keep the cats separated while they eat, just as it takes agility to round up the kittens and put them in the bathroom to eat in privacy. Either way, it takes some work.
So, in this picture, Joe’s trying to tell me the kittens are hungry by pointing out where we keep the kitten food, just in case I forgot where they were. He talked to me, meowing his intentions. “Sorry, Joe–the kittens need to fast!” I put him up on a bookshelf where I temporarily store the adult food, so he could eat that instead. But no–he wanted to make sure the kittens had their food.
I left for work this morning feeling incredibly guilty.