In my house animals get fed first. It’s not that I feel that their needs are more important than mine, or my husband’s for that matter, but if I open the refrigerator at any point after 4PM I will be flanked by two warm bodies. Their little faces stare at me pointedly until I pull out their food. So I feed them first to get them out of my hair so I can settle into the more exciting, and less disgusting, job of making the human’s dinner.
This is how it goes:
3PM. Dog wakes up from nap after dog park jaunt, realizes that it might be close to dinnertime, comes to find me. I tell her, “No, it’s not dinner time. It’s only 3PM.” She doesn’t care. Stares me down. I ask if she has to go outside. More staring. Apparently, she doesn’t. I tell her to go away because I’m working now and I already took her to the dog park and that’s all she is getting today. More staring. She continues to stare me down until I force her to go outside anyway. She stays outside for all of 30 seconds before barking at the neighbors/squirrels/people walking by on sidewalk/random noises, so I let her back in. I sit back down and she settles in at my feet.
4PM. Dog wakes up when I get up to get a drink/pee/stretch my legs. Follows me around the house, upstairs, downstairs, and back up again because I forgot to get the thing I went up for in the first place, until I finally sit down again. Dog sits down next to me and stares me down (didn’t you forget something?). I tell her, “No, it’s only 4PM.”
5PM. I realize I might be getting hungry, get up to see what’s in the fridge. Suddenly the cat comes out of nowhere, having spent the day napping in a sunspot somewhere in the house. Two bodies press against mine as I stare into the fridge and contemplate what to make for dinner. I look at the dirty dishes in the sink and decide to work for a few more minutes while I think about what to make. Animals follow me to my chair. (What are you doing/why are you leaving the kitchen/you forgot to feed us). “I didn’t forget,” I tell them. “It’s too early.”
6PM. Animals are panicking. Every time I twitch a toe or turn my head, they get up from where they’ve been sitting and staring at me for the past hour. Cat weaves himself between my legs, dog rests head in my lap. Both stare at me with big, wet eyes (we’re hungry we’re hungry we’rehungrywe’rehungrywe’rehungry).
6:30PM. I give up and feed the animals.
6:45PM. Peace at last.