I envy those people in the pet food commercials. They just scoop a load of "Yummy Chunks" or whatever into a bowl and their pet(s) run in and contentedly eat their dinner before frolicking playfully.
Feeding our three cats and five dogs has to be planned like a military operation:
1) Fight your way to the pet food cupboard. As soon as they realise what you are up to, all five dogs will get under foot as they clamour at the cupboard door. The cats will start yowling as well, and if Rygel makes the mistake of miaowing whilst he is on the floor, Rosie will try to find him and there'll be trouble. Also if Smeagol and Spike get too close to one another, there will be an argument.
2) Prepare the cat food. Remember Rygel is on a special diet because of struvite crystals
3) Prepare the dog food. Remember:
a) Rosie needs her non-slip bowl, and special diet for her struvite problem
b) Billy has more biscuit (kibble) than the others, but mix it in well with the meat so that the others don't realise he is getting more biscuit than them. Just sprinkle Sapphire and Lily's biscuit on top of the meat so they think they are getting more than they actually are.
c) Put Dizzy's biscuit carefully to one side of his meat because he doesn't like it if they are touching.
4) Feed the cats first, because otherwise they will try to eat from the dog's bowls and there will be trouble. Feed the cats on the stairs, leaving at least one empty step between each of them to limit opportunistic grabs from someone else's bowl.
a) Spike goes on the highest step, Smeagol in the middle, and Rygel lowest down.
b) Put Smeagol's bowl down first, otherwise he will try and grab the first bowl that goes past, and spill it everywhere.
c) Put Rygel's bowl down immediately afterwards, otherwise he will simply mug Smeagol for his food.
d) Spike's bowl goes last, as by now Smeagol will be too distracted by his own bowl to try investigating Spikes.
5) Close the gate at the bottom of the stairs. Make sure all the dogs are in the kitchen (Four of them will be clamouring for food, but Dizzy may be sulking on the sofa by now). Close the gate between the kitchen and the hallway.
6) Feed Rosie in isolation between the two stair gates. If she thinks any of the others are getting close to her bowl, there will be trouble.
7) Put the other dog bowls down in the kitchen in the following order: Billy, Sapphire, Lily, Dizzy. Ensure they are well spaced out. Dizzy will try to grab from Sapphire's bowl as you put it down, but don't let him.
8) Watch all the animals like a hawk as they eat to stop any trouble before it starts.
a) Billy and Lily will finish their food within seconds, and investigate each others' empty bowls. That's fine.
b) Billy will try to steal from Sapphire's bowl. Chase him off before she does!
c) Half way through his meal, Dizzy will decide to go out for a pee. Guard his bowl for him until he gets back.
d) Once he has eaten the meat, Dizzy will take a few biscuits at a time off to a dog bed to eat. Sapphire and Billy will try to raid his bowl when he's away from it. Don't bother moving Dizzy's bowl next to the bed as he will then go somewhere else to eat.
9) Once EVERY SINGLE BISCUIT has been eaten, pick up all the bowls, and let Rosie out of solitary confinement. If there is even one biscuit on the floor, Lily and Rosie will fight over it. Before now blood has been drawn over a single leftover biscuit.
10) Put the packets of dog and cat biscuits, and unopened sachets of cat food and Rosie's food back in the cupboard and ensure the door is firmly latched, otherwise Rygel will get hungry at 3:00am, and help himself to every packet of pet food he can tear open.
11) Now relax...