My cat will only drink from a running tapnot even a cat fountain. But I live in a drought-stricken state. Help?
Youre familiar with the Misfits, I assume. They are iconic, the so-called horror-punk band that played hard and demonically fast while singer Glenn Danziga huge, dark creature from New Jersey with a forbidding curtain of long black hairscreamed. Danzigs songs had titles like Skulls and Die, Die My Darling and, of course, Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight? That last one could, arguably, be read as a bloodthirsty anthem written in solidarity with Americas imprisoned house cats because, as the world would eventually discover, Danzig is a cat fancier.
A few years ago, pockets of the Internet had a good laugh at Danzigs expense when a photograph surfaced of him walking out of a grocery store carrying a tub of Fresh Step kitty litter. (If you dont understand why this was funny, one incredibly left-brained commenter on the site Metalsucks.net provided this analysis: It is funny because it is something of an ironic satire to see someone who has widely been written about as an offbeat satanist buying kitty litter.) Danzig himself had another take: Why do people even care? he shot back. Why are they wasting their lives on this? He had a point. People laughed at him for not being punk enough; he outpunked them all by not caring.
Glenn Danzig is my spirit animal, Daniel Quagliozzi told me recently. Quagliozzi is the proprietor of Go, Cat, Go!, a feline behavioral consultancy in San Francisco; he comes to your house and troubleshoots your cat problems. DQ, as hes known, also grew up in New Jersey and spent his formative years deep in the punk scene, whipping his then-mohawked head around to the Misfits. They dont want to be told what to do. They dont want your hands on them or their lifestyle, DQ explainsand this, he adds, is precisely what he appreciates about cats as well.
I relate to them. I relate to their F U attitude toward society. They make you wonder, Why the hell did I invite them in the house in the first place? In fact, DQ has regularly seen owners of defiant felines reduced to wearing shrouds of cardboard to protect themselves from their swatting cats, or carrying water pistols or air horns to blast their cats away. One guy resigned himself to keeping the litter box on his couch, because thats where the cat insisted on pissing and crapping. All too often, DQ says, people are just not ready for the hostile takeover.
When I asked DQ about your problem, he let out a long sigh and said, The running water thing is so God. There are countless reasons why a cat would demand a running faucet. Maybe the water in the bowl is stale or not the right temperature, or the bowl might be too small and its creating whisker stress. (Yes, whisker stress: Google it.) Maybe the cat feels more secure on the counter. Or it could be boredom. Maybe your cat leads such a dreary life that trickling water qualifies as fun.
My advice? Hire DQ. Fly him in if you have to; frankly, the guys aptitude with cats blew me away. Otherwise, he suggested trying to mimic whats happening in the same location. Start by putting a recirculating fountain next to the sink; often, DQ says, we overlook the importance of location when assessing cat problems. (Maybe, for example, your cat just wants its water separate from its food, or up off the ground.)
But most of all: Steel yourself for confrontationfor a kind of protracted, brutal brinkmanship. Your cat isnt likely to go on strike and die of thirst, DQ says, but any change you make will likely leave the animal anxious and unsettled. And that is definitely going to be harder on the guardian than it is on the cat. That is, the cat will try to own youbelittle you. Find your inner Danzig and flip the script.