Saturday, November 29, 2008

The cat's Christmas present

I have got to do something about this. It's driving me crazy.

It all started back when I lived in the hole-in-the-wall, years and years and years ago. I had two cats then, that's how long ago it was. My tub faucet developed a slight drip. Very slight. I was going to call about it, but then I noticed that the cats (especially Delilah) liked to drink from it. Preferred it to the water bowl, in fact.

Actually, no. It started further (farther? Incidental grammar question for G: Is it farther for distance and further for time? I always forget) back then that. It started with Needles, our very first cat. She discovered that if she sat on the edge of the bathroom sink and stared at her humans expectantly, sooner or later one of them would turn on the tap and let a fine stream of water flow, thereby turning the bathroom sink into Needles' water fountain. Beebop, the dog, watched this and decided what's good enough for the cat was good enough for her. Any time we gave the cat a drink from the sink when the dog was around, we would then have to pull up the stop and fill the sink for the dog, who'd hop up on her hind legs and drink from it.

Fast forward a few years. Needles died (of old age, in her sleep, curled up on the top of the water heater), a pregnant Siamese was left on our doorstep in a cardboard box (someone must've heard we lost our cat), and she gave birth to a litter of kittens, one of whom became mine, another of whom became the father/older brother of the Siamese's next litter of kittens, another of whom is mine. (Yes. You read that right. Delilah's family tree does not fork. We didn't get the boys fixed in time, and we didn't know who the daddy was until every single kitten came out looking like Oreo. Sigh.) This litter of kittens (and the one after it) watched the dog get a drink from the bathroom sink, and decided, much the same way Beebop did, that's what's good enough for her was good enough for them.

And now we get to my bath tub. My cats, up to this point, had been perfectly happy with water from a bowl. Then the tub faucet started to drip, and they drank from that. I couldn't tell whether they stop using the bowl altogether, 'cause water evaporates, see, so I kept filling it.

Things went like this for a while, and everyone was happy. Then my upstairs neighbor's tub developed a leak, and it came through my ceiling. I called the office, and they sent out the maintenance man. This was back when the whole place was taken care of by one grumpy old man who managed to get everything done by himself. When I left, there was a team of very happy-go-lucky idiots who get everything done eventually. Usually. Maybe the old guy was grumpy because he was overworked. So anyway, he fixed the leak in the ceiling, repainted the ceiling and the wall, noticed the dripping tub faucet and fixed it.

And Delilah has never forgiven me for that. Ever. Ten years later, and she still shouts at her water bowl. I wish I could figure out how to record it, because it's a horrible noise, and I want to share. It goes something like this:

"Mow! Mow! MMMMOWWWW! MaWOW-WOW! MAWOW-WOW!MMMMMOW! Mawowowglubglubglub."

Yes. She complains even as she's drinking.

It's not like I leave out filthy water for her. I replace it twice a day. I wash out the bowl every time. And now that we're in the new place, she gets chilled fridge water, just as I do.

Not good enough. Apparently. 'Cause she still howls. In the middle of the night, even. My bedroom is above the kitchen, and my bed is almost directly above her water bowl. When she starts howling in the middle of the night -- and I think she's doing it louder now that we're in a bigger place, to make sure I understand her displeasure -- I lean out of bed and thump on the floor with my fist. It's the only way to shut her up. I've fallen out of bed twice while doing this.

I've tried teaching her to drink from the sink. She wouldn't do it. She wouldn't even attempt to understand what I'm trying to show her. She acted like I was about to drown her. She would rather sit on the edge of the tub, bat her eyelashes at me, and rub the faucet with her face. If I had finer control of the tub faucet, I'd let a little bit run for her, but here's how the stream goes in most tubs, mine included: Nothing, nothing, nothing, Niagara Falls.

About a month ago, the tub faucet started to develop a slow drip. A few days after I noticed it, she did.


I thought, "Hurray! This is what she wants. Now she'll be quiet."

Nope. It's not running fast enough, so she still howls. And it's nice and echo-y in the bathroom. And now thumping my fist on the floor does absolutely nothing but hurt my hand and make me fall out of bed.

So for Christmas, I'm getting her this:

Not the ginger cat, just the water fountain. It has a charcoal filter and a pump that keeps water running continuously. I've already tried one of those self-waterers that looks like a little water cooler. No dice. And if this doesn't shut her up I don't know what will.

1 comment:

G said...

Hmm, further/farther - didn't know there was any difference.

Now furball - that's something else, not irrelevant in this context.