Cat Fights

So I am still really really mad. A week ago I came home from San Diego and there was a note on my white board telling me that my roommate Jessica took it upon herself to begin rationing the amount of food that the cats received in the day, and asking me (and everyone else in the house) to please follow suit.

Of course she didn’t really drop the amount of food they normally get. For the most part I tend to follow the instructions on the packaging and give enough food for both cats to eat what is recommended each day.

Now I do understand her motivation. Narc, the larger of the two cats, has a tendency to overeat. She says his weight has been fluctuating in the range of 10%. Of course, there isn’t any hard data for me to look at, and I certainly haven’t been weighing him everyday. But I do watch his behavior and he seems to be behaving like a happy and healthy kitty. And his weight is down a bit from what it was.

Of course, if we say for arguments sake that they are free-fed (which is probably true when i think about it… i feed them anytime their bowls are empty and they ask me for food… but only if their bowls are empty), then the weight fluctuation is related to how much narc eats on a day-to-day basis rather than how much food he is fed. I will say this. In observing Narc, particularly under the heightened scrutiny over the past week, his eating habits are anything but consistent. Case in point: on Sunday i filled up both their bowls (with more food than i normally give… but I’ve got my reasons for giving them more food). I didn’t feed them again until Tuesday. Neither ate very much. On Tuesday i left about half as much food out and they still took their time to eat.

What this proves is what I’ve believe all along. Narc no longer goes on the binges he used to. Once upon a time, Narc would sit down and eat until the bowl was empty. No longer. I’ve observed this for months.

Now Seven, my other cat (Narc isn’t really mine but he is in my care so for all practical purposes, i consider him my pet), has been looking a bit frail lately. I suspect that the other cat is eating more than his fair share of the food. Unfortunately, these are two fully-mobile cats. So there is no place i can put food that one can get to and the other can’t.

What makes me mad though is that she takes this action upon herself without ever consulting me. These are my cats. One mine by ownership, the other mine to care for under an agreement with its owner (whom I did discuss the matter of feeding–particularly the challenge of feeding Narc one thing and Seven another– with when I accepted the responsibility of taking care of Narc). I really don’t appreciate having her go behind my back (though Rory’s account of the conversation is somewhat different than hers), nor do I appreciate having Seven rationed on food when I’m concerned she isn’t getting enough as it is.

The correct way to have handled that, I think (and those of you that read this can comment on this entry and let me know what you think), would have been to wait until I got home (or before i left for that matter) and pull me aside and say “hey, I’m worried about Narc. His weight seems to be fluctuating a lot lately.” We could have discussed it and I could have made my decision on what to do about it.

Instead it was all done while i was gone; without my go-ahead or knowledge. In the end, no harm to the animals was done. Four days of rationed food won’t kill them. I’m home now and made it very clear that I don’t support Jessica’s feeding program, so they are back to their usual diet.

It is really funny to me. In Jessica’s world, when she does something like this, its a “little” thing. Yet if you were to do it to her, she would consider it a personal attack on her, or otherwise make a really big deal out of it.

Sort of like when Mike watered her plant. Mind you, she waters mine all the damn time. But anyway, here is Mike watering his plants and he sees one of hers looking rather thirsty (yeah sure, there was a reason Jessica hadn’t watered it, but Mike was in no position to know that), so he pays her an act of kindness and gives it like a cup or so of water… and then gets this little lecture about how he should never touch her stuff. Of course I respect her right to having her things left alone.. but instead of handling it like a reasonable adult, she resorts to her usual juvenile, bitchiness and goes off on him (although she was a bit more civilized than she ordinarily is in these situations).

I don’t know. She lost my respect a bit ago with that whole recycling fiasco. Just that little stunt of walking out to where the trash can and the recycling bins were in the garage, tin can or whatever it was in hand, and instead of dropping it into the recycling receptacle, she says “i might as well just throw it away” (i assume in reference to the amount of space she had to cross to get to where both receptacles were) and proceeds to do so.

Of course i stopped her and told her to put it in the recycling bin she was standing next to and she did… but that very act just proved to me how outright immature she really is. Not only was it disrespectful to the planet, but for someone who pro ports to be my friend, you’d think she’d be a little more mindful of the fact I consider recycling to be a big deal. I guess she felt it was a challenge to her independence.

I respect her independence, but at the same time, she lives under my roof and I do expect those who live under my roof to abide by my rules. There is a reason I don’t put them on the lease, and it is very simply because I like things a certain way and am at a point in my life where I can have it my way. Thats why each roommate is charged only a quarter of the total rent. They get to rent a room from me, not become my partners.

So yeah, when she gripes that I’m not showing her respect, she’s probably right. I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and extend respect to them when they’ve done nothing to earn it… but once they do something to lose that respect… they have to prove themselves worthy of it in the first place to get it back.

If my respect is what she wants, she has to earn it this time. Unfortunately for her, she’s been making leaps in the wrong direction.

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