Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Crew - the Alpha and the Omega and the sauna


I've started using the dry sauna again, and Ollie is once again participating with me.  Last night I was in there for about 75 minutes, and he popped in and out three times.  He prefers to sit on the bare wood seat as opposed to the seat cushion or the towel I had in there. 

Because of his medical issues, I some times slip him some additional food.  DH thinks I'm mean, and I should hide feeding him, but I know full well that the other cats know exactly what is going on.  The time prior to last night, DH actually hid the plate and can under his shirt while walking through the house.. I couldn't help but laugh at him.  You pop the top, they KNOW (even if it is a can of peas)

I have fancy feast for him, the low carb varieties.  I know a lot of people think FF is pretty low quality food, but those low carb varieties are actually pretty good.  He almost never eats the whole can, usually half, sometimes more sometimes less.  I then let in the rest of the crew to finish up what he left behind.  I think this helps him feel special and all "alpha"-y.

So last night while in the sauna, Ollie sat there, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to sneak him some additional food.  DH thought I was mean feeding him in a glass box, but again, I don't believe the walls hide anything from cats who depend a great deal on their sense of smell.

I gave him the can, he ate almost 3/4s of it, I was very impressed (as this was only a few hours after dinner) when he was done, he decided he was done being in the sauna as well, and asked to leave.  So I shoved the remainder of the food out behind him.

This is where it gets interesting.  Watching a group of cats can often be amusing, watching them jockey for position, showing deference, and being respectful (or the cat's version of respectful) to the alpha always interests me.  So when I put the food down, only Ollie (the oldest and absolute Alpha), Skippy (the youngest) and Tweedle (the clueless) were in the basement.  Ollie sat between the food and Skippy who was sitting on the cat tree with Twee.  He saw the food, and was immediately interested, but I could tell he was unsure if he was allowed, since Ollie was "protecting" it (by sitting between them).  Ollie has been more actively dominate lately, bopping anyone who gets in his space that he didn't invite in.  Skip hesitated a few times, but still sat there.  I called to him, and I guess he figured that since he was invited, it must be ok - but getting past Ollie was his concern.  He jumped down, looked at Ollie.  He walked towards Ollie, constantly watching him, but trying not to look like he was.  He walked as wide around him as possible, hugging the wall, constantly sneaking peeks to make sure Ollie wasn't about to complain.  He even looked back after he got past him. He got to the food, took a lick, and looked back.  He then felt comfortable, and started nibbling.  At this point, Twee, wondering what was up, showed up.  She is so sweet and loving, but is really clueless.  She was up in his business.  She sniffed the food, but was more interested in Skippy.  This distracted Skippy, who only got a few more bites in before Fleurp and Muffin showed up.  Fleurp doesn't much care about who should do what, especially when there is food involved.  She has no problem putting her head between the food and anyone else's mouth (and I'm pretty sure this is why her eye has the scar on it that it does) Muffin throws her weight around, and bullies every one else off of food (except Fleurp) and the two of them cleaned the plate before I took two breaths.  Poor Skippy came back and sniffed the clean plate - there wasn't even a crumb that was too small for a mouse.

If you haven't seen the videos of Ollie in the sauna.. check out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z_wDTyRUew
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLo6rlLIaHo

1 comment:

  1. When my Mommeh volunteered at the cat shelter, sometimes they would put down a large tray covered in canned cat food. She said it was fascinating to see the alpha kitties circle around to eat first. The "second tier" group of kitties would wait right behind, and sometimes try to push their way in. The most submissive cats would wait until all the other cats had eaten and then show up to eat what was left. But do not worry, all the cats got a fair share in the end.

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