Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Feline Of Substance


It's possible our cat Tater is overweight. That, at least, is the unsolicited opinion of most of our visitors. One very polite friend admired our cat appropriately and so I asked him if he thought she was fat, and he snapped off the yes before I even got the "t" in "fat" all-the-way pronounced.

We don't see it that way. We prefer to use the terms "sturdy" or "substantial" to describe her, and in any case she seems to be the exact right size to contain her Taterness without risking anything blowing up. She's never eaten anything more than a level half cup of store kibble a day, and she's apparently devoted all of that fuel, after basic maintenance, to the Apron Project. As a result, there's enough exterior Tater for the interior Tater to be able to roll around inside and find the cool spots. When she rests with her paws tucked under, she looks like a sentient meatloaf. But calling her fat is like saying Vin Diesel is a little chunky. You just wouldn't.  It all seems essential.

But maybe we're blind to her condition. When a beloved companion packs it on, every day, a few cat molecules at a time, the mind does not register the change. This is the same reason a man might develop a truly mockable combover. He starts young, arranging a spare fluff of working hair over a spot that's starting to slack off, and starching it with Product, and he checks the result in the mirror and proclaims that all is well. Day by day he presses his remaining follicles into service for the cause, receives optimistic reports from the front, and believes the enemy is in retreat. Ultimately he is cultivating strands from further and further south and demanding more and more of them, trusting always in his sycophantic mirror.

It's also how you lose half of your wildlife in forty years, frog by bird by tiger. You can still hear the roar of traffic and the drone of the air conditioner and the comforting clamor of motor and machinery, and you start to forget what you used to be able to hear. You see your own life reflected back at you, busy with vitally important things that didn't even used to exist and enough
paraphernalia to replace your mind and muscle, and you think: yes. That looks right. That's how it's always been.

It's how you crash all the fish in the sea. It's how you get a Donald Trump and his fuzzy crown of tonsorial vapor.

God, we need to get that cat on a diet.

35 comments:

  1. See what you've done, Tater? It's all a consequence of your being overweight.

    Everyone has blinders on; we only see that which we expect to see. You could even say that we each live in a universe of one, because each of us perceives it through our own perceptual filter. Trump obviously looks in the mirror and sees a young, virile man looking back at him. All the jokes about his hair, he no doubt chalks up to jealousy. And no one in his inner circle is about to tell him otherwise, because he has money/power. If you or I were made fun of in this fashion, we would probably at least ask ourselves if our critics have a point. His ego is so large (anyone who runs for president must have a ginormous ego) that it never even occurs to him that his critics are right and he may be wrong.

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    1. I'm shocked that Mr. Trump does not realize people are laughing at him. His slapdash, from-the-hip opinions beside, he is a truly revolting character.

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  2. Wait, did you just call Trump fat?

    You might expect some nasty tweets soon.

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    1. If Trump tweets in a forest, and there's no twitter account to receive it, is it still obnoxious? Wait a minute. I HAVE a twitter account. I suppose I ought to have a look sometime.

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  3. I think he looks a little chunky and if no one is feeding him under the table, then I would not worry about it.

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    1. Tater wouldn't even take anything anything under the table unless it was an Iams kibble, and just from the orange bag, please. Never saw a mammal that uninterested in food.

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  4. At last we have found someone to blame for our current unfortunate choices within the Republican party. Thanks, Tater.

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  5. Where did you find the exact right shade of fluff to Trump Tater with? Or with which to Trump Tater, if you prefer.

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    1. Why, that would be our lovely grand-dog Dana who was the toupee donor. We entertained her for a week a while back and I still believe I could scoop up enough to felt a whole new dog, just along the baseboards.

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  6. How concise you are! You have identified a world of problems and their causes in one short post! In my next life I want to be a writer as good as you. Or a backup singer for Tina Turner.

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    1. Rollin'. Rollin'.

      Half the time I don't even know where I'm going with these things. You just never know.

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  7. Speaking as the owner of three cats, one of which is fluffy, one of which is "fluffy" if you get my drift and one of which is obese, I'm just going to say that Tater looks fine to me.

    I am flummoxed as to how to reduce our obese girl's girth. She is too smart for her own good, and too vocal for mine. She gagged up two different kinds of diet food with increasing frequency until she had to be returned to the special diet she was used to. I tried enticing her to walk by carrying her food bowl a little further each day; after day three she deliberately and dramatically FELL OVER and stared at me. I try enticing her to play and she just stares at me. I don't think this is going to end well.

    All that to head off the raised eyebrows that I'm sure the words "obese cat" may have caused ... I'm trying my best ...

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    1. Tater looks fine to me too. That first picture is deceiving. That's not her best angle. She's lost a pound at least already just because Dave has lowered her daily intake below one-half cup. Doesn't seem like enough to operate a cat, but it is.

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  8. Both of our cats have what our vet calls 'fat pads'.
    Both of them are better looking, smarter and kinder than Trump. Despite me described Jazz as a psycho cat.
    Tater is just fine. And better without the Trump 'do.

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  9. I agree with all the above :); and we had a marmalade cat who grew to 30 lbs on 1/2 cup of food a day. He was our guard cat and would actually growl if an unknown person opened the front door without knocking.

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    1. A THIRTY POUND CAT? Holy crap me Jesus, as Dave is prone to saying when a more suitable phrase doesn't come to mind.

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  10. Have his thyroid levels checked. Maggie used to be 19 pounds and is now 10.5. It's doable.

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    1. Gad noooo! Larry had thyroid problems. I can't even remember what she had in the way of symptoms. We irradiated her (complete story in Trousering Your Weasel) and got another three years out of her before her kidneys went haywire. This cat isn't old enough for that nonsense yet, says I, and I don't care who tells me diff'rent.

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    2. We've had our girl's bloodwork done, but now I'll make sure that the thyroid test was one of them!

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  11. I see Ms Tater has a fashionable red claw cover. Stretch that belly out and she's almost svelte. My Ms. Chaplin has the same condition on the same amount of dry kibble. But we do manicures.

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    1. You can actually stretch that belly out a long, long ways. We call it Long Kitty and it is a position of complete vulnerability and trust. Manicures don't cut it with this cat. I mean, she'll take them, but she still shreds the furniture. Nail caps it is.

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  12. Tater is not fat, my beloved cat Simone was as skinny as Barney Fife when rescued from dumpster diving, she took to that half cup of kibble and somehow turned it into the proverbial loves and fishes. We never gave her more than prescribed but some how she was able to turn it into 13 pounds of, I'm never going back to that dumpster again.

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    1. I am so relieved to hear this. AND so happy to hear from you!

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  13. I don't think Tater is fat. My Angel is on the heavy side and gets a 1/4 cup of kibble in the kitchen bowl and a 1/4 cup of kibble in the back porch bowl, along with half an 85g can of wet food for breakfast and the other half at dinner. He rarely finishes either and the kibble just sits there until he wants a snack, some days I don't top up the back porch bowl at all. Yet the vet says he wouldn't like to see Angel gain any more weight. He's about 12 pounds, a long cat with medium long fur. He looks a little thinner now that I let him outside a couple of times a day.

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    1. That's a lot more than Tater eats, but she was weighing 15 pounds (down a little now). She's an indoor cat because of that pesky invasive-species thing. She would LOVE to go out and pounce on birds and other wildlife but I'm keeping this python out of the Everglades.

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  14. Monkeyboy weighs in at about 16 pounds. Last time he was at the vet, the vet actually said he "just has big bones." I'm sure he's overeating, whenever I give him a spoonful of tinned cat food, I have to announce to my husband that the Monk was just fed. Otherwise, just like a teenager who's exhausted the patience of one parent, turns to the other for permission/money/whatever. Monkey sits mournfully on the floor beside me, gently patting my arm with his paw, practicing his starving-cat routine: "Please, sir. May I have some more?" I fall for it every time.

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    1. You remind me of one of the funniest things I ever heard--all credit to Frequent Commenter Ed's partner. He overheard a woman in his Fat Acceptance Group tell everyone she's always had big bones. "Yuh," he said, under his breath. "Big, jiggly bones."

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  15. After putting that "Donald" on Tater's head you better sleep with one eye open.

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    1. Rest assured Tater evicted it from her head as soon as her arms were freed up.

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  16. Comb-over as metaphor for nature's demise. Nicely done. Is it not weird that we resent the suggestion that our pets are fat, for crying out loud?

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    1. Now that you mention it, yeah. The heck with it. Tater is perfect.

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  17. It isn't often I find someone to recommend this book to, but here you go. I'm sure the library has it (actually I'm not sure at all) "How to massage your cat" by Alice Brock.....the same Alice referenced by Arlo in "Alice's Restaurant".

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