Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House




We were sitting around a few evenings ago, with my wife, Vivian petting our kitty, Skittles.

The cat was in her usual late-in-the-day spot on the arm of Vivian’s recliner. Also as usual, Skittles was purring non-stop. She might have shut down her purr motor if she had understood a comment Vivian made.

“I think maybe we should enroll Skittles in Overeaters Anonymous,” she said.

It was not an idle observation because Skittles is a fat cat.

She got that way and stays that way because she eats a lot.

We don’t limit our cats to set amounts of food. They can have as much as they want and Skittles wants to eat plenty and often.

Regular cat food makes Skittles sick. Because of that, she gets special food for cats with sensitive stomachs. Our other cat, Ozrow, has to make do with plain old dry cat food.

While he thrives on it, he likes to sneak bites from the dish reserved for Skittles whenever he can.

He knows he is not supposed to eat it, so he makes a game out of outwitting us, much like a kid sneaking into the cookie jar.

The only way to protect the Skittles food dish from her ever-sneaky kitty housemate is to put it up in a cabinet when she isn’t eating. The problem with that is we have to go put it down for her when she is hungry. We get a lot of exercise running back to the utility room, where she eats, either putting the dish up or setting it down. It seems like every few minutes she wants a bit more.

I am not sure if she is really hungry all that much or if she just enjoys the attention she gets by making us run to do her bidding. She normally gets a pat on the head every time we set the dish out for her and that may be as much of a driving force in her food demands as her tummy.

Skittles is not a big cat. I guess she would be considered average size. She looks bigger than she actually is because her tummy droops and she is round in the middle. She has kind of short legs, so she resembles a small barrel mounted on toothpicks when viewed from some angles. We’ve never weighed her, but we know she is heavy for a cat her overall size. It’s almost impossible to hear her purr because she has so much fat and fur around her. Sometimes we can only tell she is purring by putting a hand on her and feeling the vibrations.

She doesn’t get much exercise outdoors. Ozrow goes out and runs around, while Skittles is content to spend most of her time on the deck.

I don’t think she qualifies for Weight Watchers, mainly because she wouldn’t want to attend the meetings. So it’s up to us to help her watch her weight and to be honest we don’t do a good job of it. We tried putting her on a diet once. She acted so pathetic and starving we soon gave up.

I suppose we’ll just let her keep eating and retain her well rounded figure.

Headlines of the Day