She sits, balances on one front paw and tucks the other front one all the way under her, keeping it elevated from the floor the entire time. She always does it. It's kind of like on Everybody Loves Raymond, where Robert has to touch his chin with the spoon first when he takes a bite of food. Just one of those things.
Cats are sneaky. No great revelation there. There are wheels constantly turning in their little triangular heads and if we could just decipher what goes on in there, I feel certain we'd have a cure for cancer, world peace, and people in Florida could grow tulips.
You think dogs are smart? Cats are smarter. I'm pretty sure that they can do anything a dog can do - except bark - it's just that they don't want to. That would be giving in and they're far too independent to waste their time doing what you want them to. I have managed to train Baby to come when called though.
We cater to our kitties just a little bit. Romie is much more accommodating to them than I am though. (Perhaps that's why Simon likes him better than me.) We have a kitty dish in the kitchen, which is kept full of fresh drinking water for them, so they don't have to go down to the basement, where their main food and water (and litter box) are located. But this dish had become somewhat of an annoyance.
Oh, the dish is cute enough. It's got a cat's face on it, whiskers and all. It holds just the right amount of water to keep them supplied during the day. That is, if someone (not naming names, but a black and white bundle of fur was observed running from the scene) doesn't keep tipping the bowl over. I don't really enjoy walking into the kitchen in my stocking feet and stepping into a puddle of water.
We didn't know which of the kitties was the culprit, but we narrowed it down to two. This started happening before Jilly, our Russian Blue wannabe, was allowed to stay in the house all winter, so it was either Simon or Baby.
Like a good detective, I kept my eyes and ears open for clues that the crime was being committed. I watched as each of them walked into the kitchen, hiding behind the cupboards so my spying self would not be detected. First Simon...no, it wasn't him. Then Baby...no, she didn't do it either. Both just lingered for a short sip then went on their way.
Then I heard the telltale sound of a bowl scraping across the floor. Romie was at work, so I knew it wasn't him puttering around in the kitchen. I tiptoed out, just in time to see Baby with her paw in the bowl, pulling it towards her, spilling the water. BUSTED!
This went on for months and simply knowing who was doing this didn't help at all. I could talk to Baby until I was blue in the face and she continued to spill the water. There's that independence thing I was talking about. The simple solution would be to remove the bowl, wouldn't it? But that would be mean and there must be a simpler solution.
A few weeks ago, I was shopping with my mom in Steinmart and found a lovely iron food and water dish holder with nice stainless steel dishes. The dishes were held at a level of a few inches off the floor and while I thought it was pretty, the first thought that came to my mind was that this would solve our spilled water dish dilemma.
I brought it home, washed the dishes, and filled them both with water. (No food, because gosh darn it, they have to get a little exercise going up and down the stairs to the basement. Our cats are fat enough already.) The cute little white kitty dish was put in the cupboard and I rejoiced in knowing I'd never again have soggy socks.
Here we go again. I stepped in a puddle, looked into the water dishes, and noticed that one was completely empty. NOW who? And how? No one is fessing up to it, but I have some theories as to both who and how.
As I mentioned earlier, Jilly somehow charmed us into letting her stay in the house all winter. For the most part, she's been fairly well-behaved. Very little claw-sharpening (which is actually a territory-marking trait) and she gets along well with both Baby and Simon. Most of the time.
She's quite vocal, which we love, unless it's 4:00 in the morning and she decides there is an issue she just has to discuss right away. She won't be denied and after having our faces walked over numerous times and listening to her plead her case, one of us has to put her outside the bedroom door and close it. Another five minutes of beating a dead horse, and she gives up. Yeah, we love her.
So now, there are three suspects. I don't think it's Simon, because he actually prefers to get his water from the bathroom sink. He's gotten so big that it's difficult for him to jump up there on his own, so he stands by the sink cupboard until one of us lifts him up. He and I have a ritual, whereby he knows he has to give me a "kiss" before I'll turn the water on. Simon's kisses are a lick on the chin and he always obliges. Romie just gives him what he wants straight away.
It could be Baby. Since she seems to get a kick out of spilling the old water dish, perhaps she has learned a way to tip the new dish out of the holder. But because of something I've seen before, I have a feeling it's not Baby, but Jilly.
Cats can do strange things, which is part of what endears them to their owners. You just never know what quirky behavior will erupt from them at any given moment. Jilly is no exception. When Jilly drinks water from a dish, she assumes a peculiar stance.
Now just suppose that Jilly were to drink from the dish, and she were to accidentally lift the water dish with that wayward paw just enough to spill some water? I've not actually seen her do it, but it could happen.
I'll keep working on the case, but I might have to enlist the help of Secret Agent 007.5, otherwise known as Harley. At least he speaks the same language as Jilly. Perhaps he has ways to make her talk. On the other hand, Jilly probably knows how to use her feminine wiles to get Harley to keep a secret.
We may never know.