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):
into this queen-sized furball.
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.