Recently we took our beloved cat to the vet for a check-up. We returned with a heavy heart and, it transpires, a heavy cat.
Xena, named 12 years earlier by our son because of her good looks and warrior princess athleticism has succumbed to middle aged spread and was declared ‘obese’. Beside her on the seat of the car for our journey homeward was a large box of food sachets. We turned the label, Obesity Management - Feline, away from her because we wanted to avoid the added expense of a cat psychologist if she became aware of her current weight status.
We're not sure how it happened. One minute she was leaping on mice, racing down the hallway, pouncing on passing dogs, then suddenly she slept all day, waddled from couch to lap and had to be lifted onto the bench to be fed. The change occurred around the same time Oprah went off-air. Maybe she got depressed losing her daily TV fix. She was always fascinated by Oprah’s pet dogs.
The electric blanket cat bed she received last year may not have helped either. She's glued to it and not from electrocution. But it was so cold last winter and she loves it.
Yesterday a stray cat wandered through the yard begging and mewing at our glass door to come in. We had to wake Xena to make her aware of the trespasser; she yawned then squashed herself deeper into our cushions. It was all too much trouble.
We've googled to find advice and discovered the Adelaide Animal Hospital's Pet Weight Loss Clinic which would provide Xena with progress trackers, gifts for reaching weight milestones and even entry into the national Pet Slimmer of the Year competition but she'd hate the publicity if she won.
When we gathered courage to show Xena a packet of her new food she was insulted. The manufacturer was a company called Royal Canin. 'I'm not a dog and removing the letter 'e' from the label hasn't tricked me in the slightest" she meowed as she slunk off, fat flaps swaying close to the floor.
If you've got advice for Xena we'd appreciate it. It's lonely when even your cat won't talk to you.