So Much Kitty Kibble, So Little Time

I took my neurotic, chirping, one year-old, emergency backup sidekick cat, Lily, to the vet today, for her first annual checkup.

She did not appreciate it when I removed her from her sun-drenched post at the front door and unceremoniously stuffed her into her crate, then ran her out to the car and dumped her into the backseat.

Certainly, she thought she was being kidnapped (I was going to say “catnapped,” but that means something else entirely) and complained loudly during what must have been an excruciatingly nerve-wracking, seven-minute ride.

What’s to become of my water bowl? My fuzzy pink mouse? My luscccious catnip toys? WHO’S WATCHING THE DOOR?? Meow!!! I haven’t used the litterbox yet!!!

Lily calmed down slightly once she was out of the car, and she was uncharacteristically cooperative while being pawed (har) on the slippery, metal examination table. She didn’t even flinch during two surprise needle pokes.

She is healthy, happy, soft and bright-eyed. She is now up to date on all of her shots. And she received a courtesy nail trim.

However, the good doctor informs me that in contrast to her overall excellent health and relatively slow, steady heartrate, she suffers from a — get this; I still can’t believe it — “compulsive eating disorder.”

Translation: My assumption that she would use good cat sense and only eat what she needed when she needed it (that’s what the book said, dammit) was WRONG WRONG WRONG.

In one short year, she has evolved from this tiny ball of fluff (seen here snoozing on Abby’s lap):

sleepykitten.jpg

into this queen-sized furball.

fatcat.jpg

Um. Oops.

She has eaten reduced-calorie dry food for most of her life. As a baby, she even preferred the low-cal, indoor-lazy-cat kibble over higher-fat kitten food.

But still, images of an embarrassing, tell-it-all documentary keep flashing through my brain. Something along the lines of Supersize Me, the Feline Edition. Maybe I’ll rename her Morgan Spurlock and send her out on a media tour. Of course, I am the bad guy in this situation, to be sternly reprimanded and forced to enroll in remedial pet nutrition courses.

I am now faced with a challenge. I have to figure out how to feed this not-so-little-anymore compulsive eater, in small, scheduled, diet-plate sized meals, and keep her away from her older sibling’s bowl, until she manages to lose…

27% of her body weight.

Which, according to the vet, might take two or three years.

There is a bright side, of course. As eating disorders go, this could be worse, right? She doesn’t have kitty bulimia. She is not secretly purging herself with liver-flavored Ex Lax. The vet did NOT recommend Cat Psychotherapy (which really should be given a more honest name, if you ask me, like “Put All Your Money In My Wallet, Sucker.”)

The reason that cats appealed to me in the first place was because I thought they were low maintenance pets. But of course, there is no effective short cut here.

Lily’s joining Weight Watchers. Today.

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8 responses to “So Much Kitty Kibble, So Little Time

  1. Ohmygosh. That is some of the funniest writing I’ve read since I finished Dave’s last book. Especially this part:

    There is a bright side, of course. As eating disorders go, this could be worse, couldn’t it? She doesn’t have kitty bulimia. She is not secretly purging herself with liver-flavored Ex Lax. The vet did NOT recommend Cat Psychotherapy (which really should be given a more honest name, if you ask me, like “Put All Your Money In My Wallet, Sucker.”)

    *snork*

    Sadly, I don’t have to worry about that problem anymore. My kitty went to the big catnip bed in the sky last year. All we have left is Flop, last of my African Clawed Frogs. We’ve never taken her to the vet, but I’m quite sure we’d find she’s overweight if we took her. She luuuvs black crickets, but darn it, those buggers are hard to catch. I’m glad we have a fence around our backyard, because if the neighbors ever saw mom and me hopping around trying to get Flop’s dinner into a plastic cup, they’d think we were nuts. Well, more than they already do. :-)

    Wow, thanks for that compliment, B. I love the image of you and your mom, darting around the backyard trying to catch crickets. Maybe, I dunno, try using your tongue? Ew — never mind. ;) -KDF

  2. Kitty Bulimia WBAGNFARB.

    And I must say, she is one fat cat.

    NTTAWWT

    *holds up lighter for Kitty Bulimia*

    Yep. Not her most flattering angle, but she is, indeed. And even while the vet’s trying to tell me that there IS something wrong with that… she’s lively. She’s happy! *sigh* -KDF

  3. I laughed. Until. I. Cried.

    But then….you already knew that! :p

  4. lmao….that is too funny. I’m sure it’s not for you. My grandma had the fattest darn dog around and all it ate was science diet. It’s a ploy…gotta be. When my grandma passed I got the dog and started feeding it Walmart brand food. Now a vet would faint if they knew that but the dog lost weight…lots of it. So there Science Diet!!

  5. My cat is supposed to be an indoor cat–front and back declawed–but he keeps escaping. He’s always been a thin cat, but now he’s down right skinny! I had to buy him a higher calorie food. And I added canned food to help him gain a little. He’s still too skinny. Oh, and did I mention, my cat has a depression problem? Seriously. Every now and again (if he feels wronged) he gets depressed. His depression causes him to not only stop eating, but to also get a kidney infection! It just gets worse and worse until the depression goes away. Then the kidney infection clears up immediately. No medication required.

  6. Don’t start the canned stuff unless you’re prepared to keep it up. It’s amazing how discerning and picky those kitties get once they’ve had the good stuff. We fed a stray for a while last year that was so ravenous it would eat anything edible. We started out giving it dry stuff, then mom found some cans on sale and spoiled it. The next time I took out a pan of dry, that thing looked at me reproachfully like I’d betrayed it, let out an indignant “rrrraaarrrr” sound, and scampered off the porch to sulk.

  7. Very very funny. And yeah, it might take two to three years. At least your vet was honest. And you’re doing this early in her life.

    Our dog was overweight before we adopted her, and then we overfed her. She did lose the weight, but only after she’d sprained her wrist, and actually went through hydrotherapy (yes, there is a dog pool in NYC that specializes in this), and WE went through feeding retraining.

    I actually think it’s a lot harder to diet a cat than to diet a dog, especially an inside cat. And a multi-cat household is a bigass challenge. Good luck!

  8. Pingback: You Would Think « Why Would I Sleep?

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