Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Pavlovian Electric Can Opener

I've been trying to eat healthier, as well as simplify my life a bit.  I decided I would make tuna or chicken salad for lunches, but I never do anything small.  My kids love both of these options for snacks and often devour the rest after school, so I tend to do either four cans of tuna, or two larger cans of chicken.

In case you are behind the times, we have two cats, a pony--I mean an oversized house dog, and a turtle.  Luckily the turtle is in a fish tank unable to get out.

Back to making lunch.  I pull out my cans and head over to the electric can opener.  As I'm opening the first can, our black cat, Friday, comes and rubs up against my leg, anxious to enjoy some tuna or chicken juices.  Upon opening the second can, my huge white dog, Nanna arrives in the kitchen from where ever she was sleeping and starts drooling all over the floor.  Our third cat is usually outside or sleeping soundly and misses out on the initial treat.

I dump the juices into the first bowl for Friday, but I make Nanna sit and wait.  I don't want her to think she has hierarchy over the cats and it's good to practice her obedience training so she has to "sit" and "stay" while I dump double the amount of juice into a bowl for Nanna.  By the time I give Nanna her bowl, Friday has already been slurping gently for a minute, enjoying his treat.  I set down Nanna's bowl and she waits until I tell her it's ok, then she laps up her treat within about five seconds, then proceeds to lick the bowl incessantly, as if doing so is going to produce more yumminess for her to drink.  When that doesn't work, she licks the floor around the bowl to clean up any drips from being in such a hurry.  Nanna's treat is long gone and she looks longingly at Friday and his bowl of juice that is hardly empty.  I send her away so that she knows she cannot drink his.  A couple minutes later, Friday walks away with his dish still half full of juice, so I put it next to the cat food dish for Gracey to enjoy when she decides to meander in for a bite to eat.  Please note, the cat food dish is in the pantry at the very back in hopes that Nanna will leave it alone, and for the most part she does.

Last week I decided to make Taco Soup.  This recipe calls for several cans of beans and crushed tomatoes and so the opening of cans begins.  As I'm opening the first can, Friday comes and rubs against my leg, excited for his treat.  Sorry kitty, I don't think you'll like bean juice.  Besides that, we'd have too much fun laughing at a cat with the farts.  Can number two, Nanna arrives and begins drooling.  Can number three, Nanna decides to sit and wait for her bowl to be served.  But the bowl doesn't come.  Can number four, Nanna is drooling so much there's a puddle on the floor.  Friday is getting bored so he finally walks away.  Poor Nanna is left salivating while continue to open several more cans in the process of preparing our crock pot meal.  We don't want Nanna to fart.  When she's had something unusual or unhealthy, her farts peel the paint!

I'm pretty sure this whole situation creates mental confusion for the animals.  Friday must wonder if it's April fools day or some rude Halloween trick and why these days occur so regularly, as well as why the heck his name is Friday and whose idea was that anyway?  Well, it was the in laws idea.  Crazy, I know.  The cats came with the house.  Nanna must be puzzling out how to shut off her automatic drool machine and why does it turn on before she gets her treat, anyway?  All good questions.

In the meantime, the electric can opener gets used regularly and the animals come running, in hopes to feast on something tastier than dry food.  I am always grateful for their entertainment, as that is what having pets is all about.

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