Pet Shenanigans: My cat eats all the cat food to assert dominance | Opinion

I brought two pets with me when I moved in with my best friend who already had two cats and two dogs. Then we took another cat. So now we have seven pets, and I wanted to share their tricks with you.

Last week, I introduced you to Princess Leia’s beagle. This week, I will introduce you to my 15-year-old cat, Alex.

Alex is a very old, very orange, very lovable cat. My family rescued her from a shelter when I was nine to help defeat the rat army we had in the house at the time. (This was 13 years ago – the mouse is no longer a problem.)

So when we rescued Alex, she was already an adult cat. I’ve had it for 13 years, so I think it’s about 15, but it’s very likely older than that.

However, she does not act like a 15-year-old cat. She still gets into the cat Olympics at three in the morning and also eats like I’ve never fed her.

When I moved in with my best friend, she already had two cats, then took her brother’s cat a week later. Thus ended up with four cats. All three of my roommate’s cats are related to each other, and one of these cats is the mother of the other two. They all came from her grandmother’s house, but I’ll tell you more about the Calico Cat once again.

Anyway, since Alex is the oldest and hasn’t also been around other animals before, she decides to exercise dominance in the most passive-aggressive way.

The biggest example of this subtle behavior relates to meal time. My roommate has a cat food and water bowl on a long table in the living room – it needs to be tall enough for an 80lb German Shepherd mix not to eat everything. My roommate always keeps the bowl full for her three cats.

Alex has her own food and water bowl in my bedroom and I also always keep her full. But instead of eating the food she worked so hard to provide her, she eats the other cat’s food bowl whole. Although she has food in her own bowl.

The funniest thing about this is that Alex – who has always been so fat – no longer has the leg strength to jump onto the table from the floor because of her age. So she would jump from the stairs to the TV stand, walk from the TV stand to the bookshelf, and then jump a foot and a half from the bookshelf to the table so she could eat the other cats’ food. She can jump long but not high jump.

We recently rearranged the living room so Alex can’t use the nearby furniture to jump to the food, so this should probably stop? or not? I do not know.

Alex and the other cats also don’t drink from the bowl of water my roommate came out of. My roommate has a small fountain on this table, and the cats drink from it instead.

My fiery cat would control the three dogs in our house by drinking from their water bowl. She tries to eat Leah’s sweets. Cats seem to like Beggin’ Strips.

Alex also has a death glare that she wields on all other animals. But it won’t actually hurt them—it’s just passive aggressive, not actually aggressive…unless it’s an 80lb German Shepherd mix. Then she takes out the boxing gloves and pops them very quickly with her paw.

The glow of death appears when my roommate and I show any kind of love to any of the other animals. Alex is sitting at the top of the stairs and looking at us (literally and figuratively) from behind the balustrade, plotting our demise. But then, I think she remembers we feed her, because she’ll come down and cuddle us as soon as the other animals empty the room.

Alex is also the first to greet me when I get home, if she’s not locked up in my room. There is always a huge, sometimes welcoming, sometimes condescending “meow” waiting for me, depending on whether she has food. Occasionally there is a glare of death.

Especially if she is hungry.

Hannah Gunnell is the Shelbyville News reporter. You will still be able to use the extra lint roller.

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