Me on the scalesIt’s been a little while, fellow flab fighters, since Gibbs and I put paws to keyboard to bring you the latest news about Mum’s fight with the flab.  Actually, there’s not much to report with regard to Mum’s progress.  She still makes up meals from the new slimming cookery book but there’s always disappointment on her face when she stands on the scales.  Incredibly, she’s the only person we know who’s dieting and PUTS ON WEIGHT!  How does that happen?   Anyway, enough about Mum’s woes, I have some of my own to impart.

Last week, it was ‘visit to the vet’ time for the annual booster.  Mum mentioned, in passing, all the matts that I have down each side and asked what she could do to make me more comfortable.  The vet, a nice blonde lady, (a smiling assassin as it turned out), whipped out a comb, held me by the scruff of my neck with one hand and with her free hand, flicked the comb all over me yanking out all the matts.  There was a huge pile of fur combined with matts on the table.  She seemed pleased with herself.  Mum and Dad looked horrified.

Me with Betrice.  See - not fat at all!Then she dropped the bombshell.  The ‘F’ word.  She said the reason why I had the matts was because – oh, how this hurts me to reveal it – I am too fat (oh, my cats, I can hardly believe I’ve just said that word) and that my belly gets in the way of me grooming myself.  Readers, for the record, I am NOT fat; I am merely incredibly and ferociously fluffy and very, very big boned.  There isn’t an ounce of fat on me, well, maybe a kilo or two. 

Oh, the shame. The mortification. Mum looked a cross between bewildered and embarrassed: bemarrassed, or emwildered.  Before we had a second to digest this earth-shattering and life-changing information, another person entered the room with a tape measure, a notebook, a pen, a folder with dieting information and facts which she gave to Mum, after a long, oh, so very long, dissertation on helping one’s pets to lose weight.  I know what Mum was thinking.  She was thinking that because she’s overweight, the vet people would be looking at her blaming her for over feeding me.  The thing is, though, she DOESN’T give me food off her plate.  She never has and I’ve never asked.

Lots of people with weight issues feed their pets inappropriate food.  They say it’s because they love their pets that they want to treat them so that they feel loved and special but what owners don’t realise is that all these treats have calories.  Calories are alright in moderation, but when humans and pets alike go over their daily calorie allowance, that’s when the hips start spreading, the belly starts sagging, and health problems galore start waiting in the wings ready to pounce and ground you.

Garfield, my predecessor whom I didn’t know, but Ollie told me about him, used to say: ‘It’s better to broaden the mind, than broaden the hips,’ and he’s obviously right.  The second vet person weighed me and tutted.  Then she measured my waist and tutted.  Then she measured my belly and tutted.   Then she turned to Mum and Dad and said: ‘Casey is something we call ‘morbidly obese’ but we can fix him, although it will be a long and difficult journey.’

Mum was on the brink of tears at this point and although I didn’t enjoy being the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, I did feel sorry for her.  I knew she was blaming herself and I knew she would do her best to help me slim down.

The vet person, whose name is Betrice, is very knowledgeable about weight gain, and how to lose it and she gave Mum and Dad lots of advice and tips on how to help me.  The fact that she’s like a stick insect and Mum is roly-poly did not go unnoticed by me.  And I felt even more sorry for Mum.  It would seem, ladies and gentlemen, that Mum and I are now in the same boat. Watch this space, as they say.   

A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure