Anyone Missing the Meal for the Scraps?
My 18 year old black cat eats a special canned food to support healthy liver function. Because he’s the only one who gets it, everyone in the house thinks Shadow’s getting a huge treat. So when the can’s empty, I give it to chow pup Koda Bear to lick clean. It’s one of his favorite treats!
Which now means one of Koda’s favorite pasttimes is licking cans. So much so that I decided he deserved his own canned food. Anyone who likes anything that much should get more of it, right?
Here’s how this goes down: I open a can of Nature’s Variety wet dog food (it’s good stuff: organic, human grade beef, no preservatives), I fill up his bowl with the wet food, but all he has eyes for is the empty can.
He’s an absolute nut for that can! Even with the food bowl right in front of him brimming with the REAL deal, his focus is locked on that empty can.
Sometimes I put the can on the counter so he’ll find the food. But all he does is sit on the ground staring at the counter, while the cats eat his food. Sometimes I put the can right next to the bowl, so he’ll at least be pointed in the direction of the GOOD stuff. But he goes for the can first, scooping it up in his mouth and running to the back door with tail waving so he can be let out to enjoy his treat in peace.
This has gone on for some time now. Even when he gets his nose in the bowl he still turns to the can. (Which makes me think how chows aren’t known for being particularly bright.) And then I wonder what he’s reflecting to ME.
Do I do the same thing? Miss the good stuff because I’ve become so conditioned to scraps? Have I trained myself to not even see desserts on the menu, because I’m used to keeping them off limits? Do I not even recognize the opportunity or resource right in front of me because I’m used to doing things the hard way, on my own?
I think I have a pretty good nose for the “gourmet meal” – but how would I know if I’m not seeing it in certain situations? Out of routine, do I just accept that some things are the way they are, and the sooner I accept it the better? Did I pass up the opportunity of a lifetime, because I’m used to second best?
I don’t know. But you better believe Koda’s teaching me to look. I’ll let you know if I discover any gourmet meals. As always, would love to hear your thoughts/experiences.