Since adopting Nathan Alan Willoughby from the Westwood Rescue Home for Good Cats, Edie enjoyed his easy going manner. Though he was a cat of great size and substance, he ate his daily allotment of cat food without complaint.
One morning as Edie finished her bowl of cereal, she set it down to answer her phone. Nathan Alan Willoughby, who had been sitting companionably next to her, sniffed the milk in the bowl. He saw that it was good. He tasted it. Game over.
Edie thought it was cute and it was soon a part of their daily routine. Yet in only ten short days, the give and take of breakfast gave way to a cat's demand of his owner. Now when Edie ate her cereal, Nathan Alan Willoughby stared her down for the duration of her eating.
Breakfast became a bit of a nightmare as the cat now meowed as soon as she poured the milk. When Edie sat at the table, Nathan Alan Willoughby jumped on top of it, meowing his turn come sooner.
When he put his paw in her cereal bowl and pulled it toward him, Edie realized the extent of her problem. No longer did she have a content cat but a roaring animal on her hands. "I've created a monster," she said.
Nathan Alan Willoughby was miserable as well. Before he was content to listen to Edie crunching on her morning granola while he sat cuddled next to her. Now, he was a slave to his taste for milk, forgetting about Edie in the process.
Edie put her foot down and decided her cat needed to go "cold turkey" without milk. It meant some sacrifices on her part, like standing up to eat her breakfast quickly instead of sitting like a civilized person.
Nathan Alan Willoughby again kept his eyes affixed to Edie's spoon-to-mouth ritual. He reached his paw to her leg to remind her he was there. When she ignored him, he dug in with his claws. That got a reaction.
Soon, Nathan Alan Willoughby was sitting in the bathroom with the door closed while Edie went about her business of eating. After a couple of days, she let him out. If he pestered her at all, he was again banished.
Going backwards from temptation would not be easy. It required a great deal of time and patience for Edie to set a good limit on her cat. It required suffering on the Nathan Alan Willoughby's part. Eventually, there was a truce. But after that one taste, there was never the same cozy morning routine again.
But, there was still love.