Avoid Dangerous Games With Feline Friends
So much for having a watchcat.
Not surprisingly, our Maxx comes a-running when his automatic feeder clicks on. It is timed for three feedings: the first at 625 AM, the second at Noon and the third at 525 PM. I shortened his morning feeding and added the Noon feeding in order to prevent his gorging himself in the mornings and throwing up day after day.
Don’t get in his way when he hears the click of the timer and the first kibbles hit the bottom of the plastic feeding tray. He is a big, solid cat, and he doesn’t mind running over people to get to his food. If his compact body hits you low on the legs, you’re going down!
What was surprising is his reaction when I would activate our wireless printer. I sometimes write in our living room, which has a beautiful, inspiring view of the wetlands and bayou behind our home. The printer is in our home office, on the front of the house.
Early on I noticed that Maxx would light the carpet on fire when he first heard the printer click on, headed straight into the office. Until yesterday, I thought, “What a great watchcat! He is so attentive to his home that the strange noise triggers him to go and check it out!”
Yesterday I had a small epiphany. It isn’t his sense of home protection. It isn’t his curiosity with the paper that come shooting out at the bottom. He thinks the printer’s clicks are the same sound as his feeder’s clicks when it begins dispensing food! After months of living here, and no doubt being disappointed dozens of times when no food appeared from the printer, his hope still runs high! I am going to start putting the occasional treat in front of the feeder so he can sometimes obtain a reward.
Actually, it was a day of epiphanies, the second of which will make you question the games you play with your cat.
I was starting the monthly process of changing air conditioner filters, when Maxx happened along. This particular unit’s filter chamber leads directly to the squirrel-cage blower, so I knew it would be dangerous for Maxx to be exploring. The door to the kids’ bedroom was open, so I “stuffed” him in there and closed the door. Thinking it was a great game, he began pawing at me under the door.
Instantly I was reminded of a terrifying event from a couple of months ago. I had been on my early-morning run. I reentered through the front door and was greeted by a blood-curdling yowl. Maxx has been devoted to me from the first day I took him home. His morning routine was to dutifully wait for me by the door when I went out to run each morning. In my haste to enter and begin preparing for departure to work, I hurriedly opened the door and caught his right front foot under it. Fortunately, and only by the grace of God, I jerked the door closed again and he pulled straight back instead of standing up. That combination of motions prevented a guaranteed fracture of the leg bones. A quick examination assured me that no permanent damage had been done, and he was finished limping before I left for work.
As I said, terrifying.
Sitting on the floor performing filter duty, it occurred me that the game of playing “footsie” under the door may have led to Maxx’s accident that morning. Perhaps, while I was outside, he was trying to paw under the door to reach me, not knowing I had run down the street.
I resolved to limit footsie-playing to the stairs balusters.
See you next week, Dr. Randolph.