She eats, well, she gets a dish of food, at 5:30 in the AM and the PM. Period, that's it. Usually my daughter sees to that but she is not here this week so it's on Dad. And he, believe me, is a strict taskmaster.
"Meow," purrs the feline to me plaintively as I stumbled downstairs this morning at 5:23. No dice, sister, I respond mercilessly, coldly. Ya got seven minutes.
"Meow," she again laments. Yet I don't break. I stroll into the computer room, I log onto Facebook, I check my e-mail. I walk into the kitchen at 5:28 simply to tease her. I run the water in the sink until it's cold enough for me and I get myself a drink; she stares at me like Mr. Spock, expectantly, eyebrows raised. I stare in return. The clock is mine, animal. One more minute, I resolve.
The alarm on my phone rings; it is 5:30. I pour a scoop of hard brown kibbles into her bowl. She stares at me. I will eat as I am ready, she messages silently. I don't care replies I, you have had nothing until my will allowed it. So goes our conversation in anthropomorphic telepathy.
And I have won. She averts her eyes and eats. I have won.
So I have convinced myself after four hours in the ER for treatment of multiple deep claw wounds. The DNA under my fingernails, from the defensive measures, prove the cat struck first. But I have won, I have. There was no food for her before 5:30. Nor will there be tomorrow.
But my wife will have to deal with that. I'm O negative, if any of you care to donate.