Five or six years ago, my very fat, middle-aged husband, and my very fat, middle-aged self, adopted a very fat, middle aged cat.
We thought putting her on a weight loss regimen would be easier and more successful than our own (we were wrong).
As it turns out, it’s even harder to get weight off a cat. Feed them less, they sleep more and move less (Boy, can I relate). Switch their food and they stop eating entirely and get very sick, very fast.
Within three days of changing her food over completely (we had been blending the food for two weeks prior - she ate around the new food), we woke to our cat wailing in pain.
Luckily, it was just constipation and not a bowel obstruction or kidney failure. Our vet told us that it was safer for our cat to be fat than to stop eating, and that cats were very difficult to successfully slim down. Keeping her as active as possible by playing with her and keeping her from gaining might be the best we could accomplish (Again, I SO can relate).
To hear our cat tell it (which she does consistently and loudly throughout the day), we treat her very poorly indeed. Sad cat diary on youtube has a cheerful tone, in comparison.
Before you call the Humane society to report our neglect, you really need to understand the extent of our abuse of her.
We’ve learned that we cannot allow the bottom of the white food dish to become exposed. She will howl until we come to shake the dish or add more food to cover the dreaded “white spot.”
Likewise, she will howl if anything is contaminating her water dish, whether it be a bug, a cat hair, or a bit of kibble backwash (she actually drinks with her mouth full of kibble).
She also likes to have company when she eats (or poops) and will howl until we comply.
She can no longer jump onto the bed or couch by herself, so she will meow, howl, or grumble until we pick her up and place her wherever she wants to be, and then repeats the routine five minutes later to be somewhere else.
She also has learned to demand air-conditioning. She will settle herself comfortably on her back, in just the right spot in the path of the air conditioner vent and yowl for room service.
She has learned how to “ask” us to play her favorite games - by scratching the box where hubby keeps his laser pointer, or at his ipad for kitty video games or at my Nook for cat youtube videos (not videos of cats, videos FOR cats to watch. Aquarium fish, birds and squirrels at a feeder…)
When we first started using the game aps and youtube videos, for an instant, I thought our cat must be the most spoiled and over-indulged cat on the planet, until I realized someone had to program those apps and make those videos, probably for their own cat.
Yes, our kitty girl has it rough. We’ve never written a game ap for her, or videoed birds in the snow for her amusement.
She does have a pile of toys she guards whenever anyone comes to visit. She sits on the pile until she’s convinced that no one is going to steal her toys. Then she makes the rounds, greeting each guest (especially any who are allergic) and meows, grumbles, and yowls to anyone who might listen. I don’t speak cat, nor do our guests, but we’re pretty sure from her tone, she is lodging her complaints against our ill treatment of her. How we never feed her, or give her any attention whatsoever.
She HAS convinced many guests that our no-junk-food rule is completely unreasonable. One friend in particular will bring ranch flavor Doritos to any social gathering so that he can slip some to the cat. She loves her favorite uncle very much.
Poor girl, such a rough existence.