That's My Cat 12:40 PM

Literature on Maine Coon cats suggests that these cats are the clowns of the cat world.  The males, in particular, are entertaining throughout their lives – from kitten to adult, they are the cat clowns.  Having been raised with male cats, I have always known them to maintain a more kitten quality than their female counterparts.  However, I didn’t know a clown cat until we adopted Phoenix.  I have yet to figure out if he means to be entertaining, if it is just a natural trait, or perhaps he just is a bit different than his feline friends.  But Phoenix is a clown; Phoenix keeps us on our toes.  

Around the end of January, Maggie stopped eating.  She behaved normally but the food in her dish was not being eaten.  A quick run to the store found her eating nice, soft, packaged food in gravy in an attempt, on my part, to get her eating again and to stimulate her appetite.  

Phoenix, being the self proclaimed head cat of the house, decided that he really needed to test the food for himself.  You know, he takes his job as head of house security very seriously.  He didn’t want Maggie to be poisoned or anything like that – or even to eat sub quality food.  And if he happened to eat the entire bowl of food, that was okay with him.  All in the name of security, you know.  

I am sure this is what Phoenix thought as he heard me open the package and smelled the wonderful scent of cat food as I poured the contents of the package into Maggie’s dish.  

I am sure these were his thoughts as he stood outside the screen door (installed last summer to separate Phoenix and Maggie after nothing else stopped him from getting into her area).  

These were his thoughts as he noted the screen that he had ripped in an attempt to work his way through the door.  Then again as he noticed that the metal was slightly loose having been worked by the Lass as she attempted to pet Maggie without opening the screen.  

All this flipped through the mind of my 4.5 year old Maine Coon within a matter of seconds.  He assessed the situation in the time it took me to pour the food into the dish.  By the time I threw the package away and turned to return to the main part of the house, Phoenix (all three feet in length of him) had worked his way through the gap in the metal and the ripped screen to meet me at the door.  Tail up and puffed, he was ready to do his job – taste testing the new food.  

Phoenix!!

As head human of the house, I have invested great time and effort into attempting to keep this cat out of Maggie’s suite.  We have put up baby gate after baby gate, installed shutters like bar doors, and built barricades… all with limited and temporary success.  My team of humans and I have even tried the shock collar, which doesn’t really work on cats, thank you very much.  We thought the screen door would work.  We figured that there was no way this cat could get through a screen door with metal venting along the bottom half.  

The cat, however, proved us incorrect!

We think we have a solution though – the cat has only achieved success twice.  

I have to admit that it is kind of funny the number of adults who have been foiled by this cat.  It is such behavior, on his part, that leaves me thinking that this is one smart cat!

And then there are other incidents that truly leave me questioning that conclusion.  

After Maggie is finished with her wet food, the other cats get a turn.  They get the left over’s – and they don’t complain.  Each cat has a night.  

One night, when it was Doodle’s turn, the Lass brought her with the bowl of food into the bathroom and shut the door.  When Doodle finished, the bowl was taken to the usual feeding spot where Tara waited patiently to lick the bowl clean (now that is a smart cat).  While the bowl was being moved, Phoenix made his way into the bathroom in search of the bowl.  

Unlike Tara who waited patiently at the bowl station, Phoenix took matters into his paws and went to work.  

Through the power of his nose, he discovered where the bowl sat while Doodle ate.  I watched as he tracked the bowl and the scent of the cat food through the bathroom concluding at Doodle’s mouth (yes, he sniffed her mouth).  Phoenix was on the trail!!  The cat didn’t realize that the bowl had moved right over his head when he walked into the bathroom.  He didn’t think where the bowl always sits while not in use.  He had to start at the source… where the bowl sat while Doodle ate.  

The Lass reported that he finally found the bowl, now licked completely clean by Tara.  Amidst laughter and giggles we broadcast the search for the bowl and the wonderful tracking powers of our Main Coon Clown to one another…

And yes, this is the same cat who has dogmatically worked his way through obstacles to gain access to Maggie’s suite for the last 3 years!!

What a clown!