The Further Adventures of a Highly Ritualized Cat

Our black cat Kestrel, as I’ve said before, has a lot of his own little rituals. Food magick, as it were. He has gotten even fussier with age.

About a month ago, he stopped eating the Healthy Indoor Cat Kibble we had been feeding him the last few years. We switched over to Even Healthier Indoor Cat Kibble with Salmon and Green Peas. That was acceptable for about a week. We tried kibble with soft centers, semisoft cat treats and little plastic containers of soft food with flakes of simulated fish on top. Except for the soft stuff, he was having none of it.

We took him to the vet, fearing tooth/gum problems or some Horrid Lingering Disease. Despite the Black Prince dropping three-and-a-half of his original twelve pounds, there was no sign of problems. He was simply Fussying Himself to Death.

We have a new feeding ritual now. Every twelve hours, we scrub out his chrome steel feeding bowl and give him half a container of the Soft Cat Food with Simulated Fish Flakes on Top and a third of the soft form of the Even Healthier Indoor Cat Kibble with Salmon and Green Peas. If these are left over portions, they must be microwaved for exactly fifteen seconds, no more, no less, to dispel the chill of the refrigerator. We must break up the two kinds of food with a fork and intermix them or he will only eat the stuff that isn’t all that good for him.

Then, I must watch.

It has to be me. Last week, I went out to catch a movie and didn’t get back until eleven. His six o’clock feeding went untouched until I came into the living room and stood over his bowl. Even now, I can see him going after his six am feast as I type this.

When I die, I want to come back as a cat.

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