Friday, January 7, 2011

Fat Cats

No, not talking about greedy bankers or crooked politicians, although I’d have plenty to say about those as well. I’m talking about actual, fat cats. Overweight felines. Namely my own two specimens, Lily and Tom. I have decided to put the two of them on a diet.

They really do have an easy life. Lily gets up around 6.30, jumps off her radiator bed and jogs into our bedroom. She then jumps onto the bed, walks over Mr S and lands on my stomach with just enough force to wake me up. There was a time when I didn’t always wake up to this. It was some time ago now and Lily weighed a lot less. Tom usually sleeps in the bed with us, at the foot of the bed, unmoving no matter how much Mr S and I may toss and turn at night. Tom’s bulk helps him stay anchored to his chosen spot all night long. Quite an impressive bulk, I might add, at least for a cat. Or a small child.

So, before Tom and Lily head down the route taken by my cousin’s cat whose belly dragged the floor on the rare occasions he decided to walk anywhere rather than being carried around by my well-meaning aunt, I have put them on a diet. They’re not seeing the benefits of this and are quite disgusted at this recent development. Their bowl has always been full of kibble, Mr S and I filling it to the brim whenever we left the house just to make sure the little furballs wouldn’t go hungry. How could they?! They sleep all day and most of the night, too. When I come home from work I’m met by two cats stretching in the kitchen looking like I do first thing in the morning, blinking at the bright daylight and looking vaguely displeased at having to be awake in the first place. Usually there are two, still warm, cat-shaped indentations on our bed.

We have started giving Tom and Lily food only once a day. In the evenings, around 7pm. You’d think they’d wolf down whatever was put in front of them, especially there not being anything else available to them all day long. Wrong. They sniff the food, take a bite and then wander off. Snobby eaters. I gave them some leftover ham the last day. Tom played with his piece for a while, Lily pushed hers around the kitchen until she found a suitable spot for it and then walked away. Tom stared at his piece, seemingly trying to will it to move to make the hunt a bit more interesting and failing to do so, returned to his spot on the couch and went back to sleep.

Mr S has two cats at his hotel. He said he gave them a tin of cat food each the last night. The food was gone in a flash, the cats’ heads firmly inside the tins until every scrap of food was definitely gone. Then Rocky and Molly returned to their normal activities, hunting mice and birds around the hotel and occasionally sneaking inside and stretching in front of the fire.

I feel responsible for my pets’ wellbeing and obesity is a big problem. Tom already has had kidney stones of whatever the feline equivalent is called, and the vet told us in no uncertain terms that they were likely to reoccur unless he lost some weight. Lily used to be quite a svelte cat. Now, when she sits up in a certain way, she looks like a white penguin. I’m sure I will find a protest-poo somewhere surprising quite soon. I’m also preparing to be ignored in a way only cats cab master. You’ve never felt as small and insignificant until you’ve been ignored by a cat. Trust me.

But it is for their own good. 

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