A Case of Unusual Pet Behaviour

Exhibit A

A puzzle was solved in our house this week.

It’s not a particular serious or life-changing puzzle.  It’s just one those ‘I wonder’-type things, to which there is now no more wondering.

You see, Moses has two water bowls in the kitchen (Exhibit A).

Both are always filled with water because we have a separate bowl for his food.

The mystery?  For some weird reason Moses only drinks out of bowl on the right side.  With very few exceptions.

In fact, he could be out of water on the right-hand side, and unless he is very hot, he will patiently wait until your refill it instead of drinking from the left.

It’s peculiar.  At most.

Not exactly a Nancy Drew-league mystery, but I’ve always been curious why.

Then yesterday I walked into the kitchen and the reason why was there, right in front of me.

Isaac; aka Black Cat; aka Mean Cat


Moses prefers to leave the left side alone because that is the Black Cat’s water and it is not to be trifled with.

Suffice it to say, Moses and the Black Cat do not have a relationship of what I would call mutual enjoyment and respect.  They co-exist peacefully enough – kind of like a demilitarized zone.

Sometimes if the Black Cat is tired enough, or we have food to distract him, he might let Moses get in a sniff.  Maybe.  But that’s really the extent of it.  And Moses is quite happy to just let the Black Cat be; the Kitten is friendly, and she’s his buddy.

Emma; aka The Kitten - she has no interest in what I assume she considers is awful "floor water"

Isaac, on the other hand, has very strict guidelines about his personal space, and is always very quick to communicate that to dogs.  The Black Cat’s dog training methods are definitely exclusively P+/P- (negative reinforcement), but they work extremely well: quickly and permanently.  And I can say most dogs make it through the lessons without a scratch (one exception to date, and he had it coming).

So it was very unsurprising to see Moses respecting what he figures is Isaac’s water bowl – Moses is pretty laid back and happy to share space, water, food, toys… you name it.

Sharing a bone with Kimbo

Do I think maybe Moses is being overly cautious with the water?


But there has been the rare occasion on a hot day that he’s dipped into the left bowl, so at least we know he draws the line somewhere.

Status Quo

About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

9 Responses to A Case of Unusual Pet Behaviour

  1. Jen says:

    LOL! That is too funny! What a sweet boy Moses is to not drink out of Issac’s bowl! A perfect gentleman!
    I have 4 water bowls in the house and 2 outside, Sherman will only drink out of the water bowl that is in the kitchen and it has to be fresh water. If it sat out overnight he won’t drink it until you dump it and refill it. He actually walks up and smells it!
    Leroy will drink out of any water bowl anytime!

  2. I didn’t know you had cats too! No wonder I like you so much!

    I don’t think it’s respect, I think it’s FEAR. 🙂 Pretty funny too.

    Our Best Friend will only drink out of the water bowls at the park if they’re filled with fresh water. He won’t drink another dog’s slobber.

  3. Amanda says:

    Was the exception to Isaac’s non-scratching a certain duck toller, with an affinity for the dunce chair? 🙂

  4. 2browndawgs says:

    Haha! Those kitties do tend to like their personal space and rule the roost. Moses is a diplomat. 🙂

  5. Jen says:

    Hi Jen! Just stopping by to let you know that you guessed correct on the color of my first Newf! Landseer!!! yay!!
    When you get a chance can you send me an email at mybrownnewfies@aol.com. I will send you back the code for 25 free Shutterfly cards!
    Congrats and thanks for entering the contest!

  6. lauren says:

    this is so damn funny. also funny? the photo of the ginormous newf and his wee-looking water bowl.

    i thoroughly enjoyed this!

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