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.