I’m looking after Oscar again, the cat who meows an awful lot. At least in my perception! The first time around, I was quite worried that he missed his owner and felt lonely. After all, the evening of her return, she sent me a photo of the two of them, nice and cosy on the couch. He hadn’t left her side.
By now, I’m convinced he also knows quite well what he wants: he wants food. His owner doesn’t want her cat to be fat, so she has put him on a diet. Oscar finishes each meal at the speed of light! It seems to me he’s not satisfied, as he’s meowing piteously shortly after having finished his meal. In case of doubt about his intentions: as soon as I get up from my seat, he runs for the kitchen. If I don’t follow, he seems to come and meet me halfway. He stares at me intently and meows loudly. This cyclus repeats itself and Oscar holds out for quite a bit. His owner admits he’s slightly obsessed with food, but apparently this is less of an issue when she’s around. Perhaps he’s worrying if he’ll get his next meal from his sitter?
As I feel for poor Oscar, I can’t get the issue off my mind. In spite of not having the illusion of resolving it within the long weekend I’m looking after him, I’ve become quite curious and start reading about it. Having been with his owner since he was a kitten, having suffered from under-nourishment can be ruled out. A diet can be a plausible reason for begging. Proportioning food, so that it can’t be gobbled up at once is mentioned as a solution.This brings me to an idea for a present for Oscar next time I’ll be sitting him: a food puzzle will keep him occupied and apparently it will lead him to feel satisfied more quickly. Just imagine a stack of containers, each divided into separate compartments. Lids can make the puzzle harder if needed.
For now, I can only apply the most important rule in case of begging: to make sure I’m able to ignore it.