Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cat Lesson #3: Cats are Secretive Bastards.

I read somewhere that wild animals will usually eat their own vomit so predators don't find it and realize there's sick, weak prey in the area.  I've never seen a housepet do this, though, so I assumed that the barf-eating instinct must have faded away over centuries of domestication.  After all, when you live in a household with a bunch of doting humans, you don't wanna hide your illness from them, you wanna flaunt it so they can snuggle and spoil you*.

Well, it seems I was not entirely correct in my theory.  No, Birch doesn't eat his puke - but he tries to bury it!  I picked some socks up off the floor one day and found a pile of rapidly cooling Chunky Kibble Surprise underneath.  Since that day I've actually witnessed him throw up and then immediately try to scrape something over the mess (or just compulsively and repeatedly scrape the bare floor).

So, okay, I guess some domesticated animals still have the instinct to cover all traces of sickness.  I get that.  But the thing is?  Birch does the same thing with his food and water!  Sporadically, for no reason at all, he'll finish eating/drinking and then shove any available floor clutter into his bowls to cover up the leftovers.  I've had to pick grocery receipts out of his water on several occasions.  Once, he rolled a big ball of yarn in there.

Birch is our only pet; there are no other animals in the house.  Who, then, does he think he's hiding his food and water from?  Is he concealing it from me - the person who decided to put his dishes there in the first place - or from The Boy, who's in charge of keeping the dishes filled on a daily basis?  It's a mystery.

Do you have a cat or dog who does this stuff?  Do you have theories about why they do this stuff?  Tell me your stories in the comments!

*I may be projecting here.

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