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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cover Up

I've shared my home with dogs nearly all my life.  I understand them. They make sense to me, I understand their motivations. They are readable, approachable.

Cats, on the other hand...well, after living with Athena and Dawn for two years, I've come to the conclusion that I will never understand them.

Because, simply put: Cats. Are. Weird.

Case in point: Athena

We feed the two kitties on a buffet in our kitchen. Because the site is just out of reach of dog noses, it ensures that there will be no territorial disputes between canines and felines over whose food is whose. And to protect the surface of said buffet from the bits and pieces of cat food that tend to fling outside the bowls, I put washable placemats underneath. (Who knew cats could be such sloppy eaters?)

Now Miss Athena has a very specific routine when she eats.

After she chows down on her Kitteh Noms, Athena finds a nearby spot to wash herself, while waiting for Dawn to finish. A more efficient eater than her sister, Athena always is done with her meal first. When Dawn walks away--thus giving the All Clear signal--Athena moves in for Bowl Inspection and Cleaning. This is all Normal Cat Behavior. I get it; it makes sense.

And then. (I'm not making this up.) Athena neatly folds the placemats over the empty bowls.

Take a look at the pictures below:

Athena grabs the placemat with her claws

And gently folds one side over the bowl.

Sometimes she'll fold the other side.

The end result

At first Athena wasn't incredibly neat or accurate.

This lovely creation was an interpretation involving the table runner.

And it's not just food that Athena covers. We used to gate the dogs in the dining room when we left the house, and of course provided them with water. Not wanting to ruin our nice hardwood floors, we put the water bowl on a placemat or towel. If we left the bowl there after letting the dogs out, Athena would perform her ritual on that as well.

Athena covering the water bowl.

And lest any reader think this is a one-time event, I present to you the following:

Bowl Inspection and Cleaning

First one side.

Sometimes the other side.

Neatly covered.

I suppose one could say Athena is "burying" the food. But it's so neat. And consistent. And doesn't account for covering a water bowl she doesn't even use. And it's an utterly pointless activity.

Like I said. Cats are weird. But I think that's one of the reasons they're so much fun to have around. And one of the reasons we love them.

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