Short Term Memory Cats

At 6:39 AM my alarm goes off. There is a black, white, and grey cat, of medium build, with wide green eyes, sitting at attention by the door. How long he’s been there, I can’t say, but he’s there every day at 6:39 AM.

I get out of bed and head to the washroom, where there is another cat, white and caramel, of the extra-large variety, with light green eyes somewhat hidden within his fat face. He waits on the bathmat. He hasn’t been sitting there very long. I know this because he was singing a rather sad song about an hour earlier, and about two hours earlier than that. Something about world- hunger-in-general and his hunger in particular.

After I brush my teeth, I head toward the stairs and almost trip over both critters as they scamper to get ahead of me, knowing it’s breakfast time. I can hear them excitedly talking to one another about their favourite meal of the day: “Can you believe it?” one of them is saying. “We get soft food! I love soft food sooo much!”

“I know, right?” says the other. “It’s just the best!”

A few months ago, someone told me that it’s better for a cat’s digestion if they have both soft and hard food. For the first eight years of their lives, they only had hard food, but when I introduced the soft stuff, well, life was never the same. It was an immediate addiction and entitlement.

In the kitchen I grasp the tab and pull back the aluminum lid of the food tin. They can barely contain themselves.

“Did you hear that? She opened it! I just can’t believe it! It’s really happening! Any minute now we’ll be licking that succulent chicken-flavored gravy from our bowls!” says the smaller one.

“Oh my God, I know! It’s just too much! I can’t take it anymore. I think I’m going to explode!” Which is quite possible, since this is the oversize one speaking.

I take my time, torturing them a little. I listen to them gab on, and take a few water shots at them with my spray bottle if they get too loud and disturb the rest of the house. I have to bring their bowls up on the countertop to fill because they are already losing their minds in anticipation as they hover over their bowls so that I can’t get near them.

I get a little angry with them for being so dramatic about breakfast because they still have lots of hard food leftover. “What?” I ask. “You’re too good for this stuff now?”

They give me look that says, Well, duh, you’re the one who introduced us to five star dining. How can we possibly be expected to go back to Cheez Whiz now that we’ve tasted caviar? Now can we cut the chitchat and get on with it?

Tripping over them again, I manage to put their bowls on the floor, careful not to linger with my hands in case they mistake my fingers for Tuna Fiesta. They eat. Rudely. Snorting and gasping for air in between bites.

Even though their mouths are full, they sputter, “This could be even better than the last meal! Do you think this one’s better? This is absolutely my favorite.”

“No doubt,” the other replies, food spilling from his mouth and barely hitting the bowl before it’s hoovered back into his jaws. “This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted!”

I can’t even be in the same room while they gluttonously inhale the mush. It’s just offensive the way they carry on, like Attila the Hun tearing into a leg of mutton. Zero class, boys.

After a hot shower to cleanse away the memory of what I just witnessed, I step out of the steam and wrap a towel around me. Waiting at the door is the obese, maple cat. A few feet beyond him lurks the tabby. I get dressed and head toward the stairs, almost tripping over them as they try to get in front of me.

I hear one of them say, “Can you believe it? We get soft food! I love soft food sooo much!” ♦

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