Home Alone

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Purred: Fri Sep 30, '11 6:11pm PST 
Smokey will not eat unless we are home and sitting at the table eating ourselves(sometimes just being in the room is fine). We were told this is a trait of a Maine Coon. Were also told to never leave a Coon alone for than 12 hours.
When we come back home, his food untouched. He won't eat till we say Hi, pet and play with him for a few minutes. Then he will eat. Worries us because we need to be away sometimes for a long period.
Does anyone else have this problem?