I was going to quantify the title of this post by putting the word “sometimes” in parenthesis but less than ten seconds ago said trouble-making dog so perfectly illustrated the source of today’s rant that I have decided to leave out said quantifier. Shiva is a bratface. Full stop.
We have a problem here at Shiva’s House of Deluded Dreamers and it’s not going away. In truth, this problem has existed since the day we brought her home. However, previous domiciles enabled us to manage said problem without difficulty, thus preventing me from actually working on it. Now that we live in a new house that lends Shiva much more freedom, the problem has turned into a giant rhinoceros stampeding through the kitchen that we are incapable of stopping.
Let me backtrack.
Shiva will always eat the poison. Always. It is part of her DNA. If there is food available she will do all she can to scarf it as fast as possible. Whether it is waiting for me to look away, waiting for actual permission, or sneaking around in the middle of the night and risking death by falling off the top of the refrigerator. If there are edibles around, she will get to them. It is a law we live by.
One of her favourite edibles in the whole wide world of stomach-filling goodness is cat food.
We have a cat. You may have seen him around these parts before. In case you don’t recall, this is what he looks like:
Shiva will do anything to get at his full food dish. While we feed him good quality food, just as good as hers, and I am not concerned it will make her ill, we are not exactly pleased by this. For one thing, the cat deserves to eat in peace and he gets cranky if his dish is not full at all times. And I mean all times. He has always self-regulated his intake and so he is free fed. Even if he isn’t particularly hungry at the time he demands the food be there in case he wants to nibble half a crunchy.
For another, we are not billionaires. Good quality cat food is expensive and is not meant to be gobbled up by obsessed dogs bowlfuls at a time.
But how to get Shiva to leave it alone?
In previous houses there was always an easy management system built-in. The furnace room two houses ago featured a nifty door with a pre-cut cat-sized whole. It was magic. As long as we kept the food just out of reach of Shiva’s ridiculously long neck, the food was safe. In the last house, the puppy gate kept Shiva out of the basement when we weren’t around to watch her. There was this convenient little counter down there that was just high enough to give us time to prevent her from jumping up, but not too high to annoy the cat.
In our current house, there is no such pre-made solution. Which means in less than five months Shiva has devoured the cat’s food approximately 45,689 times. Currently, this is where we are precariously balancing his dish to keep it away from her greedy maw:
Yes, that is indeed a very narrow windowsill in the laundry room. Yes, that is a really awkward place for the cat to balance while he eats his breakfast. Yes, Shiva can still get to it if we give her enough time.
But what to do? We have tried rigging cat-sized wholes in other areas of the house (see below) but somehow the dang bratfaced dog always finds a way in.
We can’t keep this up. It’s annoying and it’s pricey and it’s not healthy for either animal. But I am out of ideas. No matter where we put the dish, the dog finds a way.
And so I entreat you multiple animal owners of the Petosphere. Have you ever had to out-smart your dog in such a way? How do you keep your dogs from enjoying a midnight snack of cat crunchies? The more creative your ideas, the better. I am at my wit’s end.