I didn't know till after I wrote this post that today is World Cat Day. But we here at MMINAE are nothing if not topical.
I don't know how much of this story I've told on here before, but bear with me on whatever you've already read. The combination of menopausal brain mush + too lazy to read own archives = frequently repetitive, ok?
Two years ago, an ex co-worker of mine was moving and was desperate to find a new home for her two cats. She didn't want to separate them, plus they were nine and ten years old. People were not exactly jumping out of the woodwork offering to take a pair of middle-aged kittehs. Thus Toby and Eddie entered my life. It was a great decision for all involved. They proved to be super awesome cats and we love them.
Super awesome, um, large cats, as you may or may not remember from pictures I've posted on here. They were obese when they came to live with us, Eddie in particular, and while I thus claimed it was not *my* fault, they certainly weren't getting any trimmer on my watch. Well, this past May, I realized that hey! these cats have not been to the vet since I've owned them and thus were at least a year overdue on shots, etc. So I called the traveling house-call vet and arranged an appointment for them both. In all honesty, one of the reasons I'd procrastinated on this was that I knew the vet was going to tell me Eddie needed to be on a diet, and I was dreading that.
Bingo! All Eddie's (and Toby's) test results were fine and they were both in perfect health, but Eddie weighed 20 lbs. And was featured on the vet's website/blog as an example of how tough it is for pet owners to be motivated to get their animals to lose weight since fat cats "are so darn cute." Cue picture of Fat Eddie, zonked on kitty valium for his blood work, in all his adorable portly glory.
Yes, my cat was a poster child for The Obesity Epidemic.
My friends were evenly divided on whether they thought that this was hilarious or that I should be outraged that the vet used my cat on his blog without my express permission.
Anyway, I figured I had better make at least a token effort at slimming poor Edward down and he wasn't about to take up jogging, alright? One thing the vet had said was that we should stop feeding them fish-based cat food and switch to meat flavors because the fish was higher in protein and older cats could have trouble with too much protein. So, okay, I immediately stopped buying them the Fancy Feast classic seafood flavors and got the Fancy Feast classic meat and poultry flavors instead. Secondly, instead of only *usually* getting the dry cat food for "older indoor" cats, I switched to it solely, even when the other dry cat food was on a good sale. Eye roll. And thirdly, we stopped giving them so many treats. Why, yes, my cats do eat wet food, dry food, and treats. What has that got to do with their obesity problem? In fairness, Toby eats mostly the wet food and Eddie eats mostly the dry, but they do each eat some of both which is why we have both.
Maybe a month or so ago, I started thinking Eddie was looking a little thinner. I kinda thought it was wishful thinking on my part, because seriously, we were NOT making any serious changes, just the little ones above. Eddie still had a bowl of dry food he could eat whenever he wanted, even if it was low calorie dry food. He still had wet food to share with Toby twice a day, even if it wasn't his preferred wet food. And he still got treats ON OCCASION, not every time he friggin' meowed. Then we started to notice that he was jumping up places he couldn't/wouldn't before, being much more agile. I figured that it wasn't totally in my imagination--Eddie's losing weight.
So I got my son to weigh him. Weighs himself. Weighs himself holding (squirming) Eddie. Does the math. Eddie weighs 15 lbs. Can't be right. I try. Weigh myself. Weigh myself holding Eddie... Holy crap, he does weigh 15 lbs. Eddie's lost a quarter of his body weight in 3 months with these little tiny lifestyle changes.
It kinda scared me. Like, this is too rapid a weight loss. So I started feeding him a few more treats. Ahem.
I just need to extrapolate this into human terms and make a fortune selling my miracle painless weight loss plan to America. Unfortunately, I think Eddie's dieting success might be like the time my dad's doctor told him he was getting a little chunky, so he dieted for the first time in his entire life (by switching from regular soda to diet and stopping eating candy *every* day) and lost 30 lbs in a month. There's some kind of golden ticket there. The first time you seriously try to lose weight, it falls off like the leaves in October. All subsequent attempts never go quite so smoothly.
Besides, most people probably won't eat diet kibble. And they know how to open the cabinet where the treats are kept. Opposable thumbs n' all. My plan needs work before it makes me millions.
Here's a good before shot:
I'd show you an after, but Eddie refuses to flex for the camera. Progress pics, Edward: yur doin it rong.