Sunday, March 2, 2008

Caught in the act.

For the ten years that Stinkyboy the Cat has lived with me, he has refused to drink water out of a bowl. Ever. For any reason. Upon pain of death. This has led to many a snicker from friends, all of whom inevitably comment upon how well-trained Stinky had me.

I tried everything. I bought one of those fancy drinking fountain thingies with the filter to keep fuzz out of the water. He stuck his paw in it, flicked it around disdainfully, glared at me and walked into the bathroom where he sat on the sink for an hour until I caved. I tried a decorative rock fountain, a suggestion from a friend whose own cat seemed to like hers. He dropped his catnip mouse in it and walked away. A vet suggested putting brightly colored stones at the bottom of the water bowl; he said that sometimes cats have difficulty with depth perception in water and cannot "see" the water in the bowl. Stinky reached in, flipped out two of the stones onto the floor and then proceeded to hockey-puck them around the hardwood floors for the next three hours.

It was hopeless. I resigned myself to 3:00 AM treks to the bathroom to give my cat a drink of water.

Now, weirdly, my friends who have done cat-sitting for me swear that they have seen Stinky drink out of a bowl. I am always astonished to hear this and somewhat skeptical. And then I get anxious. What if Stinky just didn't drink any water while I was out of town? OMG! What if he was destroying his own kidneys out of spite? And then I would leave the water running when I left town. And then my cat-sitters, of course, being sensible people, turned off the faucet and politely waited for my gypsy cab to the airport to depart before making that little swirling finger motion by their temple to indicate my sad-but-amusing breach with feline reality.

Yesterday, as I was getting coffee fixings together in the kitchen, I was vaguely aware of a cat in the room. I say vaguely aware as there was not yet any caffeine in my system and I am akin to the walking dead when I first get out of bed. As the coffee was dripping in the pot, I heard the tell-take slurp of Buddy-Cat drinking out of his big red ceramic water bowl. I turned to him to have one of those pointless one-sided conversations that only the truly insane - or unattached dykes - seem to have with their cats and was shocked to discover that it was in fact STINKYBOY at the bowl! I stood perfectly still and watched him drink water out of a bowl like any normal red-blooded American cat. This went on for a good three minutes.

And then I cleared my throat.

"Ahem." I said.

Stinky stopped drinking and stood absolutely still.

"A-HA!" I declared.

Stinky turned, looked at me, eyes as big as basketballs. I'd caught him in the act. He knew it and I knew it. The jig was up!

...until I found myself crawling out of bed this morning at 3:00 AM to give Stinkyboy a drink of running water from the bathroom faucet.



Susan said...

Heh, well trained indeed. I showed my dh your pocture of the machiavellian fiends and he laughed at the comment below. He doesn't even like cats but our Kitty Kerpow has, er, converted him. I did put a link to KK on your blog and then thought, how rude to put a link on someone else's blog without asking, so removed it. But I got the 'bird' from mine yesterday and it was so funny I turned the shot into an icon for 'those days'. My lj is 'makoiyi', which I really should put a link to on my comments.

I love the cat stories as much as the writing ones, so thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, you can't continue on like this! Your cat must be taught to drink from a bowl like a real cat. The easiest way to do this will be hard on you, though: cut off all sources of water for the cat that aren't the bowl; wen the cat gets thirsty, it'll drink. Of course, you've probably heard this before, so you may have reasons for not doing it, but if those reasons are silly things like emotions, well, emotions are for chumps and should be disposed of immediately.

Kimber An said...

Ha! Just wait until you have human children and then you'll really kick yourself for being 'well-trained.'

Maria Zannini said...

Ahh, Grasshopper, Stinkyboy has taught you well. LOL!

Chelly had a similar aversion to cameras. I'll have to post that story on the blog next week.

Good one!

S. E. Ward said...

Oh, dear. I hope Baby doesn't learn how to read, or I'll be up at 3:00 every morning, getting the cat a drink from the tap. She'll use the cute little, "Mew! Mew, mew!" instead of the world-shattering, "MOWR!" too, at least for the first five minutes.

Anonymous said...

Oh! We had this same problem. Have you tried giving them water in a glass? I know that seems weird, but our cats also avoided the running fountain and the bowl in favor of climbing on our kitchen table and drinking out of our water glasses. So we got them their own glasses and they love them. They never get on the table anymore either. If we give them a bowl, they totally ignore it. As for the bathroom faucet, Grinder would rather drink out of the faucet any day and we always indulged him, but we just moved to a new house and our well water makes him sick, so we've had to put an end to that. The glasses work for some weird reason though and he still drinks a lot, although he does try to get in the bathroom and sits hopefully in the sink. By the way, the vet told us that cats don't get enough water, so if they want to drink out of the running faucet, you should let them because it's good for them. So even though you're up at're a good mama!

Seth said...

Classic, just classic. My cat always tries to sleep in the laundry basket; whenever I catch her she gets those big eyes - "Who, me?" "Yes you, furball, get out of my clothes!"

sex scenes at starbucks said...

My cat loved the faucet, especially the one in our tub once she got too old to jump up to the counter. She'd get all wet trying to get a drink.

But not as wet as when she tried to drink from the toilet and fell in.

Some people get disdainful, graceful cats. I had a clutzy fat geek cat.

Nicole Lorenz said...

Haha. I'm a dog person, and cats utterly confound me. My roommate's cat, Superman, and my dog share one of those automatic waterers that looks like a mini water cooler. The "glub-blub" noise it makes causes Superman to attack it and get himself sopping wet. If you catch him drinking from it he'll also attack it, as if to prove his cat-manliness.

Di Francis said...

All I can think of is . . . SUCKER!

And then slink away as I think about what a sucker I am . . .


La Gringa said...

Indeed, I shall have the word SUCKER tattooed across my forehead.


Stephanie said...

Is Stinky the Tiger/White one? Because he sounds a bit like my Tiger/White boy...Wild Bill will stand by the sink and scream. If you try to ignore him, you run the risk that he will start flinging things out of the sink.

There's no doubt who runs my house (and it's certainly not the pit bulls).

Karen Duvall said...

My three cats prefer drinking water from a bucket. But in a pinch they'll also drink from flower vaces, pots soaking in the sink, and water glasses (which they'll happily tip just to see what happens).

La Gringa said...

Yes, Stinky is the white and tabby one. The demon-spawn of my household.

Redzilla said...

So wait...if I'm not an unattached dyke, these daily conversations with my cats indicate I'm "truly insane"? [makes resolution to become unattached dyke...]

Amie Stuart said...

>>The jig was up!

I know somewhere out there my crit partner is laughing her butt off--we're both cat people and trade cat stories regularly.

This one takes the cake however!

Glasses are great until they knock them over and get all your bills you left all over the table wet ... or wake you up in the middle of the night with a cold bath because they tipped over the glass on your nightstand =(

La Gringa said...

And y'all wonder why I call them "Machiavellian". I rest my case.

La Gringa said...

Oh, and Kimber An - I have no plans to ever have human children. If I can't train them to use a litter box, they have no place in this apartment.