Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Cat that Wants to be Watched

There are two cats in our house.

Wendy is young. She rushes about and chases anything that moves, and spends a lot of time exploring everywhere.

Froggie, on the other hand, is old. She was a stray who came to live with us in 1999, and I don't know how old she was then.

She used to rush around like Wendy but now her life is more sedate. Sometimes she sits and looks out of the window:

Sometimes she just sits, in Powersaver mode:

Often, she sleeps.

She's tiny - the story we were told was that she had kittens at a very young age and never grew any more - and good-natured, and thoroughly adorable.

But she has a strange characteristic, that I haven't known in any other cat.

She insists on being watched when she eats.

When she first came, I put some food down and left her to find it. I came back into the room to discover that she had found it, and was simply staring at it. However, as soon as she saw me, she gave me a look that said "About flaming time too!" and then she started eating.

And ever since, it's not enough to put food down. Oh no: you have to watch her while she eats it. If you try to sneak away in the middle, she will turn and stare at you until you come back.

If she's hungry, she doesn't go into the kitchen to eat. She comes to find me, or Stephen, and insists that we follow her to the kitchen to watch her.

Over the years, she has trained us well. Visitors sometimes think it's strange when we say "Sorry, I've got to go into the kitchen. The cat wants me to watch her eat."

Here she is eating some Christmas tuna this morning.

I took several photos, all with flash. Was she distracted from her food by this? No, because she had my full attention, and she knew it.

Is there, I wonder, any evolutionary purpose to this behaviour? Perhaps it demonstrates to her that she is still Top Cat, because we let her eat first and don't try to steal her food, like the Top Lion in a pride.

Or perhaps Froggie's just a very strange cat. Though she's theBest Cat in the Whole World, of course. Wendy knows she's very cute, but she knows her place and it's Second-Best Cat in the Whole World. Froggie may be old, but she is most definitely Top Cat.


Blogger Silverback said...

It's more likely that she thinks if the food gets eaten and you didn't see her eat it, then it was scoffed by that big guy.

10:59 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Clearly every human being is a little bit different from the next one in line but I think that the same applies to cats, now excuse me while I also go and tuck in to some traditional Christmas tuna!

1:31 am  
Blogger Jennyta said...

How sweet! Paddy looks at his food when I put it down and then at me to give him permission to eat it. Then he looks again and takes one mouthful into the dining room to eat off the floor before coming back to demolish the rest. Luckily, he gets dried food. ;)

8:52 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Froggie must be related to our Jethro (a dog of the Havanese variety). He too must be watched or he won't eat.

Froggie is also a very strange name for a cat. It's as though we decided to name our dog Moo-Cow.

1:37 pm  

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