Unlike a lot of cat owners, my cats don’t make a game of waking me up for food in the morning. Years ago, with my first cat, Cassie, there was a little morning skirmish. I noticed that she kept trying to wake me 15 minutes earlier each morning. If she kept it up, eventually this would result in an extra meal.
I eventually convinced her to stop, and the rules have been passed down from her to the new cats until today, even after she’s gone. Calpurnia didn’t know the house rules at first and right after she arrived and was let out of her safe room at night woke me very early with meows. But soon, with that invisible way cats have of passing info among themselves, she learned and waited along with the other two.
Cassie’s training lives on in another morning rule. I used to give her and my other lady cat Angie wet food on a single plate and they each would eat half of it. After Angie died and I got Gus, he learned to wait for Cassie to eat first before starting on the half portion she would always leave for him.
When Gus became the senior cat, everyone now waits for him to eat his portion of the wet food. Julius, being far more active, runs down and watches me put the food down and goes as far as to sniff the plate before leaving it alone until Gus has had his share.
Again, this rule is something Calpurnia had to learn. One of the final steps of the integration period was to stop feeding her in her safe room. When I did, and gave her a plate for herself in the kitchen, within a few days she soon adopted the practice of not eating her portion until Gus had finished his food, and nibbled some of hers.