Avoid Dangerous Games With Feline Friends

Maxx loves to play. If no one will play with him, he will play by himself!

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.

The view from our living room window includes beautiful birds and a magnificent view of the bayou that runs behind our home.

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!”

Maxx’s feeder is set to dispense food three times daily. Three small meals instead of two larger ones prevents vomiting.

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.

If ever Maxx’s vigilance is rewarded by this printer spitting out cat food, he will never cease to run to it when it prints!

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.

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  1. That story reminded me of something that happened with our cat when we lived in Meridian. My wife vows that she doesn’t recall this happening, but I do.
    This particular cat – Tom – was an indoor/outdoor cat. Our children were small and we had just finished getting them buckled into the back seat of our four door car. I then got in the driver’s side and my wife got in the passenger side of the front seat. We both closed our doors.
    Just as the two front car doors were closed we heard this GROWL followed by some big time hissing and more growling. We sat there for a short time discussing that our crazy cat had gotten into another fight right there under our car. We decided we needed to get out and break up the cat fight before we left home to go wherever it was we were heading. As she opened her door she saw that it released the tip end of Tom’s tail. Our cat wasn’t fighting another cat. He was fighting an Oldsmobile. Tom had strolled by with his tail held high just as she closed her car door. It frightened us when we thought of what could have happened to our family pet had we just backed out of the carport and headed out.

  2. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt when you opened the door. Very scary. We have a wooden pantry in the kitchen and I had opened it to get out some food. When I went to close the doors, I heard that same loud scream. Our cat had put her paw through the space between the door and cabinet on the side, to try to reach in. Poor thing! Luckily, she was fine. I felt so bad.
    That is too funny about the printer.

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