Owls go by and they give me the eye*

The other evening Abby phoned and told us to quick, turn on Animal Planet. We did and there was this forlorn looking British couple explaining that it wasn’t their fault Wallace was so fat, they barely fed him a thing, no bangers or kidney, just diet cat food. They were tired of people looking at them “like we was bad cat owners and what have you.” So they took the cat to Britain’s only fat pet clinic for help where the vet suggested Wallace had a slow metabolism. He put Wallace on the scale and he weighed in at 10.1 kilos (22.26 pounds) and he was the biggest cat they had treated. They put him on a strict exercise regimen and a month later, when they made a home visit, Wallace’s mum said, “I say, it’s been a bit exhausting!” Wallace was sitting calmly on the landing while the husband and wife were flinging and chasing catnip mice about the place.

Rich and I could relate to this tale of woe. Rich’s cat, McCloud (my stepcat. I had nothing to do with his early years) is, um, large. Rich has always liked to say Cloudy is “big-boned” but now he admits that the cat is frankly obese. He weighs 23.5 pounds. Truly- we don’t let this cat eat too much. He eats a high end weight management dry food diet and that’s it. But watching that program? We realized that McCloud really doesn’t move much. He gets to the food dish a couple times a day, he rolls over and purrs a lot, he sort of sits up in an attempt to wash his stomach and he naps. He naps a lot.

McCloud is wonderfully good natured and very very happy. Unlike a very obese person he doesn’t seem a bit self conscious. He loves Sophie (more than she loves him, I think. She has to jump to the top of the refrigerator to get at her food dish ) and he loves being hauled about, although that’s difficult. On top of everything else, he is exceedingly handsome and he keeps his socks very clean.


(McCloud before the move to Chicago, at 21 pounds)

Yesterday was the first day of Cloudy’s new fitness program. This involves Rich carrying him all the way down the block and then putting him down so he has to walk home. It took McCloud about 15 minutes, numerous breaks, various attempts to lure Rich back by crying and rolling over on the sidewalk and one nap. But he made it.


(Rich gives McCloud a motivational speech before putting him down)


(He starts out with good effort…)


(but soon he looks pained and starts to complain…)


(and finally he sits down and glares)

By the time he got back to the porch he was exhausted. I’m sure he is totally confused by our intervention. This morning I chased him around the yard four times before I gave him breakfast. He seemed puzzled but agreeable as I called to him and waggled a twig in front of him. Will all this nonsense have any impact on Cloudy’s weight issues? I’ll let you know.

(* name that tune?)

28 responses to “Owls go by and they give me the eye*

  1. Hilarious. You guys are awesome pet owners — I suspect that you’ll be like the British couple — happy but exhausted yourselves. Poor McCloud — life has changed! More McCloud exercise photos, please!

  2. I don’t know the tune, but I loved the tale and the photos. Cutest thing ever (the cat, Rich, just the whole darned thing…)! I think this was just a siren song…

    It is working.

  3. I need someone to carry me down the road so that I’ll be forced to walk home.

    This slays me, it does. And that cat is amazing. 😀

  4. Will he chase a laser beam light? Our cats love it.

    The pictures are hilarious. Rich looks very trim and fit so I know he is setting a good example for his boy.

  5. I have a tee shirt that says “certified cat aerobics trainer” – you really should get one for Rich.

  6. This is great, Vicki. Those looks! If looks could sear, you’d be toast!

  7. We have been receiving similarly puzzled looks from our cats since we began a portion control program; I’m convinced they believe we are rationing the food.

  8. Eep. I’m not letting my husband read this post — he might get ideas.

    I had to google those lyrics to find the origin. But the #1 spot was… this blog post! LOL.

  9. McCloud is a very well-loved kitty cat. You and Rich are taking such good care of him. He probably thinks you’re both crazy, but then again, cats always regard humans with some condescension.

    *I don’t recognize those lyrics at all.

  10. Oh my goodness, that sweet cat needs a WIDE LOAD sign on him as he strolls down the sidewalk.

  11. Buy McCloud a puppy to keep him busy.
    Not to eat, to play with and exercise.

  12. Thank you all for your support. 🙂 Rich is in Orlando working for the day so I just finished carting McCloud down to the corner again. This time he just fell over where I put him and started to lounge in the sun until a big truck came by- that startled him to his feet and he ran all the way home.

    Mary- he has no interest in the chasing the laser light- although he loves to watch Sophie do it.
    Wren- I need that shirt. I’m going online to look.
    And no, FC, NO dogs. I just admire other people’s dogs.

    Lyrics? You’ll laugh because you DO know this song. At least Bonnie and Hoss will know it…

  13. I had to look it up, but I know it too…probably from my era, way back when.

    Maybe the saying, “Ewes not fat, ewes fluffy” fits McCloud, although I don’t think so. Sarah’s cat, Samson, is a big guy too, but he would look small compared to McCloud.

    I’ll come take him for a walk for you.

  14. My but that’s a big cat. He’s the kind a mouse walks by without a sideways glance.

    Hea, I mentioned to my nephew the drummer, who’s now a music major at the U of M, about the musician life of your son. The cheap motels and bad food didn’t faze him. “That’s the adventure,” he says.

  15. He looks so perplexed and a little sad in that last photo. I would be too, if my people made me walk back home like that…..LOL

  16. If that song doesn’t smack my eye with a big piece of pie, I give up.

    Hell, maybe it’s “Chicago” (my home town).

    Nice work with the Tubbo. I wish you fondest of fine luck.

  17. I love the Kitty Regime/fat camp. It looks like fun! Our cat is about 6 pounds, so we worry about the opposite. Is she getting enough to eat??

  18. I have a very overweight (we do not use the word obese in our house) Doberman. I shall bring her over the skyway and she and McCloud can exercise together! Does he climb trees? Just kidding.

  19. OMG, McCloud giving you “The LOOK” in that last picture. Too funny. I get that look from Patches when I tell her it’s not time for a walk yet (she’s young) and sometimes I even get a swat on the hand from her as I close the door on my way out. I guess we’ll continue our walks, although our perambulations certainly are no way to lose weight.

  20. Thankfully I’m blessed with a fast metabolism. If Mom tried to do that to me I’d have to poop on her pillow.

  21. *raises right hand wildly in the air*

    I love Nat King Cole’s version of “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” but Betsy prefers Stéphane Grappelli’s, being a nascent jazz fiddler and all. ;~)

    Rich is a cat whisperer and a scratch golfer, too?!

  22. Oh, thank you for the great laugh! I hope your McCloud gets in shape 🙂

  23. Oh god, I’m going to have to start doing this with Rocky soon, aren’t I? I was hoping the puppy would chase him around, but he’s got the puppy totally under control. The cat just raises one paw and the puppy backs off. And then Rocky goes and eats the puppy food!

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