Ed, the fat cat of French Creek, gets orders to go on a diet
I have just learned that my cat, Ed, is part of a nationwide trend. Just like the humans around him, he’s, well, expanding.
He never was a trim feline, mind you. You have never been able to see anything close to “rib definition” on his wide body. You can’t even feel his ribs.
He can take the breath out of you if you fall asleep and forget to roll onto your stomach. He believes the softest spot in the house is on a full bladder – one paw at a time.
This cat doesn’t pitter-patter across the kitchen floor; he plods. At times, I could have sworn his fat little feet would have left divots in the linoleum.
But he’s cute. That’s been my justification for letting him be the way he is. That is, until the vet got his hands on him earlier this week.
I normally don’t haul my cats to the vet unless it’s a life or death situation. Anyone who has cats knows exactly why.
Getting a cat into a car is a lot like trying to get a Republican to support an environmental measure: We all hear about it, but no one’s ever seen it firsthand.
Getting the cat to the vet is the next best thing to an appendectomy – without anesthesia. I have had cats cling to the windshield, embed themselves deep up in the car’s seats and even try to manipulate my driving by affixing themselves to my face or hiding under the brake pedal.
One cat disappeared sometime between the successful closure of my car door and the arrival at the vet’s office. It only occurred to me later that I had secured myself in the safety of the car and the cat tore away to hide under the deck.
But Eddie needed to go to the vet. He had an ear infection, and was making the rest of us crazy with all his complaining.
So I donned my protective gear – thick hockey padding, helmet and protective eyewear – and hauled Eddie to the car.
What would amount to 13 stitches later, I arrived at the vet and extracted Eddie’s claws, one by one, from me, then the roof of the car. He was not a happy camper.
The vet took one look at him.
“And what are we here for today – Oooh, we are a tubby one, aren’t we?”
“Yeah, he’s a little on the chunky -“
“A little chunky? Up on the scale, buddy-boy.”
The scale quickly zipped past 9, then careered into double digits. The vet’s jaw dropped. Even Eddie hid his eyes in shame. The poster above the scale indicated that my Eddie was “grossly obese.”
“Seventeen pounds,” the vet said. “Well. We’ll prescribe a diet and an exercise regime that’ll take off that extra 10 pounds in no time!”
“It’s simple; you’ll see.”
“Consider it playtime.”
“He … he has an ear infection,” I babbled.
“Right now I think his weight problem is a little more important,” the vet said. “So. How much does he eat every day?”
Eddie? I thought. A can of cat food, the recommended 20 to 24 meals a day, table scraps, lactose-free milk and the occasional bird or squirrel. Sounds about right to me.
The vet recommends I feed Eddie a little less food and make him play more often.
I hope he’s up for a few games of fetch. Or at least a couple of walks each day.
And she gave me some medicine for his ear.
The whole thing was so traumatic, Eddie and I both went home in search of comfort food.
That half-gallon of ice cream never tasted so good.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at
(970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. She writes
a Wednesday column for the Summit Daily News.
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