Story: Cats in the Kitchen

The differences between dogs and cats

When you live with both dogs and cats, the inherent differences in their personalities becomes more apparent.

For example, dogs tend to be gregarious, enjoying life in a pack. Cats are more likely to be loners, enjoying their solitude.

Take Dawn. If she had her druthers, I think she’d choose to be an only cat. She hisses when any of the other kitties walk by; she has a particular distaste for Calvin and Elsa Clair.  And while Dawn will tolerate Athena, she’ll still swat her if she gets too close.

When another feline is within Dawn’s designated Safety Perimeter Zone–about ten feet in diameter–she runs and hides. The others know this and sometimes often nearly always leverage that knowledge.

Elsa Clair will walk by, stop, and stare at Dawn. Calvin chases her.

The Battle of the Kitchen

Except at dinner time, which, in my house, goes something like this:

The cats have been trained to be quiet and off the floor (usually on their buffet, which I use as an out-of-dog-nose-reach feeding platform). When they’re all on the buffet or at least out of my way, I call out, “Kitteh noms!” and that’s the signal that dinner is on it’s way, and the cats are allowed to discuss, complain about, and meow out orders for the preparation of their food. (They have very strong opinions–usually about the slowness of the service.)

Once the magic words are spoken, Dawn becomes a different creature. Instead of  Miss Hiss-and-Run, she becomes The Cat Who Swats.

While the other cats swirl around my feet in a current of hungry, Dawn positions herself strategically–by the corner of the kitchen peninsula (it’s attached, so the word nerd in me cannot call it an island)–and waits. Any cat who gets within a paw’s distance is fair game.

Tactical Cats

Athena, Calvin and Elsa Clair have developed different tactics for dealing with The Cat Who Swats.

Athena tends to stay out of the way, much as she’d like to supervise the food prep. (She is our household sous chef.)

Calvin darts past Dawn, hoping that speed will reduce the number of direct hits. Sometimes, he’s stays and boxes a little, but it’s hard to win the match when you’re so hungry  you’re about to disappear.

Elsa Clair simply ignores the barrage of smacks. Or, if she’s feeling particularly crafty–and lucky–she tries to slink by just out of reach. And sometimes it works.

Elsa Clair tries to get by Dawn in the Battle of the Kitchen,

Dawn is in position. Elsa Clair attempts to sneak by.


Elsa Clair tries to get by Dawn in the Battle of the Kitchen,

Moving slightly forward, Elsa Clair has instituted Defensive Staredown Procedures.


Elsa Clair tries to get by Dawn in the Battle of the Kitchen,

A little closer. Dawn’s Stare is turned up to 11. The tension is rising.


Elsa Clair tries to get by Dawn in the Battle of the Kitchen,

Eyes locked with Dawn, Elsa Clair is nearly around the corner.


Elsa Clair tries to get by Dawn in the Battle of the Kitchen,

Home free! Calvin distracted Dawn and Elsa Clair made it past unscathed. At least for now.


What are your pets like at mealtime?


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Today, we are participating in the Monday Mischief blog hop. Explore the blogs below to see what kinds of mischief other pets are getting into.




20 Comments on "Story: Cats in the Kitchen"

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  1. Bailey says:

    Interesting observations.

  2. slimdoggy says:

    Well, first there is a breakfast (or dinner) dance. That consists of our hulk-like Jack trying to do spins. He never quite makes it. Then we put Maggie outside and Jack ‘on his spot’ in the kitchen. He knows if he moves it will only delay things so he stays pretty frozen until released to eat. Maggie sits outside the backdoor with her nose glued to the window until I come around the corner and then she circles to her food bowl. I could set my watch by the behavior.

  3. MIley says:

    Our kitty is extremely loud in the kitchen, we always wonder what she is saying!

  4. Sue says:

    Luckily each of our pets has his/her own spot and they are pretty mellow. The exception is Jeffie who gets excited about eating and little woofs escape 🙂

  5. Emma says:

    Cat bro Bert wanders around yelling at Mom for about an hour. Cats get fed first, Bert on the floor, Sophie on Mom’s desk and Mom has to stay with them until they are done, or Bert will steal Sophie’s food. We dogs just wait in our spots in the kitchen and then chow down and leave. We are civilized, the cats, not so much!

  6. Love it- it’s like dinner entertainment LOL Interesting behavior. I don’t have cats but I truly enjoy reading about them and their “moments” Thanks for sharing today

  7. Too funny. Love the “kitteh noms” call-out and the chorus that comes after. Here… it’s just Rita. And she’s not super pushy – which is bad, cuz if I’m busy and lost in my own little writing world I often let dinner time come and go… But when she’s really hungry she’ll just hang in the background and give me the “Vulture-girl” stare. Then I know I need to get busy delivering the chow!

  8. jan says:

    We are always fascinated by the different personalities of dogs and cats. Size has little to do with which one is the dominate one.

  9. easy rider says:

    after reading I’m afraid Easy has some feline genes :o)

  10. Mr. N will run to his crate and wait. Sometimes if he thinks he needs to be fed, he will go lie down in his crate with sad eyes, waiting to be noticed.

  11. My cats are terrible at dinner time! LOL I feed them first and they are fed on separate cat trees, then I feed the dogs. The cats are annoying and underfoot until you feed them and they will bug you until you do.

    My cat Lilly, sounds a lot like Dawn! 😀

  12. “The cats have been trained to be quiet and off the floor?” Mom’s mouth is still hanging open in disbelief, the rest is just normal cat stuff we’re used too! Love Dolly

  13. Brian Frum says:

    Slow safety moves indeed! All 6 of us downstairs kitties wait together quite patiently for our meals to be prepared.

  14. At mealtime, we’re all over the mom. She can’t get the food in our dishes fast enough!

  15. Being dogs, we just pig out….Mama puts our bowls in different areas, but we always end up eating out of some pup else’s bowl. It still is bunches safer than kitty dinner time BOL!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  16. Ellen Pilch says:

    Mealtime is a zoo with all our kitties. I feed everyone and my hubby plays security guard. Otherwise, they switch meals like kids in a cafeteria and some are on allergy diets.

  17. MOL MOL! The Cat Who Swats. Too funny. Mealtime is pure insanity in our house. So crazy, in fact, that we have to separate everyone. Caster goes in the office, Sampson goes in the downstairs half-bath, Delilah goes in the pantry, Sassy is upstairs of course, and Sophie gets to stay out because she can’t jump up on the counters. They all must go in their respective eating places BEFORE the cans of food are opened, or else they all leap onto the counter and fight each other over the food, eating it as I’m scooping into their dishes. Delilah is the worst. She is just plain ruthless at meal times. The Queen is not to be messed with! Haha. So yeah… they just have to be separated. And of course, they are all act as if they are wasting away, they haven’t eaten in SO LOOOONG!!! MOL!

  18. Dawn says:

    Sounds like a very entertaining process 😀 My dogs start by pestering me about 30 minutes before mealtime. Pestering is either sitting in front of me and staring without blinking or nosing my hands. Once I get up to prepare dinner, the dancing begins. They both know they are to sit and stay while I fill their bowls, but they have to get the dancing in every time. Once they are settled, I fill their bowls while they sit quietly. And when I say ‘okay’, they dive right in and scoff their food down.

  19. Kitties Blue says:

    Other than Mauricio and Calista Jo who have a a pre-meal wrestling match, each cat has its place where s/he eats and reports to that station, so it is one of the most peaceful times at our house. XO, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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