It was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
It is true, especially when it comes to feeding Vincent.
Since tomorrow is Sunday, I went to the pet store and bought a variety of food back, for Vincent. Yes, even dogfood. Amy was so kind she gave me a few more sample packets of RC Exigent (the one that Vincent loved earlier on). Later in the evening, I went back and bought a packet of RC BabyCat as well. I thought I was all ready for the next meal.
At about 6.20pm, Vincent asked for food. So I confidently opened a new can and offered it to him. Well, it was the same nightmare again – No. One by one, I offered – all no. But he didn’t move away, he kept sitting and waiting (that is the heartbreaking part).
He sits and waits…until you get it right.
I failed. And I decided I shouldn’t beat myself up anymore. I’ve done my best, but nothing seems to be right, so we’ll just have to let it go.
About an hour later, Zurik came to the window sill to ask for food. Nowadays, he comes when “the coast is clear” of Buddy. I thought Zurik deserved a treat, so I took the Exigent out for him. Vincent must be smelled it, so he too came out excitedly to ask for food.
I offered him Exigent, but no. I offered other food – all no. I gave up and let it go.
By 8.30pm, Vincent asked for food again. It IS insanity, because there I was, offering all kinds of food, but none of it was right. Again. He kept sitting and waiting.
This time I did something different. I know you probably won’t approve, but I lost my cool. I was already having a splitting headache since evening. So, very sternly, I started scolding him. I told him that if he doesn’t want to eat, it’s okay, don’t eat. But don’t come and ask for food and when food is offered, you just reject everything. And you keep waiting for the “right” food. I don’t know what the right food is anymore. I have practically bought up every brand that I can think of, and nothing is right. Something is right, but only for once, then you no longer want it anymore. This makes it so, so hard.
Knowing he is obviously hungry, otherwise he wouldn’t be asking for food, sitting and waiting, I took the syringe and I force-fed him some liquid food (Cindy’s liquid food for kittens and convalescing adults). Of course he didn’t like it, but I think because he knew I had lost my cool, so he did not fight as much. Otherwise, he will make a drama out of it – he will gag and choke, and arch his back. This time, he did not fight as much. There was no drama. After three syringes, I let him go and told him I don’t know what to do anymore. If he doesn’t want to eat, it’s okay, I’m going to keep all the food. So I started scooping the food back into the containers, one by one. Vincent looked on, but did not walk away.
Then, I told him, I’m just going to try one last time, I will open a can of Monge. If you want, you eat it. If not, it’s okay.
He ate. Yups, looks like the scolding had some effect there.
It was just Tuna, Chicken and Beef, which I’ve offered umpteen times and he had rejected. Nothing new at all. Same old, same old. Now, he decided he will eat it.
Okay, good boy.
Then I poured out the earlier Monge Tuna and Salmon. This is not “fresh” from the can. It’s from this afternoon (normally, there’s no way he will eat it).
He then ate the Exigent kibble, which he had turned up his nose on earlier. From that, he went back to the Tuna, Chicken and Beef, and…
…even ate the “not so fresh” Tuna and Salmon.
I wasn’t going to add anything anymore, I told him. If you are hungry, just eat whatever is laid out for you. He flitted from one to the other and ended up eating all three types.
Yes, the scolding worked.
Otherwise, it’s been quite unfair to the rest of the cats because they have to eat up whatever Vincent does not want. There are too many containers in the fridge now, all either opened and untouched or opened and only a little bit has been eaten. The next meal, everyone else would have to eat this all up.
Before this happened, my husband had gone out to buy dinner. A friend had just written to me with a list of food that she had tried when she nursed three CKD cats previously. The list included chicken from chicken rice stalls, tandoori chicken, scrambled eggs, tuna in brine, etc. She shared that yes, it is exhausting. But she force-fed all her cats and it worked.
So I asked my husband to please buy back some chicken from the chicken rice stall.
He did – and this was from Penang Ho Chiak. By the time he came back, the eating episode had already concluded and Vincent had already eaten quite a fair bit.
I didn’t think he would eat anymore, but I still tried. After all, it was bought for him. We cannot keep it in the fridge, he wouldn’t want it anymore tomorrow.
Oh, he ate!! With gusto too.
I’ll bet he won’t eat it tomorrow. No surprise there. Maybe tandoori chicken tomorrow?
I’ve already made up with Vincent for scolding him. I held him, told him I’m sorry I lost my cool and he put his head on my chest. Then I wiped his mouth and gave him a sauna (with the hair dryer), which he liked.