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Mornings at the Manor

Feeding time is an exciting time as one might imagine. The Usual Suspects look forward to breakfast in particular with great relish. Monday through Friday, breakfast happens around 0500, before I get in the shower. Weekends, it happens whenever I can no longer stand to listen to Rooney Lee as he sits on the arm of my chair and whines:

Transcript of video and more post below the cut!

Screen: Close up of the head of an orange and white Cornish Rex cat of uncommon handsomeness.

Me (off-screen throughout): Rooney-booney. Rooney.
Roo: I’m starving.
Me: What?
Roo: I’m starving. To death.
Me: You’re hungry?
Roo: That’s what I SAID. Jesus.
Me: And Mommy’s torturing you?
Roo: Yes. I hate you.
Me: Are you underfed?
Roo: YES. I am about to expire from hunger.
Me: Are you very hungry?
Roo: I already said that! I am STARVING.
Me: Poor widdle man.

The Usual Suspects get fed in order of who is most likely to declare a bloody insurrection and possibly gnaw my leg off over an issue of feeding times. This means Roo goes first.

Roo eats a diet of pre-ground raw food (organs, bone, and muscle meat) purchased from Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow, because he is allergic to things. At least count, these things included pork, fish, goat, and sheep. Possibly grains, but we don’t have to worry about that on raw food. He lives on a diet of pheasant, duck, rabbit, chicken, and turkey, because while he is not allergic to beef he simply totally refuses to actually eat it. Beef is the only thing he refuses, notably, because he will absolutely attempt to eat anything else that is not nailed down, up to and including plastic.

But I digress. The first thing that happens at feeding time is that I collect Roo’s bowl while he yells at me. Then I get a plastic baggie full of ground up raw goo out of the fridge and dump it in his bowl. Sometimes his head is already in the bowl, which results in the food sliding down the back and top of his head and requires me to wash his head later because ew. Then I scoop him up in my left hand and take his bowl in my right. I hold the bowl in position so that he can snack on the way to his room, because if I don’t he flails and screams some more. Roo then gets locked in his room because if he isn’t, he will inhale his food and then go beat up the other two cats and take their food and the he will vomit a lot because it doesn’t agree with him.

Next, I head to Brax and Aida’s room and put out a little dry food for them to snack on while I prepare their wet food. No, they aren’t spoiled either. If there’s any wet food remaining in their bowls from yesterday the day before, the girldogs take care of it for me. In fact, Tink and Zille get quite put out if the cats have not left them any food. Minor temper tantrums may ensue. Finally, I fill the bowls with new wet food, allowing all three dogs to lick the spoon afterward, and deliver the gooshy food to Braxton and Aida, who are waiting semi-patiently for it to arrive.

Time to do the dogs! Dog breakfast is made more exciting by Tink’s pill regimen[1]. I used to hide her pills in cheese but she is wicked clever about sucking the cheese off, swallowing it, and then spitting out the pills, so I gave that up.

First is the collection of the bowls. Zille’s bowl is occasionally at the very back of her crate because she likes to play food bowl hockey to object to being confined. On the other hand, she is not yet ready to be unsupervised in the house, and she’s the slowest eater and incredibly submissive to the other dogs, so to ensure that a) she gets to eat her food and not Tink and b) she does not eat the house while I’m at work, she gets crated.

Once bowls are collected, I wade through the sea of excited dogs and set them on the counter and open the food bin. While I’m doling out food, the dogs are offering me all kinds of trained behaviors in a superstitious attempt to speed up breakfast. Tink likes to offer me “bounce”, which is impressive as it involves a 60lb Doberman boinging into the air repeatedly. Beowulf sticks with “sit” and will occasionally also offer me his paw. Zille likes to use a “sit” and “watch me” combo.

Food dished up, it is time to pill Tink. I get out the pills, I tell Tink “Open” to warn her, and then I pry her mouth open and drop two pills onto the back of her tongue. She thinks fish oil capsules are treats, so she gets it immediately afterward to encourage her to swallow. Sometimes she still spits out a pill, though. For instance, it took three tries to get her amitriptyline down her this morning (she was in rare form).

After Tink has been medicated, food is finally dispensed. Tink boings on her back legs like a demented kangaroo to her feeding station, then sits for me to put the bowl down. I taught her to sit after catching the top of her skull with my face one morning. She was not noticeably disturbed by the event but I was afraid my nose was broken.

Next, Beowulf gets his food. He trots beside me in a lovely heel to his feeding spot and sits politely and waits for me to tell him “OK” before shoving his face into the bowl and hoovering up the contents.

Finally, Zille gets her bowl. At this point she’s already in her crate, looking concerned that this might be the one morning I forget to feed the Shedder, despite the fact that I have never yet actually forgotten to feed her. I put her bowl in the front corner of her crate after shoving six bones out of the way[2]

The Usual Suspects fed, silence descends on the house except for the lonely wailing of Rooney Lee, who does not appreciate that the other cats like at least a couple hours to eat. If it’s the weekend, I seize the opportunity to go back to bed because man, this stuff is exhausting.

[1] Tink is a big mass of weird medical issues. She is on amitriptyline, melatonin, and fish oil, after a good three years of experimentation to see if I could get her to grow hair. This winter, she finally acquired an actual coat.

[2] Zille has inherited a tendency to collect things from her mother. At one point she had 12 bones and three balls in her crate before I made her pare things down.

3 thoughts on “Mornings at the Manor

  1. small font iz small!

    ::scrolls up font size for this window::

  2. Starving!Rooney woke up sleeping terriers. They were pretty sure a FOREIGN cat had got in, b/c they didn’t recognize the mrroows.

    1. That’s hilarious. REPEL THE WHINEY INVADER!

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