August 16th, 2019


Thief Ants, the Other Thants.

(title is a reference to this)

Oh Emma.

So last night, feeling desperate, I tried a different type of gushy food. I set the plate down, she came over to it, then she ran away. Then she started crying again.

So I tried again, enticing her over to me with a little bit of food on the end of a knife. I got her to sniff the knife, then she started licking it, showing no aversion to the food itself. I tried to lead her towards the plate, but she turned again and ran away, crying.

So then I picked up the plate and brought it over to her, and held it up to her. She smelled the food, and started eating, and continued to eat, just fine. She didn't gobble down the food, but she ate at a reasonable pace.

(Oh, also, she has gotten fatter again since I switched her over to the wet food, and hasn't showed any other signs of digestive trouble, so I do think that the wet food at least has been working much better for her than the dry food was. I'm still uncertain about the raw food - I think it's behaving differently in her digestive tract and may be making her feel uncomfortable, so I'm not going to push it on her.)

Instead, what I think is going on might be more psychological than physiological. I've had some tiny thief ants show up in the house, first in one of her dry food dishes, then parading across the kitchen counter into the honey and into the butter dish (jerks!). I finally collected some up and brought them into the lab where I was quickly able to identify them with a simplified ant identification key. (yay, I'm like a real myrmecologist!)

So if she's had a bad encounter with some of the thief ants in her food, I could appreciate how that would traumatize her and make her reluctant to continue trying to eat when her food is on the floor in the usual spot.

I'm hoping I don't have to hand feed her every single meal from now on. For now we'll just go one meal at a time. Poor girl. She is usually so well-behaved, but she's also really good about being very dramatic/demonstrative when she has identified that something is Wrong and needs to be Fixed.


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