Our cats are obscenely pampered.

We have two females, an orange tabby named (unimaginatively) Pumpkin and a calico named Cinnamon. We feed them four times a day, yes, four, mainly in an effort to keep Cinnamon from (as Jackson Galaxy puts it) doing the ol’ snarf and barf. She’s incredibly food oriented. So much so that we bought a slow feeder to try and slow down her gobbling. It works, to a degree. What’s worked better is the Denosyl that the vet recommended. Luckily for us, her food obsession is such that she takes the pill in a pill pocket and only occasionally spits it out. Of course, this means that when we give Cinnamon her ‘treat’, Pumpkin gets one too. Cinnamon starts begging for her food a good hour before she’s due.

We think that Cinnamon lived on the streets for some time before she was put into the shelter, and she was in the shelter for a while before we adopted her. She is a typical calico–standoffish, wants to be the only cat, and is a one-person cat (that person being my husband, not me, Pumpkin is ‘my’ cat). They are strictly indoor cats, though I don’t think Pumpkin ever lived on the streets so wouldn’t know how to hunt or how to eat anything that doesn’t come in a can. Cinnamon, tho, I’m pretty sure she’d terrorize the birds, chipmunks and mice that abound on our hill. Probably the deer and bears too.

I don’t really understand the mindset of those who would let their cats roam freely outside. It’s dangerous, not just for the cat (fleas, ticks, cars, predators) but for the wildlife the cat has the instinct to hunt. When it’s chipmunks or mice, well, I can’t really care (a chipmunk is the main reason why I gave up on growing container tomatoes). But it’s also songbirds, and that’s unacceptable.

A properly enriched indoor cat is perfectly content. Just ask Cinnamon! Once when my husband left to get the mail from the kiosk he didn’t realize the door was just a little ajar. He returned to find Cinnamon sitting very patiently just inside the door, perfectly capable of going outside and perfectly happy not to. She gave him a mildly dirty look as he came in as if to say, “look, mate, don’t leave the door open again.”

Once, we noticed a fox on our hill. The next day, there was a dead chipmunk just beneath one of the windows. We discovered this when Pumpkin did. She somehow got the screen out without destroying it (thanks, kitty) and when I came running to investigate the bang, I discovered her in the garden under the window, a dead chipmunk half as big as her in her mouth, very pleased with herself. She dropped it and leapt back in when I yelled at her but then turned around to go right back out again.

Needless to say, the dead chipmunk ended up in the trash and Pumpkin’s dinner was rodent-free. She was less than happy about that, but hasn’t tried to escape again. She’s not dumb, she knows when she’s got it made. Now if I can just keep her from picking on the window screens…

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