Modern Day Grandfather Clock

Our old cat Henne has a very good internal clock. It seems to manifest itself best around food time. She’ll remind us about a half hour before she is due for some food, and her sense of time is often right on the money.

Humans seem less capable of a good sense of time, and have evolved work-arounds. When I worked on the Wilfred Sikes ore carrier on the Great Lakes, the ships bells kept us informed of the time very effectively. Some homes have grandfather clocks that chime the time on the hour, and a quick listen can tell you what time it is.

catfeederAs Henne has aged, we’ve learned we have to be better at regular small feedings during the day. Her stomach is getting to the point that if she is given too much at once, she’ll throw it all up. As we looked around online, we learned there are automatic feeders available that are programmable for portions of food, and the number of feedings per day. We ordered one, set it up, and watched with interest how Henne would respond.

When this feeder goes off, it makes a lot of noise. We were concerned that Henne would fear it, but I guess that goes to show you how we underestimated Henne. Once she got the idea that this machine’s noise meant food, she’ll spring across the house when the thing goes off. Alice and I have also become trained be the machine. It is programmed to feed Henne at noon, 4:30 pm, and 9:00 pm. When the machine goes off, we’ll look at each other and say, “Oh, it must be noon.”

And I have to admit I’ve never bonded with the “BONG BONG” of grandfather clocks. The gear-grinding sound the cat feeder makes is comforting for the cat and me. I’m finding myself salivating 3 times per day now.

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