Cat Burglar? Intentional Thievery by a Feline? Hmm…
I always find it interesting when I hear someone say that their cat “steals” food from another cat, making them essentially a cat burglar. The word “steal” implies intent, as if the cat knows it is doing wrong, but does it anyway. In reality, some cats have an overblown survival instinct and an appetite that corresponds with it.
Just for a moment, put yourself in the body and mind of a cat such as this. You see food. Available. Right there just waiting for you. There is another cat nearby that might just steal that food from you if you don’t get it first! What do you do? RUN! GET IT NOW! GULP IT DOWN!
I truly believe that the piggy cat does not realize the other cat(s) in the house are not interested in food until they’re hungry. But a grazer will end up starving if piggy cat is not kept away from it. That kind of scenario tugs at our heart strings. We feel badly for the poor grazer; the polite one; the underdog (pun intended). So, we assign an evil intention to the piggy cat, and often, our behaviors and voices express that belief. We treat piggy cat differently. Piggy cat gets sprayed, yelled at, shut into a bathroom or closet, even starved to teach it a lesson. Then we suffer feelings of guilt to go along with our anger and anxiety.
And here’s where that gets kind of funny: I have heard more than one person say that using the MeowSpace to control the food situation is cruel to the piggy cat. They have to watch the grazer eat and leave much of the food in the bowl, with no chance to get at it. Poor piggy cat!
What am I missing here? Suddenly the cat burglar is the good guy who is being taunted via the MeowSpace, but in not using the MeowSpace, the piggy cat gets abused. I guess I believe the lesser of the two evils is the MeowSpace. How about you?