I brought my two pets with me when I moved in with my best friend who already had two cats and two dogs. Then we took in another cat. So now we have seven pets, and I wanted to share their shenanigans with you.
Last week, I introduced you to my cat-like beagle Princess Leia. This week, I’ll introduce you to my probably-15 year old cat, Alex.
Alex is a super old, super orange, super cuddly cat. My family rescued her from a shelter when I was nine to help defeat the mouse army we had in the house at the time. (This was 13 years ago – there is no longer a mouse problem.)
So when we rescued Alex, she was already an adult cat. I’ve had her for 13 years, so I’m guessing her age is about 15, but it’s very possible she’s older than that.
However, she does not act like a 15-year-old cat. She still participates in the cat olympics at three in the morning and also eats like I never feed her.
When I moved in with my best friend, she already had two cats, and then she took on her brother’s cat a week after. So that’s how we ended up with four cats. The three cats my roommate has are all related, one of them is the mother of the other two. They all came from her grandma’s house, but I’ll tell you more about the calico-cat dynasty another time.
Anyways, since Alex is the oldest and also had never been around other animals before, she decided to exert dominance in the most passive aggressive way.
The biggest example of this subtle behavior relates to meal time. My roommate has a food and water bowl for the cats on a tall table in the living room – it has to be tall enough so our 80 pound german shepherd mix doesn’t eat it all. My roommate always keeps the bowl full for her three cats.
Alex has her own food and water bowl in my bedroom and I also always keep it full for her. But instead of eating the food that I worked hard to provide her with, she consumes the entire bowl of the other cat’s food. Even though she has food in her own bowl.
The funniest thing about this is that Alex – who has always been quite fat – no longer has the leg power to jump to the table from the floor because of her age. So she would jump from the staircase to the tv stand, walk from the tv stand to a bookshelf, then jump a foot and a half from the bookshelf to the table so she can consume the other cats’ food. She can long jump but not high jump.
We recently rearranged the living room so that Alex can’t use the nearby furniture to jump to the food, so this will probably stop? Hopefully? I don’t know.
Alex and the other cats also all don’t drink from the water bowl my roommate has out. My roommate has a tiny fountain on this table, and the cats drink from that instead.
My fiery cat also will exert dominance over the three dogs in our house by drinking from their water bowl. And she tries to eat Leia’s treats. Apparently cats like Beggin’ Strips.
Alex also has a death glare that she exerts upon all the other animals. But she wouldn’t actually hurt them – she’s just passive aggressive, not actually aggressive ... unless its our 80-pound German Shepherd mix. Then she gets out the boxing gloves and pops him at rapid-fire speed with her paw.
The death glare comes out when my roommate and I are showing any of the other animals any kind of love. Alex sits at the top of the stairs and looks down on us (literally and figuratively) from behind the banister, plotting our demise. But then I think she remembers that we feed her, because she’ll come down and cuddle with us once the other animals have cleared the room.
Alex is also the first to greet me when I get home, if she’s not shut in my room. There’s always a huge, sometimes welcoming, sometimes condescending “MEOW” waiting for me, depending on if she has food. Occasionally there’s a death glare.
Especially if she’s hungry.