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?)