After looking at the photo of Hazel, our timid chubster, I realized that I have to get serious about a diet – for her, not me!
She would be considered morbidly obese if she were a human. Because of her weight she is susceptible to many chronic diseases.
Some of them require medications. Diabetes requires two injections a day. It’s best to keep her healthy for my sake.
It all comes from kitty issues when she was a baby. She was one of an outdoor semi-feral litter that nobody wanted. Based on the way she reacts when people (even me her adoring feeder) are near, I suspect she was chased or harassed or bullied as a youngster.
She was surrendered to a rescue group when she was six months old and full of parasites. Because I am a sucker for the underdog (or undercat) I adopted her despite the fact that she wasn’t the playful, adoring kitten who climbed in your lap.
She eats to medicate herself for stress or because she fears there will not be another meal (after living with me for 8 years, really?).
Those scars run deep. Perhaps a therapist would be in order but would she fit on the couch?
She fell out of a second story window under my watch when she was young. That’s how she got her last name of Wallenda. She did it with grace and did not hurt anything but her pride. Of course, I was nuts. You can read about it here.
Other than that, she has had a great life. Playmates, regular meals, catnip, toys, windows, sunny beds – what more can a cat ask for? So where is this stress coming from?
I had two other cats but they liked her. What’s not to like? She is not an alpha cat. She’s not even a beta cat. According to the Greek alphabet omega is the last letter and she’s it.
Putting one cat on a diet means putting all four on restrictive eating patterns (doesn’t that sound better?). I had been cutting back on the food because Morgan (the new Miss Smarty Pants cat) doesn’t eat wet food. That was just giving another portion to Hazel.
Morgan’s dry food, which is high-powered (high calorie) for her high energy, is on top of a high boy dresser. Hazel couldn’t get up there unless she lost a lot of weight. A lot of weight!
Back to the diet – last night’s supper was the first “diet meal.” It didn’t take long before Hazel, a normally silent cat, was bellyaching sitting next to her empty (and completely licked clean) dish. We muddled through the night with some soulful looks and soft meows.
This morning she was so ready for breakfast. Unfortunately, this didn’t go as she planned either. I gave her a normal serving. By 9:30 a.m. she was fairly loud about her stomach pains. I relented a little and gave her a tablespoon full of dry. (Sure let’s teach her that looking sad gets you what you want. This is where I question my parenting skills)
Normally there is dry food available for them all to eat whenever they want. All my other cats have self-control. Hazel is the first one who will eat until the food is gone. We can’t do that anymore. I now have three cranky cats.
There is no Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem for cats. Where is Jillian Michaels when you need her? Weight Watchers for cats? It’s going to be a long summer.
Miss Smarty Pants can still eat whenever she wants.