Scooby the cat may be defined as a “social eater”.
I did a little research, with the emphasis on “little”, and found people describing Scooby’s unusual behavior. What does he do? When he is hungry he will come near me and sit and stare at me for as long as it takes for me to get up. Then he leads me to the kitchen where his food bowls are. If they are empty, I give him some food. That sounds like reasonable behavior–I am out of food! More often than not, there is food in the bowl and he just begins eating it. If I walk out of the room, when he notices, he will stop eating and follow me, and do the whole staring routine over again, until I return to the food bowl. Then he eats some more. If he looks like he is about to stop eating, or does stop, if I immediately scratch his head, he eats more. I need to stand there until he is finished. If I leave, he will follow me out, and bother me until I go back to the food bowl and watch him eat. When he is done, then he will wander off. If I am not around, he will eat on his own.
He eats when other cats are eating also OK. There have been no changes in the household whatsoever.
Is this an actual condition or not? I read several explanations. I don’t play with him enough so he does it for attention. Not likely. Or he was confined in a cage for a long time and only ate when a human brought him food. Possible. Or he just likes company. It took me a while to figure out I needed to stay by the bowl until he was done. It would be nice if he would go out into the kitchen and eat on his own. There are no issues with drinking out of water bowls.