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“I Shouldn’t Be Doing This, But I’m a Pushover When It Comes to You”

·516 words·3 mins

It’s one of those nights when it takes us forever to get to bed.

As always, I’m doing “last call” with our diabetic 21-year-old cat. Because of his blood sugar, we have to feed him only at regular times and leave a lot of fasting in between.

Obviously he hates this. Obviously he wants his food out all the time so he can graze and pick. But our vet won’t let us indulge him, because it’s too dangerous with his insulin.

So I’m bringing him over to his dish and telling him “last call” and “last call, sweetie,” and “food, food.” Because my cat knows several dozen words at this point — he’s a smart little kitty cat. And most of those words are related to food, a reflection of his priorities.

As I cajole him to eat, I turn into a human thesaurus, spouting every conceivable word I can think of that he knows that’s even somewhat relevant to the situation. He stares at me like I’m hopeless. But eventually, he concedes and begins to eat. Tentatively at first, but it’s a promising start, even if he keeps looking up every few seconds, scanning the kitchen like he expects that a predator will get him at any second.

Meanwhile, you’re doing your regular “closing time” duties. It’s different every night, or at least a different selection from a variety of rotating tasks — it usually involves wiping down counters. Brushing your teeth. Some basic decluttering.

When the cat is done eating, you’ll clean out his bowl and get everything ready for feeding him in the morning.

It takes so long. It always does. Especially on nights when we’re frazzled and exhausted (which has been a lot lately). And on night when the cat decides he doesn’t want to eat (which happens a lot), and we have to convince him to do so because otherwise he’ll wake us up in the middle of the night begging for food because he’s hungry.

I watch him eating for a bit before you tell me that I can leave. It’s fine. You’ll be there doing stuff, enough supervision for the cat to feel comfortable to continue eating.

So I go off to brush my teeth and climb into bed. And you follow a few minutes later, having done the rest of our routine.

We’re dropping off to sleep when I hear a plaintive yowl. My first thought is that our cat is hurt.

But you aren’t fooled for a minute.

“Alright, alright,” you say to our cat. “I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m a pushover when it comes to you.”

And as I listen to you pour out another serving of food that the cat should have eaten earlier, one that he attacks with surprising relish and gusto, I feel my heart half-bursting for you both.


Thanks for reading today’s post. I felt like writing about my ancient cat, a star of the Poly Land Discord’s #pet-photos channel. He’s way cooler than me, though frustrating. Fun fact: All the pets in that community are my honorary petamours.


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