Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mabel's Big Problem

Now that we have poked our heads into the year 2008, looked around and decided to proceed onward, I suppose it is time to put the brakes on the holiday eating spree that I began around October of 2008.  As you can see from picture above, Mabel the Cat has been on the same eating plan, but for years now.  

Months ago, we took her to the vet for a more-than-disturbing lump on her tail and, for a total of $75.00 found out that 1) the lump is probably a liquid-filled non-malignant tumor that could blow at anytime and 2) our little Mabel is obese and should be placed on a diet.  I think the first piece of information is far more interesting than the second. The anticipation of the tumor-explosion has added a certain level of excitement around the house, especially when the cat chooses to sit on your lap or the lap of an unsuspecting visitor.

HOB forbade me to feed Mabel after hearing from the vet that the cat needed to lose weight.    He was stimulated into quick and sure action after listening to the doctor and was determined to get the weight off and keep it off.  It was as if he had just watched an infomercial and had ordered the diet plan for three easy payments of $33.00 each.  "We can do this!" he said to Mabel, excitedly in a voice I recognized from watching one too many episodes of "The Biggest Loser" as the voice of the highly-caffeinated-frenetically-motivated.   

Now, we have another female cat around the house who eats and eats and never really gains weight.  It's sort of a Gayle King/Oprah Winfrey set-up.  Zelda, the more slender cat, eats out of the same dish as Mabel, so HOB watched the in-take of food, the feeding patterns of the two cats and then devised a complicated and (to my mind) harsh dietary plan for Mabel.  I mean, around 10:00am every day,  she does have to hoist herself up, and jump off the bed to get to her sunny spot on the floor where she lolls about for 30 minutes (see picture above).  Then there's the arduous hike across the house to the food bowl and then back up on the bed.  It wears a girl out and she needs her energy for all that activity.  

At first the plan seemed to be working.  The cat bowl was nearly empty every night, and best of all, there was absolutely no complaining.  On more than one occasion, we would even see some food left in the bottom of the bowl.  Our cat had such restraint and willpower!   HOB was ready to market his plan and did a fair amount of crowing about his success.  However, there was one little problem. Weeks passed and there was still no weight loss.  Strange indeed.  Then, one day I was digging around in the closet in the bedroom where we feed the cats (feeding the cats in the garage caused a rat problem there--shudder) and I found Mabel's Little Secret.  Back in the corner, partially hidden by suitcases from our last trip, there was a bag of cat food on the floor with a little hole chewed in the side--a veritable 24 Hour Home Town Buffet created with loving care by Mabel herself.

HOB closed down the buffet and tried the diet plan again, but alas, it got to be too much--the measuring, the counting, the monitoring, the whining, the munchies after Friday night cat nip.  You know what I'm talking about.  These days, her bowl is full again, and we are to blame.  Bad Pet Parents.  Bad.  However, she is a happy animal.  She accepts her size and so do we.  Besides, that tumor is growing too and when that thing blows, why that's going to be at least a quarter pound of weight gone right there.  


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Trevor said...

You should hire a pet nanny. They could even make a T.V. show about it!

Bossy Betty said...

This is going to take a special kind of nanny. I will need Mabel's approval on all aspects of the hiring process.

GreatGranny said...

Sorry about that tumor, at least it's benign, thank God for that.