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[personal profile] jameydee
The current household menagerie consists of a chihuahua, three rabbits, and three outdoor cats who have decided we are to feed them. Two of the cats are orange-striped, Dad and his son Pumpkin, who grew up in our yard.  Dad is aloof but shows up and deigns to be fed.  Pumpkin is more proactive - he looks almost identical to dad, but if you meow at him, he meows back companionably, and plops himself at the back patio door and stares inside, willing you to feed him.  He's comfortable with us, but he's still feral.  His siblings used to live in our backyard, also, but Boo got run over and Tigger disappeared.  Mom hasn't been seen in a very long time.

Lately, we've been adopted by a new cat, a very large gray guy with a healing wound on top of his head.  He obviously used to belong to someone, because he's friendly, wants to be petted, and is quite vocal about wanting to be fed.  He is also the dimmest cat we have ever had.  In fact, one day Mike just started calling him Hodor, after the slow-witted giant from "A Game of Thrones."

We normally feed the cats with a bowl in a large plastic pet igloo that we have on a low table.  This is to keep Belle, our chihuahua, out of it.  She gets fat quickly and is a greedy little thing who will eat anything in reach.  In addition, cat food makes her gassy, turning her into a little room-clearing bomb waiting to happen. 

So Hodor begs for food and can't figure out that the igloo is where the food is, even when other cats are going to the igloo to eat,  We fill up a bowl and put it on the ground.  He starts to eat.  We then take the bowl and while he is staring at it longingly, put it up on the chair near the igloo (the idea being we will gradually train him to eat out of the igloo like the others).  Hodor lays down and begins meowing for food again.  He can't make the connection that the food is now on the chair and still available to him.  If you put food anywhere but on the ground, it is for all intents and purposes gone for him.  I once tried putting the bowl on a low box - maybe 8 inches tall, but Hodor still couldn't figure out where the food was.  I really don't know how this cat has survived on the streets this long! As I mentioned, he has a healing head wound...maybe his brains got scrambled during his last encounter. Or maybe he used to be an indoor cat and wasn't allowed on the furniture.  All I know is, if he can't directly see the food, it ceases to exist to him.  Even the container for the food doesn't hold the association of the food.  It's very strange.

Belle has reached a detente with Dad and Pumpkin because they scare her and they don't back down when she barks at them.  She doesn't know what to do about Hodor.  She starts to growl at him, and big, dumb Hodor comes up to her and gently headbutts and circles her and rubs against her lovingly.  Then Hodor plops down on the ground with his back to her and goes to sleep.  Belle ends up just sitting down and glaring at him.
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