Meet the Neighbors 12

Early in July, I mentioned that the ongoing power struggle between Grey Tabby and Meezer Girl was forcing Faux Tux to the end of the line at the backyard bowl.

Meezer Girl has clearly won the war–well, clearly to everyone except Grey Tabby, but even he’s starting to get a glimmer of the truth–but the problem continues. The combatants have continued to block each other from the bowl, and poor Faux Tux has been caught in the fallout.

mb2So we tried putting out a second bowl. Same amount of food, just spread out more. The result was predictable.

Fortunately, the bowls are far enough apart that Faux Tux can sneak up to one when the superpowers are squabbling over the other.

mb3Sometimes Meezer Girl doesn’t show up immediately after we put the food out and Faux Tux can eat as much as he wants.

But that doesn’t happen often. We can’t keep multiplying bowls indefinitely, and Faux Tux is so unassertive that even putting out a third bowl might not get him regular munchies. We don’t really have an obligation to feed him, but we do feel a certain amount of responsibility and we worry about him.

So far, our best tactic has been aerial bombardment with treats. We toss them out the window and lure the Big Two away from the bowls. While they’re distracted, Faux Tux sometimes goes to a bowl. More often, though, he joins the chase for the treats. Sigh.


2 thoughts on “Meet the Neighbors 12

  1. Well, I question your belief that you “can’t keep multiplying bowls indefinitely”. I mean, bowls are cheap; you can pick up a dozen at your local thrift store for a few bucks. I wonder what would happen if you put down six bowls. Ten bowls, equidistant or in various configurations? There must be some point at which the sheer availability (or complexity) of food sources overcomes the ability of the alphas to control access. What you have here is a very interesting experiment, with potentially larger application. There’s got to be grant money in this, somewhere, if you start looking in the right places. I think you just might have hit on something. That’s the way science works, after all, just with an interesting question.


    • So yeah, it might be technically feasible to keep multiplying bowls. But the logistics of washing them clean of the mud contributed by the less fastidious visitors (Grey Tabby & assorted raccoons, I’m looking at you), filling them with food, and pinning them down so the raccoons don’t walk off with them is going to seriously cut into my writing time.

      Still… Hmm. I’ve never written a grant proposal, but it seems like useful experience. Any pointers?


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