Cats Get Automatic Feeder And Decide To Bring It Gifts
"They used to bring me mousies. Now they bring the food robot mousies."
It was almost two years ago when Cee Webster, who was having a bit of a bad day, decided to go pay some attention to the animals at the Pixie Project in Portland, Oregon.
That's where Webster first met two 8-week-old kittens — brothers — who were inseparable.
"I’m allergic to cats, and definitely shouldn’t have cats," Webster told The Dodo. Webster didn't expect that the visit would go beyond a quick — if sniffly — snuggle session.
"Tucker was this tiny little nugget and he started kneading on my face and purring," Webster said.
Then Webster went about the day — but kept thinking about Tucker and Finley. "I just felt like those cats are special," Webster said. "I was like, 'I just have to go get them.'"
Obviously, Webster couldn't imagine separating them. So that's how a person with a cat allergy ended up with two cats. "The mental health benefits outweigh having terrible allergies," Webster said.
Ever since Tucker and Finley were adopted, they've basically had it made. They are smothered with attention and their human is totally in love with them.
"These guys are best friends," Webster said. "They sleep together and groom each other."
They are also fed heartily — to the point that Webster is trying to keep them exercising just before dinner so they stay relatively trim.
Webster struck up a routine involving little toy mice, which Webster calls their "mousies."
"Finley is the athletic one of the duo," Webster said. "He loves to play fetch with his mousie and I’ll chuck it and he’ll bring it back."
Since starting this exercise routine, both cats have come to associate mousies with dinnertime. Toy mousies are a kind of feline aperitif.
At one point, Webster decided to buy an automatic feeder. "I got them the feeder so they could have some dry food throughout the day and it would portion it out," Webster said. "It's on a timer, too. So maybe they wouldn’t wake me up at 5 in the morning."
Tucker and Finley were quite skeptical when they first met the food robot. "When I first set it up they got freaked out because it made a weird noise," Webster said. "And Finley walked away with his tail puffed up."
But once they realized the robot's true purpose, they started to warm up to it. "Now they hear that noise and they go sprinting over," Webster said. "They also know what time it happens. Five minutes before, they go over and just wait there."
Then Tucker and Finley's love for the robot started increasing — and Webster came to this realization in a very concrete way, when looking down at the bowl recently. One of the cats had brought a mousie over to the robot and offered it to it.
And it wasn't a one-time thing. "They used to bring me mousies. Now they bring the food robot mousies," Webster joked online.
Even though one of Webster's main functions for Tucker and Finley has been rendered moot, the cats do seem to recognize that their human is still good for pets and snuggling.
Still, their relationship with the food robot gives Webster a pause.
"It’s like the singularity — that point when artificial intelligence has taken over," Webster said. "There was actually a mousie in the food bowl this morning when I went down."
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