Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fat and happy is a good thing (part 2)

Fat and happy is a good thing, right?

Most of our animals are a little on the hefty side, some more so then others. Blake definitely takes the cake, weighing in at 25 pounds. Now, before you turn me in to the Humane Society, let me just say in my defense: I have tried!

Blake gets NO treats, NO people food, and is on Indoor Light cat food. He gets the minimum portion of food as directed by the cat food manufacturer.

He is that fat because he is just THAT LAZY.

I've asked at my veterinarian if there is something else I can do, and one vet in the group practice suggested that we get a doggie treat ball so that he has to play with it to eat. I was doubtful, but tried it anyway. When I went back to the vet (for something else) I complained, "He's not interested! He understands what to do but just won't get into it!" The vet's shocking reply, "Well, he must not be hungry enough!"

Excuse me?

I am NOT going to starve my pet . . . that's not the solution.

On another trip to the vet's office, a different vet in the practice (and on a side note, my favorite vet there) walked in to the room and took one look at Blake and said, "Why, that's a round one!"

I explained to him my woes to date, Blake's disinterest in the doggie treat ball for dinner, and then said to him, seriously worried, "Tell it to me straight. If the Humane Society saw him would I be in jail?"

Oh, how he laughed! He said if that were so, half his clients would be in jail with me. I told him that Blake is on a strict diet, and when I try cutting back too much on the food then he and Bunny start fighting. He reassured me that there just isn't much a person can do, and although he didn't disagree openly with his colleague's bright idea of using a doggie treat ball for exercise, he definitely didn't seem very keen on it as a viable option for a cat diet.

And, despite the fact that I just described three vet visits in quick succession, Blake is (other than being overweight) actually quite healthy. I did not have him with me on all these vet trips, sometimes I was just talking about him when I had someone else there. I don't think that first vet that I was talking about ever saw Blake at all.

Okay, so that was the first part of my defense. The second part is that we have a laser pointer, and Blake is not interested in that either (what kind of cat is not interested in a laser pointer?!). We keep trying, and he looks like an elephant dancing for the 15 seconds that he will play with it, and then he just sits and stares at the little red dot.  His eyes follow it, but he's either too tired or too unmotivated to chase it.  Does he think he's exercising his eyeballs?

But Georgie is another story!

It is the most crazy-funny thing I've ever seen in my life. I was playing with him last night, and I could not stop laughing. You could probably hear me outside.

I keep the laser pointer on a shelf out of reach of the dog, and I try to use it every few days. It is really good exercise for Georgie, if no one else.

Every time it's laser pointer time, it starts out the same way.  I have to walk through the kitchen to get it off the shelf, and no matter how sly I am, Georgie knows that I've got it in my hand.  He starts running before I even turn it on. But he's in the kitchen on the linoleum floor, and he can't get traction, so you hear this skitter-scrape-skitter cartoon-like scrabbling as he tries to get out of the kitchen.

It gets worse.

Georgie especially loves it when I take down the baby gate so he can use the hallway for extra running room.  He can really pick up some speed, and sometimes as he rounds the corner the angle of his body is so extreme while he runs it looks like his legs are sticking out of the side of his body.

If you could see his legs; they're just a blur of wavy lines, like when they slow down a bullet in the movies and you can see the air rippling away from it.  Or in the summer when it's really hot and heat radiates off the pavement.

Last night Ernie's cube was in the hallway and Ernie was sitting next to it when I took down the gate. Ernie likes to play with the dot too, so I just started running the light up and down the hallway for Georgie, and didn't pay much attention to Ernie.

The first pass Ernie was still sitting next to his cube. He saw Georgie coming and stretched his front paws forward and dove into his cube. Georgie sailed over Ernie's back legs that were left sticking out of the hole.

Ernie stayed in the safety of the cube and peered out, watching the show as Georgie kept zinging past. Once Ernie came out and just had to jump back in when he heard Georgie coming. Except he tripped over himself on the way in, and Georgie leaped over the tangled legs again. Ernie twisted sideways, frozen mid-dive and looking confused as he watched Georgie thunder to the end of the hall and came whizzing back.

I think it's so funny because Ernie isn't scared of Georgie, and Georgie is only focused on the crazy red dot; he's not chasing Ernie or being mean at all.  I honestly can't tell if Ernie stays in his cube because he doesn't want to get plowed over (which has happened, to no apparent ill effect), or because he thinks of it as front row seats to a show.

Back and forth, up and down the hallway, Georgie chases the glorious red dot, and every time he passes the cube, Ernie sticks his paw out like he's trying to grab (or perhaps trip) him as he runs by.

Hooting and gleeful, we all continued for a bit until something happened that turned my normal level of hilarity into a supernatural shout.  The hacking kind of growling laugh that makes your throat hurt. The red dot was down at the end of the hallway, and Georgie was getting tired and not right on its tail, when all of a sudden Blake popped out of the bedroom door to get the dot.

He was really excited for a fraction of a second, couldn't believe his good luck that he got control of the dot. Innocently, stubbornly, his paw tapped at the maddening crimson spot, which of course--unfailingly--refused to be caught.  But soon his world of crickets and birdsong was interrupted by the sound of Georgie barreling down the hallway. Cartoon style, his eyes bugged out of their sockets to hang dangling in mid-air on their stalks, and his mouth fell open more dramatically than any Macaulay Culkin.

I felt a little bad because Blake is so scared of Georgie, and I know it very well. But it was over in the blink of an eye, so I didn't feel that bad. I don't think Georgie even saw Blake, he was so focused on the red dot of goodness. Blake beat feet over the opposite way that he had come (it's a weird hallway) and Georgie flipped around and chased the red dot back into the dining room.

As soon as Georgie left, I saw Blake slink back into the bedroom, but he's so fat when he slinks he looks like he has a load in his pants.

I couldn't keep going after that . . . I had collapsed.


Kate said...

A friend of mind posted this on my Facebook, but it really should be a comment, so here you go!

She is referring to this post and also to: http://kate4148.blogspot.com/2009/08/ohio-other-side-of-country-or-world.html

"I liked your last two blogs about Ohio and Blake. Reminded me of when I went to Pennsylvania a few years ago and I asked where a local where Starbucks was. He looked at me like I was nuts and said, 'There is a donut shop down the street we don't have Starbucks.' It is hard to beat Oregon!! I also told [my husband] about Blake. He always likes the update."

Thank you!

Pat Tillett said...

I love cats!
we are down to 3 currently. We had to put down my big boy about a month ago...I'm still smarting over it...There's an entry on my blog about. "RIP Big Boy"

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