Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Any thoughts?

I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to say it again in hopes of some actual input. Please, don't hold back. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Here's the thing. My cat is bonkers. For a long time I thought she was deaf, because she doesn't respond to sounds, including the sound of me shaking the cat food container. After a while, I did see her occasionally twitching her ears or casting a bored glance in the direction of certain sounds, so I concluded that she's not deaf, she's just a cat. OK.

She's gone through a number of irritating habits, but fortunately most of them have been self-limiting. Walking on the kitchen counters. Sleeping on our beds and clawing the quilts. Even throwing up hairballs has diminished lately.

But her most obnoxious habit is never-ending. Several times a day and, more to the point, two to three times a night, this cat starts screaming. It's not a meow. It's not a howl. I've called it a yowl, which it is, but it's a yowl that sounds like she's giving birth to Rottweilers, three at a time. She only ever does it for 20 or 30 seconds at a time, so by the time I get over to where I can see her, she's just sitting there placidly, looking bored. If I approach her, she perks up and leads me to her food dish, which is invariably well-stocked. (The yowling is more frequent if she has a food of which she disapproves or on the odd occasion that she has run out of food or water, but that's rare.)

All of that we knew before. Here's the latest development: two days ago, I discovered we were out of cat food, and it was already too late to go to the store. The whole cat thing has become a very sensitive issue for Alex lately, so I resigned myself to a long, curse-ridden night. I did put some dry dog food in the cat's dish, since I've seen her sniff or nibble that on occasion, but I knew she wouldn't go for it, not really.

And that was the first night in a long, long time that she hasn't woken up the entire household with her agonized yowling. And then, I actually failed to get cat food yesterday (what with the volcano trip) and, although she did pipe up once before bedtime last night and once this morning, we all slept through the night for a second night in a row.

What to do?

(Dad suggested we go right out and buy a 100-pound sack of that dog food. If that fails, I couldn't help but add, we can always drop it on her.)


meredith November 15, 2006 5:26 PM  

I'm allergic to cats, so no help here. Very cool volcano photos, though :)

Jennifer November 15, 2006 6:42 PM  

Note to self: Develop allergy to cats.

Thanks, Meredith!

Anonymous November 16, 2006 7:12 AM  

What does your vet say about the idea of giving your cat dog food? (I have been known to call our vet and ask them questions like this over the phone. Ours at least is pretty good about answering the questions) It sounds like it worked, so as long as its not going to harm the cat, I would think it sounds like a solution.

I, too, am allergic to cats, so I have no practical advice to give.

Sandy November 16, 2006 10:13 AM  

Is it possible that she's not eating the dog's food at all but has in the past been sort of mothering your dog by alerting you to the fact that there is no food out for it? She had hers but the dog's dish was empty? Just a thought!

emjaybee November 16, 2006 1:10 PM  

If she likes the way dog food tastes...maybe find a cat food that tastes similar. Maybe she hates her cat food.

Have you taken her to a vet? They can check her ears. If she is partly deaf, that may affect her yowl, also--she can't hear herself!

I would recommend a vet first, really. Before you start buying 100 lb bags of food anyway.

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