I’m fostering four cats.
There. I said it.
What was I thinking! Four! But it made sense. We were going to take two, and they were being kept in a milk shed – safe with mom, but alone. Even with twice daily visits and love from their rescuer (they were dropoffs), they were going to need more socialization.
And my daughter had been counting down the days until the 14th, so…
What’s four cats for two weeks?
I forgot what it was like to have 12-week-old kittens in the house. It’s been sixteen years. Dot and Brindle were terrors when they were tiny. We left Perkins muffins in a box on the counter once, and when we got back to the apartment, the box was on the floor and three of the four muffins were completely decimated. The fourth had an impressive dent.
They would tear around our apartment, too. Driving our downstairs neighbor (who also had cats) nuts. They may have been the reason she moved out, actually. But she was sweet about it. Anyway!
We discovered through trial and error that cat food requires very specific containment. Now, growing up with cats, we always kept the animal food (purchased in 20-lb bags) in the bag. We went through a lot, so it never had time to go bad. Nothing ever got inside. So we did that when we got Dot and Brindle, keeping the bag under the sink.
Until I stuck my hand in for a serving and came back with a handful of ants. EW.
So we moved it to the second bedroom.
More ants. We finally purchased a plastic tub with a loose lid, which also got ants (geez, with the ants!), until we settled on a tub with latching lid (and an inside wall, and a call to the landlord).
Finally! A fresh, ant-free food solution! So that’s what we’d been using for years. That’s what we had when Dot passed, and we gave the last of her special diet food to a coworker, who returned the tub.
Fast forward several months to now.
I remembered my ant lessons. But the cats have been so shy, and not very jumpy, so leaving it on the kitchen table seemed a reasonable idea. Away from the door (ants), radiators (ants), and other things.
Static, the little shit, started chewing through the bag tonight.
Not his fault, obviously. The kittens were getting fed once daily at their previous home, and we’re trying to get them on a meal schedule (put food out, give them an hour to eat, then remove anything uneaten) so they can associate people with noms and happy tummies. Apparently, they needed a bit more today, because when I went out to catch whoever was chomping on the bag, I not only found Static with his toothmarks and drool all over the bag, but Inky/Shadow/Midnight (we haven’t settled) and Fluffy McFlufferson hovering like feline vultures, and “the shy one” (haven’t settled there, either) was watching from a prudent distance.
So I cleaned off the dusty top of the food tub, poured everything in, picked Shadow out of the tub, set it down, scooped them some more food, removed Inky from the tub again, and got fresh water.
I have a feeling they’re going to try to figure out a way to get into the tub. I can’t remember if we’ve ever resorted to putting heavy things on top of it, but it sounds likely. Anyway, I’m not out to get anyone hurt, and if they figure out a way in, so be it. I suppose there are worse things than kittens gorging themselves on kitty chow for a morning.