Wow! That’s a Big Cat!

7 10 2011

 

I went to Pet Smart today to buy cat food. I staggered out with the biggest bag of Iams Weight Control Formula that they had  –20 pounds. It felt ridiculous. Why? I was buying it for ONE CAT. Yes, you read that right. In order to keep from having to make a special out of my way trip to Pet Smart again in two weeks, I bought 20 pounds of food for ONE CAT.

A pregnant cat adopted us in 1999. She gave birth to four kittens in our front planter. Three were black and one was orange stripped.  They were all so small and adorably cute! We managed to give away two and we kept two. Cheeks was long haired and looked big, primarily because of his fluffy hair. Blackie had short hair so everything you saw was him. He grew and grew and grew into a monster, all 22 pounds of him.

Cheeks has since gone on to meet his maker due to a congenital heart problem. We were deeply concerned that Blackie had the same problem so, when Cheeks died, we took Blackie to the vet to be checked out. In order to get a good look at his heart they had to take two x-rays. The first wasn’t strong enough to get through all the fat.

Before anyone explains to me how cats shouldn’t be overweight or how I shouldn’t over feed him, or how I should help him lose weight, let me explain. He gets one cup of weight control formula a day. We do not give him treats or snacks. He doesn’t free feed and hasn’t since he was one. He doesn’t have a thyroid problem. The problem seems to be that he has the metabolism of a basset hound and he doesn’t move. We can usually get him to play with a string for about 30 seconds, once a day. After that it is a bore to him. Three times a week or so he bursts through the cat door from the garage and runs full speed down the hall to the front door. We have no idea why he does this but it seems to exhaust him for all the other hours in the week.

I have mentioned that Blackie has weight issues, but, even without the fat, he would still be a tall, long, large animal.  To give you some perspective in the photo I have included, the floor boards are 3 inches wide and the hallway is 33 inches wide.

In another place and time if an animal this big with sharp claws and teeth walked into the room you were in it would be cause for concern! I am happy to report that many thousands of years of selective breeding has worked and he is actually quite nice. I have even given him baths with no blood to show for it. But, he sure costs a lot in food….

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