With Ble and Miss Choo Choo Coleman it is has become difficult, if not impossible, to achieve perfect order in two specific places: My Kitchen and Their Bowels.

It took me quite a while to achieve some kind of stasis in the kitchen during mealtimes. First, no matter how many consecutive days you feed Coleman the same food at the exact same time, she behaves as if she’s never eaten before and may never eat again. She has zero faith in me, and that lack of faith is played out by early-morning chest promenades and nose bites, followed by relentless high-volume weeping until her mouth touches that first bit of kibble.

Once the food hits the floor, the real trouble begins. When Ble first arrived, interrupting Coleman’s kitchen exclusivity, I was forced to separate their feedings because of eruptions of inter-cat violence. Later, Ble would eat whichever meal was first served, and because Coleman’s behavior leans more toward passive-aggression than real feline aggression, she would allow this to happen while staring at me, wide-eyed, and treating me to an endless mewl. This mewl was in addition to the aforementioned weeping, and had a slightly different pitch – it was noticeably mournful.

Finally, things evened out a bit, but lately a new wrinkle has developed. I was under the false impression that I actually had two cats, including one obese cat, who were comfortable with their own meals and were totally uninterested in food poaching; I was wrong. Coleman has developed a new habit. She will nibble at her food, knowing Ble is totally uninterested in a bowl of dry adult kibble, and then hang out a foot or so behind Ble as she feeds. As soon as Ble has had her fill, Coleman will move in and finish it up. I almost didn’t notice this. Now that I have, I’m still not sure what to do. It’s funny and pathetic to me, but it still seems very unfair. Realizing my squirt gun is probably not the appropriate course of action, I have come up with a temporary plan. I beg and plead with Coleman to leave the kitchen, telling her that she is behaving poorly. “Please! This is just too much, Coleman. You have all that food! Why won’t you just go??? Why, oh why?” Sometimes I try to pick her up and move her, thinking her attention span will be so short that she’ll quickly forget why she was in the kitchen to begin with. And sometimes this works. It’s slightly more dignified than being on my knees, begging her to find something else to do. However, wearing a giant diaper and baby bonnet would be slightly more dignified than that, too.

I have asked my cats, repeatedly, to stop taking such smelly craps. I have a sign posted prominently in front of their shared litter box that reads: 2 POOPS PER DIEM. This sign, up until now, has been a complete failure. I have been impeccable about cleaning their litter box. I empty it daily, but the cats have a crap schedule that completely outpaces my cleaning efforts. In fact, on several occasions Ble has climbed right in the litter box and left a fresh, poisonous crap right in the middle of one of my cleanings. And yes, she is totally unapologetic. I light incense, I ask nicely. They shit loudly and often. I am fighting a losing battle against stink. Maybe if i fed them flowers…