In an unusual spirit of generosity, I decided to prepare a special dinner for my girls.
I carefully considered the options from the fancy cat food shelf. Tuna or salmon, chicken livers or chicken in oil for the carnivorous cat and gluten-free, organic vegetarian options for the California cat. There was no shortage of choices so I grabbed a tasty chicken-like meat blend and headed home, excited for their reactions to this rare delicacy.
Six almond shaped eyes watched me as I divided up the can of smelly gunk into three little dishes. Only two of the six eyes showed any reaction, naturally belonging to the oldest and wisest of the pack.
Her tail might be skinny and her back balding, but her sense of smell was a keen as when she had a full set of teeth and thick, lush fur. Jibber-Jabber knew what a treat was about to be within a paw’s reach, the much sought after and desired canned cat food that she remembered from her kittenhood.
Jibber-Jabber sat anxiously where she expected her dish to be placed, next to her water bowl proudly reading, #1 Cat. She took this title seriously, especially when she had to deal with a young and foolish #2 and #3 cat.
They aren’t #1 Cat material, she mused while waiting. Her white whiskers twitched with impatience.
#2 and #3 mewed in anticipation of the hard, crunchy kibble to fill their dishes. They wanted the same kibble that filled their dishes every day and nourished their furry bodies and left them craving more. Hard, crunchy kibble was to them what the white bread and peanut butter sandwich was to me growing up. Change is hard and often unwanted.
They sniffed at the dishes with the wet cat food and stepped back in disgust. I got down on my hands and knees, scooped up a fingerful and offered it their sensitive, pink noses.
“Come on, just try a little taste. You will love it,” I promised. It was the same kind of cajoling I used with my clients as I encouraged them to try new things, like budgeting. Admittedly, I learned this type of negotiation from my own mother who swore I would like new things, if I just gave them a try, like lima beans and swimming. Bleh.
The cats glared at me for what could only be considered treason in their small cat brains and left the kitchen.
In the meantime, Jibber-Jabber snorted and purred as she gulped down mouthfuls of the grey mush. She glanced over at her departing comrades with the simple and greedy joy that comes from not having to share the last piece of pizza or in this case a three course meal in which each course was the same, nasty wet cat food.