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Your animals and their table manners

GC and I went to Gilles and Annie’s for a BBQ last night. It was yummy. BBQ’d everything! Steak and chicken and sausages and zucchini, and stuff that wasn’t bbq’d too, like pasta salad and garden salad and delicious bread and corn on the cob and pink girly drinks and wine and strawberries. It was soooo good, and as you know there’s nothing better than good food and good conversation.

While we were there we got to see state-of-the-art TV with HD and Bluetooth and 1080 or something like that. There really IS a difference between that and a big ol’ clunky refurbished Cargo Xpress TV with rabbit ears. It was practically 3D. We only watched for a minute, just so we could see the difference for ourselves, but I have to say I was impressed. Not impressed enough to get a TV, but impressed enough that if they ever invite me over to watch something spectacular like a solar landing, I’m going.

Gilles and Annie have three well-loved and well-served cats. They all have interesting eating habits. Minnie eats her cream cheese with a hypodermic needle sticking out of her shoulder. Tommy dips his paws into his wet food bowl and then licks the food off his paws. Daisy May lies down beside her bowl and flicks kibbles out of her bowl with her paw, and eats each one before flicking the next one.

Duncan’s eating habits are pretty ordinary by comparison, although he does celebrate Tuna Fish Tuesday by sharing a tin of tuna fish with GC every Tuesday. (More accurately, GC shares a tin of tuna fish with Duncan every Tuesday. Duncan’s not as generous as GC.)

My old dog Sam had one or two food-related idiosyncrasies. I’d fill up his dish and he’d sit there and look at me until I said “Eat, eat, it’s good for you!” in an Italian accent. Then he’d lie down and eat.

GC’s dog, on the other hand, doesn’t waste any time on ceremony. He plunges head-first into his bowl and hoovers the entire contents within seconds.

What about your pets? Do they have any unusual table manners?

20 comments to Your animals and their table manners

  • Greencolander

    Tobique places a few of his kibbles on the floor before he eats them. When the food in his bowl is finished, he looks around, then eats the food on the floor. I theorize he’s making a sacrifice to some sort of dog god, and when the dog god doesn’t eat the kibbles, Tobique figures he better not let them go to waste. :) Michelle

  • deb

    Rudy is a very polite, slow eater, unless he is with Chloe and Quinn and then he knows that he has to hoover it down because they wolf their food down and then head to each other’s bowls and make sure not a speck is left. Poor Rudy knows if he has left anything, they will devour it.

  • I have two dogs, Charlie and Maggie, and Charlie, ever the gentlemanly (but alpha) dog, will lie beside the food dishes while Maggie eats – then he pretty much scarfs whatever is left, including pie or loaves of bread left on the counter…

  • Tom Sawyer

    I don’t have a pet, but when’s the solar landing? I hadn’t heard about that till you mentioned it.

  • My cats aren’t odd in how they eat, but what they eat.
    Peno only like meat if its raw… give her something cooked and you get the look.. you know that cat look.
    Tux isn’t really into meat. He likes dairy.. milk cheese, buttered toast, but what he really likes is sugar… cookies, muffins, etc…. and give him dairy and sugar ie pudding, icecream etc… he’s one happy cat.
    Rocky is just down right weird. In a lot of ways he’s like a dog. He’ll eat almost anything. I spent one afternoon feeding him almonds… not sliced almonds.. whole almonds. He likes meat, raw or cooked, cheese, milk, eggs, etc… but his favourite… Romaine lettuce… I’m not kidding. When I bring home the groceries he goes searching through the bags for it.

    When I was a kid we had two dogs, Buster and Duke. We had to feed them on opposite sides of the kitchen because Duke would get snappy if Buster was too close to his food. Buster used to vacuum up his dinner, but Duke would usually only eat about half of his, then he’d go lay down and come back for the rest later. But Buster, sneaky dog that he was, would wait until Duke left, go over to this dish, take out one single piece of kibble, take it back to his dish, eat it, then go back for one more, and return to his own dish and eat it.. and so on. He’d eat the remainder of Duke’s dinner, one piece of kibble at a time, at his own dish. Weird dog.

  • melinda

    I guess all my animals are boring. The dogs just eat the food out of their bowls and rarely get human food (a begging Great Dane is not a thing you want to cultivate. When you’re sitting at the table, they can look you directly in the eye, while drooling on your lap. Not good.) My cats just get a little super dooper tasting dry food twice a day and otherwise make do with cheap dry and mice. Now the mice can be a problem. I’m happy for them to eat mice, I just wish they’d do it Outside and not bring them in. I also wish they’d not just bring them in and leave the corpses for me to dispose of. It’s annoying and I run out of places to toss them. Fortunately the dogs think even the lives of their stuffed animals are sacred and don’t kill things. That might become a bit of a problem.

  • Oma

    I think my dog is pretty polite abput food, mainly because it is not her prime motivating factor.

    Kenya is not a food driven dog (now, don’t ask about sticks) so she is usually happy to graze occasionally from her food dish. In fact I have to add yogurt or cooked egg or a bit of tuna juice to get her to eat quickly.

    However; when I am boarding other dogs, she is just like Deb’s dog, eating everything immediately for fear of losing it to one of the chow hounds. I feed dogs in separate parts of the house to avoid food fights.

    The one “food” she will demand in a querulous tone is her cookies, but unlike some of my guests, she will never steal a cookie. She also doesn’t beg at the table.

    I can leave my dinner plate on a low table to go and fetch something from the kitchen and simply say, “That’s mine,” and she won’t touch it. Some of the dogs I have looked after will get right up on the kitchen counter for a dish of dry food!

  • mosprott

    Java begs for meringues and ice cream. Never had a cat w/ a sweet tooth before.

  • I am flummoxed by your description of Minnie’s eating habits. Clarification, please??

  • Betsy Beagle hoovers. I sometimes make her do a sit-and-wait so I can get the kibble in front of her without incident. Once she starts eating, though, do NOT try to get between her and the bowl. Fern is not a finicky kitty but she needs to be left alone while she scarfs her food. She acts as though I am trying to trick her into a trip to the vet.

    I too would like an explanation of Minnie’s eating habit.

  • Not really eating habits, but definitely some weird drinking habits in this house.

    Bridge the Cat only drinks out of glasses or the bathtub. As a result, we have little glasses of water all over and have to leave a bit of water in the tub after a shower.

    Mabel the Cat was never allowed to drink out of anything but a bowl before she moved in with Bridge (because there’s nothing worse than finding your cat’s head in your glass of milk), but because Bridge is allowed, Mabel need to be too. This permission is thrilling for her, I’m sure, as evidenced by the amount of time she now spends drinking.

  • Julia

    I have watched The Dog eat several times and he polite and slow compared to my old Lab. The Dog takes a few minutes to eat, whereas I used to time Uma and she could eat the same amount of food in under 45 seconds.

    Likewise, what did you mean about that poor cat eating with a needle sticking out of her??

  • Marilyn

    Our Meg (5 year old bichon frise poodle x) won’t take a treat from your hand. It must be dropped on the floor and inspected for foul play before being consumed.

    Meals are equally dangerous in her eyes. A piece of kibble is brought from the kitchen to the living room, set on the carpet, inspected and then consumed. If all goes well, the rest of the bowl will be slowly eaten and there will ALWAYS be 3 pieces of kibble on the floor next to the bowl for the ‘Kibble Gods’.

    I thought it was only us! Thanks for sharing.

  • Gilles Seguin

    Oh Zoom, you’re such a tease, throwing in that reference to Minnie and her hypodermic needle. Truth be told, Minnie’s our 14-yr-old diabetic kitty (since fall 2003); she needs an insulin injection every twelve hours. She loves it —- but only because it’s accompanied by a dollop of cream cheese…
    Gilles
    P.S. Annie and I wish you all the best outcomes in those two interventions this week. And HAPPY (early) BIRTHDAY to GC!

  • XUP

    Bazel has a very precise timetable embedded in his brain. When eating time comes (and he knows when it is to the second) he sits politely on his feeding mat in the spot where the food dish belongs and looks pointedly at me whenever I pass by. He’ll sit there for an hour if I don’t feed him.

  • These are HILARIOUS. I’m so glad I asked!

  • noam deguerre

    oh – diabetic! “never mind” signed, emily latilla um, i haven’t heard about any solar landings either…btw harvey wants to say hi, but he’s got a mouth full of lettuce

  • Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy

    THE Gwyndolyn (the actual Gwyndolyn, not the commenting Gwyndolyn) knows the function of a bribe and refuses it. She’ll sniff the tuna, turn up her nose and walk away. “Humph,” she’ll say. “You’re trying to make up for clipping my nails. I don’t have to play along … ‘Mom.’”

    Any other time, she’ll all over the tuna. She doesn’t get much, because of her kidney failure; also, tuna is Very Bad for kitties. She gets just enough of any treat to know that she’s being indulged, then we sing the “All Done” song. She knows what “All done, all gone, no more, all finished, all gone, alllll done” means, and she wanders off to wash.

    (We sing to her a lot because kitties communicate tonally, not so much syllabically.)

  • Arden

    Over the years I’ve seen cats with some odd habits, many do the take a bit of food out of the bowl and eat it from the floor.

    The funniest of all though was Ramses, my grandmother’s last cat, who would flop over on his side, with his head by the dish, and literally shovel the food into his mouth with both paws. It was hilarious, sad, and a bit revolting. There’s a reason he ended up a 37lb cat!

  • We have 2 dogs, about 60 lbs each, who are siblings. Jack’s take on food is “If it doesn’t do anything dangerous I might eat it.” Rosie’s philosophy is “If I don’t like it I can always spit it out later.” Along with, If its on the floor its mine. If its Jack’s, and he doesn’t eat it right away, its mine. If I drool hard enough, you’ll drop it, and it will be mine. And if it’s on its way into the dishwasher, its always mine.