How did it happen? How does it ever happen? Somehow the white wizard has subliminally manipulated us again. As I looked down at Whiskas munching away at his blue bowl filled with ‘buey’ flavoured Felix and fishy Brekkies in the corner of the kitchen, I scratched my chin and thought ‘how did we get from feeding you outside to feeding you inside?’
Of course, as usual, it happened via a series of seemingly unrelated incidents, but when I put them altogether I can see a bigger picture emerging. One where Whiskas grasps any opportunity to move one step closer toward total domination over us.
We had reached a situation where there were a lot more cats looking for a bit of territory around the finca which they could call their own. Our house has always proved prime real estate in the cat world, being enclosed from the rest of the finca by a wall and a gate (these are important features – it means our house and garden is a sanctuary from the Disney dog gang). I’m sure they were the main reason why Whiskas adopted us.
Add to this a bowl which is filled with food twice a day and a dog-smell free bowl of water and you’ve pretty much got feline paradise. So every night when Whiskas’ bowl was put down, he found he had an audience of around three other cats watching his every mouthful intently, hoping that he’d leave some morsels. Cats being cats, simply watching wasn’t enough and as the days passed, and they grew a bit braver, they moved closer and closer to get a better view.
Whiskas, being a right fussy bugger, objected to having his meals interrupted. However, instead of chasing the interlopers away, he walked away from his bowl huffily the minute the other cats appeared with an expression which said ‘how do you expect me to eat under these circumstances?’
Of course, we were to blame. The whole ‘you deal with cat politics, mice, rats etc and we feed you in exchange’ deal seems to have been lost on Whiskas. His reaction to the presence of other cats at meal times was to walk away from his bowl, growl at us, turn tail and storm off the premises like a spoilt diva.
Word that Whiskas was abandoning his food bowl at the merest hint of another furry feline clearly spread around the neighbourhood and soon a whole posse of cats were turning up for the chance of some nosh at Casa Montgomery.
We could only see one solution. Move his bowl inside until the other cats got the message that this was no ‘soup kitchen’ for waifs and strays from the cat world.
I suspect in Whiskas’ head there were some self satisfied ‘Mishun accomplished’ thoughts when that blue bowl went down on a piece of newspaper in the corner of the kitchen for the first time. The purring decibels were certainly near deafening levels.
Of course, once a precedent has been set, it’s pretty much irreversible in Whiskas’ world (if it’s one which benefits him). The other cats have long gone, but the blue bowl remains firmly in the kitchen.
It’s illogical and far fetched, but part of me suspects that the whole situation was a well thought out and executed plan on Whiskas’ part and the other cats had been accomplices, recruited to assist him with his dastardly deeds (in return they got some extra food for a few nights).
Funny how it all happened just a couple of weeks before the rainy season was upon us…