Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Feeding Routine for Kitty

Since Andrea's surgery, twelve days ago, I've been handling the feeding for Kitty, as well as Luke and Jack. We've been having, at times, a battle of wills, but I'm starting to get Kitty to agree with my method of feeding. We've had a problem in the past with her refusing to eat the food she's given, which results it in eventually being thrown out. It also means that Andrea would have to try to guess what food she was wanting, which sometimes meant trying a couple types of food before finding the right one, resulting in even more waste. Andrea hopes to resume making homemade food for her soon, and we don't wan't that food to be wasted.

Kitty has the ability to sound very pitiful when she wants more food. This is where I have an advantage over Andrea with being the one to do the feeding. Andrea thinks that she sounds like she's in distress, and will eventually give her what she wants, so as to not be mean to her. I, on the other hand, believe that she is just trying to be manipulative, so refuse to give in. Andrea has asked me repeatedly how I can ignore her pleas, which sound so miserable. If I felt like my refusal to give her food was really being mean or mistreating her, I'd give in immediately. I'm convinced, though, that she has just learned that she can manipulate us into giving her what she wants, and so I'm determined to teach her that I'm not so easily manipulated.

My method for feeding Kitty is pretty straightforward. First thing each morning, when she asks for food, I'll give her a small amount, maybe two spoonfuls. I won't give her anything more, until she eats what is in her dish, no matter how often she asks for it. When she's eaten most everything, aside from a few pieces, and she asks for more, I'll give her another spoonful. I always make sure to mix in whatever was left, so that she'll eat it along with the new. We repeat the process throughout the day, until bedtime. Usually she's eaten approximately one can, or maybe a bit less, by that time. For overnight I give her a handful of dry food, which she can eat on throughout the night. The next morning I'll get her a clean dish, add a couple of spoonfuls of food, and then add, to the other side, whatever dry food was left from the previous night.

Last night I fell asleep before giving Kitty her dry food for the night. Andrea took care of that for me, and since there wasn't much food left in the can, she also added it to the dish. When I got up this morning I noticed that there was more food than normal left. I'm not sure if this was because she had more food in the dish for overnight, or because she thought that Andrea was going to resume feeding and she'd be able to get her way more easily.

I gave her a clean dish with a couple spoonfuls of food this morning, of which she ate maybe half. Throughout the day she repeatedly asked for me, and refused to finish what was in her dish. Andrea was working in the kitchen for an extended period today, for the first time since her surgery, and Kitty was very persistent in trying to get her to give her more food. Andrea was sure that she wasn't going to eat the food, and wanted to give her more, but we agreed to wait until close to bedtime at which time I would put out some dry food. Finally, around 8:00 PM, I noticed that she had eaten the food in her dish. I admit that I was starting to lose confidence that she would eat it before bedtime, but I was determined not to give in to her.

I'm hopeful that things will go more smoothly tomorrow. I suspect that her refusal to eat today was due to Andrea being in the kitchen, and her belief that she could get her to give in to her requests for food. Of course that is something we'll have to work on, because Andrea spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

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