Yes, it’s time to talk once more about our pets. Those wonderful creatures who make our lives so much better, but who at times, can drive us absolutely bonkers.

I inherited my beautiful kitty Princess nearly ten years ago from family members moving overseas. Princess came to me with the unfortunate routine of needing to be petted while eating.Never heard of this one before? Well, a young family member would pet Princess while she was at her food bowl. Apparently Princess grew to love — and demand — this attention.

This meant that the minute I walked in the front door (whether I’d been gone a week or five minutes), Princess would run to greet me, begin yelling nonstop, and lead me (notice who is in charge) to her food bowl. No, she wouldn’t  eat right away, but would continue to yell until I started petting her….then she would eat.

Finally, about a year ago, I got the brilliant idea to try and break the routine. Right, real successful. All I’ve managed to do is make a longer routine for when I return home.

Now, the minute I open the front door, Princess again leads me to her dish (yelling all the way). But now, she waits for me to pick her up, at which point, we do a “tour” of our home. With me carrying her high in the air, Princess gets to look at the tops of paintings, the tops of tall dressers, and at the ever fascinating light switches perched high on walls.

Once our tour is done, I set her back on the floor, where she again leads me to her food dish to be brushed — not petted — while eating.

At this point, I’m just going to go with the modified routine. After all, she is nearly 12 years old. And I’m not sure I’m up to a more extended “welcome home.”

So what about you? Do you have any similar routines with your pets?

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My first memory is sitting with my mother on a blanket in our backyard surrounded by books and she is reading one of them to me. My love of reading was encouraged by my parents and it continues to today. I’ve gone through a lot of different genres over the years, but I currently primarily read mysteries (historical mysteries are my favorites) and romances (focusing on contemporaries, categories, and steampunk). When I’m not reading or working, I love to travel, knit, and work on various community projects.