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Life among the overentitled (two-paw and four-paw varieties) - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Life among the overentitled (two-paw and four-paw varieties)
Since I ended my workweek with a grumpy bankruptcy trustee, I wound up paying it forward on my day off.

I had three stops to make on the eastern edge of town yesterday: a workout, at Wegmans and in a pet store.  The workout went fine.  I headed into the Wegmans next door, needing a couple of food items plus, you know, hungry (see: workout). There was a line at the sub shop, so I grabbed my other things and came back to find just one in line.

Unfortunately, stupid things can come in small packages. The one customer turned out to be a snowflake in a Rascal mart cart, ordering five specialty subs. At noon. Tripling the line behind her. I got snarky and asked my sandwich artist (when I finally got one:P) if they ever considered putting in a catering department or a call-ahead number for big orders. Which of course they've always had to service complex orders like hers. He just rolled his eyes; she either didn't hear me or didn't care. 

The pet shop wasn't as bad, although I did have to wait through one customer at the only open register who was buying $500 of merch for some kind of reptilian terrarium setup (never saw so much cicada meal in one place in my life:P). But on my way home, the entitled reappeared- this time behind rather than ahead of me.  I was a few miles an hour over Sheridan Drive's 45 mph speed limit on a busy but moving stretch of two lane westbound traffic. Up behind me, I see a rapidly approaching front bumper and, then, headlights flashing at me. Not a cop or an emergency responder; just some chick in an Urban Assault Acura who I wasn't moving fast enough for.

So I brake-checked her.  Only for a fraction of a second, and with no risk of collision, but I'm not sure if she even saw it, either, because when she finally got pissed off enough to pass me on the right, there she was, yakkety-yakking the whole time on her handheld phone.  And just to prove that good things never come to those who don't wait, I wound up stopping at the same red light she got caught behind a mile or so down the road.  I kept going; she turned left into, what else?, the Sheridan Drive Wegmans.

I gain more and more respect with each passing day for how much Eleanor has to put up from these idiots when she's at work.


The Petsmart trip was originally for just one item- a replacement cat-scratching cardboard infill- but while I was in there, I decided to make another effort to address a more permanent problem.  Michelle, the 14-ish-year old senior cat in the house, has become positively unbearable to have around here in the middle of the night.  She needs to sleep with a human or she meows incessantly.  Usually, I take one for the team and let her settle down next to me (or, just as often, on me), but in recent weeks, without fail between 3:30 and 4 a.m., she gets off the bed (or me), moves to a nearby howling perch and starts to cry for her kibble. And will. Not. STOP.  My solution to this has been to exile her to the garage in the middle of the night- she still meows, but it's muffled from down that end.  It's warm but not-too-warm, I've added a catbox which she now sometimes tries to run out and use in the daytime, and other than the shuttling part, this could work long-term.  But it will get cold here eventually, and there's also the cat-and-human game of catching her to put her in the garage, which I would really like to stop having to do every freaking night.

And so, the brilliant idea: an automatic feeder for the little varmint.

Those dials allow you to set each side to pop open at a set and even different time up to 48 hours apart, and is intended for you to be able to feed your kitty while you're away for a day or two.  But in theory, one can also set it for, say, six hours after going to sleep and have it pop open right at Whine Time for the little shit.  Eventually I may switch to the dry food you see there, but for now the cats are Nine Lives wet-food grrls, so this involves a little more work: loading the thing before bed, putting it in the fridge, and then coming out to get it and bring it to Michelle's howling post at whatever closer-to-midnight hour I'm up anyway, because of either insomnia or a need by me and/or the dog to get up and pee.

We did a dry run (well, a wet run of Nine Lives) at din-din time last night to get her used to associating the feeder with food. Boy, did she. She proceeded to paw at the closed (and empty) second side of the thing in search of any food molecules that may have been in there. (Solution: both sides will have to be set to pop open at 4 a.m.)  Before turning in, I set it all up and put it in the fridge.... and for the one time in recent memory, neither I nor the dog needed to get up until just before her usual whining hour.

Mission accomplished. I just tossed her in the garage as usual, fed her (and everyone else) as usual, and got my (no more than usual) hour or so of post-feeding sleep before the alarm went off to take Ebony to the dog park.

So we'll try again tomorrow. There remain the variables of how the dog and the other cat will react when and if this experiment ever works. We're also waiting for Emily to get back to us about another solution- in this case, a spray-bottle solution. They have an automatic feeder, as well, but they only use it when they're away; theirs is the tower-type, and Gwenny has figured out how to defeat the dispensing mechanism and feed her face full of kibble like a coke-addicted lab rat. But Emily also mentioned that her vet has used a calming spray on the cat's crate before sending Gwenny home in it, and it seemed to relieve her anxiety enough so she didn't turn into a complete lunatic on the trip home. If we can figure out what it is, and if it works with this problem, I'll try anything short of Napalm on this cat.

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