The cats went to the vet recently. They’re fine, but one of them especially has started gaining too much weight (a pound a year is fine for an adult human. For an adult cat, it’s something you want to nip in the bud), so there’s no more leaving food out for them to graze. They each get a measured amount.
In practical terms, this means that they don’t eat together anymore, and that the food dish for one is taken away and the food dish for the other is brought out.
In other words, there is food right there and yet one or the other of the poor poor things is not allowed to eat. Is restrained from eating. Is, as it were, brutally starved by a cold and unfeeling human who has clearly put food out for the express purpose of torturing them.
It is amazing how piteously hungry a thirteen-pound cat can sound as he looks soulfully up at you and quavers out a question mew. (His sister is more practical, and has taken the “If the humans wake up, I am fed. If I push things off the dresser, the humans wake up. Ergo…” approach. At two in the morning. Darling little fluffbucket.)
On a lighter note, I feel I have survived the worst of the holiday crunch, so there’s that. Now if I can just get a few more hours sleep…