A Pet Puzzle

Grey cat looking up at the camera

I feed my cat at the same time every day, within reason. I mean if I’m out, I don’t run home specifically to feed my cat. And if I know I’ll be out, I might feed him before I leave. But on the vast majority of days, he gets fed at 5:00 PM. You’d think he’d know that, but he doesn’t seem to.

You see, every day around 3:45 or so, the cat starts pestering me. He wants his dinner, and he wants it now. I never give in. I always wait until 5:00 hoping that the cat will learn. You’d think I’d learn that he’s not going to learn, but I guess neither of us are that smart.

I had a horrible thought this afternoon. What if the cat thinks that the only reason he gets fed at 5:00 every evening is because of the hour and fifteen minutes of pestering he does leading up to 5:00? What if he thinks that if he didn’t pester me, I wouldn’t feed him at all? If he really wanted to eat earlier, he’d start pestering me earlier. I wonder what the cat must think of me if it takes that much effort to get fed every day.

I have no idea how to test this new hypothesis. If it’s true, though, I feel bad. My poor cat lives day to day never knowing whether or not I will do the most basic part of taking care of him. That must be a lot of stress to deal with.

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