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Fat Cat

I have a fat cat.

I took Officer Krupke to the vet yesterday for his annual check up after carefully cornering him in the walk-in closet. As I was stuffing umpteen pounds of fur and tail into the carrier amongst a background chorus of “Meow! Meow! Not the blue box! Anything but the blue box!” I wondered if the carrier had always been this small. And when I picked it up by one hand to carry cat and caboodle to the car, I was leaning slightly the left despite all the time I’ve spent lifting weights. Maybe I could have saved money on dumbbells by picking up my cat instead.

When we got to the vet I took the offense, immediately commenting on his weight before anyone else could and declaring that I wanted to do something about it. I suppose this is like a fat person who makes jokes about their size before anyone else has a chance to. They pulled out the scale and weighed Krupke to discover he’d gained two pounds since last year. Two pounds is a lot for a cat.

Suddenly I felt so guilty. I had forgotten about this feeling that I felt so frequently when I was morbidly obese. It was the feeling of shame that I’d let this problem get so far out of control. I’d known I needed to do something about it earlier and now we were on the verge of driving off the cliff of serious health problems if we didn’t take a sharp U-turn. I have been a very bad kitty mommy. It’s no one’s fault but my own that Krupke has gained so much weight. I have complete control over what he eats. It’s not like he’s sneaking out to the car and driving to Kentucky Fried Chicken in the middle of the night to binge on crispy wings. At least I don’t think he is. I do leave my keys on the kitchen counter. I might want to start keeping track of the mileage on the odometer just to be sure.

“What are you feeding him?” The vet with one blue eye and one brown eye asked me.

“Science Diet Light. I give him exactly ¾ of a cup a day.” which translated in my eyes to “See! I already have him on low-calorie food! I am not an irresponsible pet owner! Please don’t call pet protection services and take my kitty away!”

“Do you feed him anything else?” he asked. I copped to feeding him three treats a night after dinner. Funny how I forgot to mention the tuna juice I let him lick up when I make tuna melt casserole or the little piece of chicken I sometimes give him when grilling chicken breasts. Surely those don’t really have calories, right? It reminded me of the days when I was morbidly obese and I’d tell myself I wasn’t eating that badly, even though I’d just eaten half a bag of chocolate peanut butter cups hidden in my desk drawer. I was afraid they would judge me if I told them the truth, so I lied to make myself look better.

The thing is, a half ounce of chicken breast might be insignificant to me, but to a small creature like a cat it’s a significant part of their daily food intake. All these little slips added up to two pounds over the course of a year. And honestly, I barely noticed it. Krupke is the only cat I’ve ever owned and usually the only cat I ever see, so he just looks cat-sized to me. But it is time to admit he has a problem because I cannot let my baby get any fatter. I want to keep him around for as long as possible because the very idea that he might not be immortal makes me want to crawl under my desk, hug me knees and rock back and forth for a couple hours.

I took him home, along with a couple cans and a bag of prescription diet cat food, which they forgot to charge me for. I considered not saying anything about it, but when I come in to weigh Krupke a month from now I will mention it and pay for them because I am honest like that. I will carefully measure all his food from now on, which I had been doing before, but I will be extra-careful now to account for any treats and subtract that from his daily portions. I’ll go back to the vet every month to weigh him and make sure he is losing a couple of ounces each month. Just like a human, we don’t want him to lose weight too quickly. I’m going to make an effort to play with him more too, because as a house cat he doesn’t get much exercise. He is very fond of the treadmill, but only as a bed. He likes how warm it gets after I’ve walked a couple miles.

Hopefully my baby will get thinner and I can stop feeling guilty. It’s so ironic that I’ve managed to lose nearly 200 pounds in the past three years, but my cat has gained 3-4 pounds in that time. I imagine thin parents of obese children must have similar feelings of guilt. But unlike a kid, Krupke can’t use his lunch money to buy Snickers bars from the vending machine, so hopefully this will be an easier problem to solve then childhood obesity. Essentially Krupke will be living in PastaQueen’s fat farm for the rest of his life.

This morning as I was making breakfast I heard the front closet door squeak open. Then there was a beeping sound. I turned around and I swear to God that Krupke was standing on my scale with his paws against the wall, weighing himself. I’ve never seen him do that before. Does he know that I think he’s fat? Am I giving him a complex? I picked him up (good thing I’ve been weight-lifting) and gave him a hug and told him, “I love you no matter how fat you are.” Then he squirmed and jumped down with a big thud which hopefully didn’t wake the neighbors.

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Peachy • July 11, 2007 at 10:15 am

I am a cat lover too. Our cats have always been fat (like us). Two of my cats live at my Mom’s house and every time I go over there they are fatter (although my Mom says they are just “fluffier”)! I’m sure Officer Krupke will do just as well on his “lifestyle change” as you have – just look at what a good drill sergeant he’s got!


Adrienne • July 11, 2007 at 10:15 am

Hey, maybe your cat is picking my cat up and they are hitting KFC together! Well, my vet put the kitty on a special diet and she has lost about a pound and a half so far (I figure that is about the equivalent of me losing like 25 pounds!). I strongly suspect that most of the loss is due to the fact that she was boarded for 2 weeks while I was on vacation. But hopefully she can keep it up. Good luck to Officer Krupke too!


Sarah J • July 11, 2007 at 10:23 am

PQ… What a beautifully written piece! You are a gifted storyteller. I hope you enjoy doing it as much as I enjoy reading it.


JEM • July 11, 2007 at 10:41 am

I was devastated to hear our pup Sadie was fat. She was five pounds over weight and for someone who should only be 23 pounds being 28 pounds is pretty over weight. We didn’t buy the low-cal doggie food, but we did cut out all treats and extras except apples and carrots.(I must admit I would give her a little of any meat, fish, or chicken I was eating. It made her so happy!)It was really hard to break the habit of giving her little tid bits but I knew it was for her health. She has now lost 4 of the 5 pounds and is slender and healthy. I wonder if someone had that much power over my diet if I could finally lose the pounds. Here is to Officer Krupke’s weight loss! Keep us updated.


Kate • July 11, 2007 at 10:44 am

This entry made me chuckle.

I have a dog, who like your cat, I never paid much attention to his weight, but a year or so ago he got very very sick, apparently from me feeding him too much “people food”, and I was told by the vet, if I wanted him to live, I needed to stop. So I cut back. He only really gets lean meats now as a treat, but it’s amazing the weight he has lost. I think he has lost 10-15lbs. Of course I’m sure it helps that I’ve lost 20, and I drag his fat tail on walks with me all the time too :)


Kat • July 11, 2007 at 10:46 am

My big-boy cat gained two pounds… in the metabolism-and-activity changing MONTH after his thyroid surgery. Two pounds in a month. Talk about mortification. The vet said that he actually wasn’t very fat, since he has BIG BONES. I figured out, with mad math skills, how much of a weight gain that would be for me: something like 30 pounds. Yikes!

I recommend laser-pointer workouts and wish they worked for me.


jodi • July 11, 2007 at 10:53 am

i have a big cat too, almost 13 pounds, and he also has medium-long hair… he’s part maine coon, i think, so i feel he’s just built to be a bigger cat… i doesn’t do much at my place but when i take him over to my boyfriend’s, he gets a lot of exercise w/his brother, norman… i wouldn’t worry about it too much but maybe cut back on the extra stuff for a while… :o)


shinypenny • July 11, 2007 at 11:00 am

My cats were also fat. I also fed them (almost exclusively) Science Diet Light. Then I read this:


and then this


I’ve now transitioned them to Wellness Turkey Formula wet food (no grain). They’ve lost weight and are much more energetic. I definitely recommend switching away from dry food.


Nienuh • July 11, 2007 at 11:12 am

Will you please please please do a 3 d progress foto of krupke ;)?


Jester • July 11, 2007 at 11:36 am

I’ve had the downstairs neighbors comment on how “your cat must be huge – we hear him when he jumps off of things.” I consider it a testament to my sweet personality that I just smiled and said, “Yes, he’s an active cat,” even if I mentally snarked, ‘at least he doesn’t yap 22 hours out of 24, like your d@mn dogs. And you live on the first floor – did you expect complete silence from above???’

But PastaQueen, you should enjoy the ease of only having one cat with weight issues. I have two cats – one overweight and one underweight. Tavi weighs in at 18 lbs. and should probably be 15 or 16. And Coco, after a year of being ill, comes in at a dainty 7 lbs., but should be closer to 10. So I spend my days reassuring Tavi that he isn’t about to expire from starvation and begging Coco to please just *taste* this flavor of wet food. (“You liked it last night, why can’t you like it today?”)



PastaQueen • July 11, 2007 at 11:49 am

Nienuh – I think it would be impossible to do a 3-D picture of Krupke because it would require him to stand still for 5 consecutive pictures.

shinypenny – I was doing some reading about cat nutrition yesterday and I’m definitely thinking about adding more wet food into his diet.


shinypenny • July 11, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Yeah, the Chinese additive scandal and that second link really got me thinking about what my cats, whom I consider part of my family, are eating. It took me awhile (2-3 weeks) to transition them from Science Diet (which they’d been eating 95-100% of the time) to the Wellness (I think they had difficulty recognizing it as food), but now they seem ok with it. Everything gets eaten after I nuke the food up to room temp from the fridge.

I pay more for Wellness of course ;_; and dry food is more convenient, but the cats are definitely thinner and more active.


Emily • July 11, 2007 at 1:27 pm

My cat isn’t fat, she’s big boned.

Ok, actually she IS fat, but that is my defense when people point it out to me.


lex • July 11, 2007 at 1:38 pm

My kitty gained a tonne of weight a few summers ago. The vet said that it was from a combination of his hormones changing after being neutered and from being lazy since we’d had an especially hot summer. I found that a laser pointer was the best way to get him back in shape. He’ll chase that thing for hours, and I could use it while I was reading or working on the computer.


coraspartan • July 11, 2007 at 1:39 pm

OT, but PastaQueen, I thought of you while I was at the grocery store yesterday! I was buying some produce and saw the donut shaped peaches, so I bought one on your recommendation! You’re right, they don’t dribble down your face like normal peaches, but they were pretty pricey. Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you!

Back to the topic of this post, I have been doing a lot of reading on pet nutrition lately myself. Science Diet is complete crap. Please do not feed your cat Science Diet, even after he loses his extra pounds. I believe that Costco has a cat food that is quite good–our dogs eat their dog food, which is high quality and low in price. Good luck with your cat’s weight loss–I’m sure if you can lose half your body weight, you can help him to shed a couple of pounds!


Amanda • July 11, 2007 at 2:18 pm

I am sure your cat will be able to shed the pounds… he has you as an inspiration afterall. I love the way you write about things in your life… you always leave us with a smile on our face and a laugh after reading your posts… even though a fat cat is no laughing matter. Maybe you should put a lock on your fridge too… because if your cat is capable of driving to KFC during the night, I am sure he is helping himself to midnight snacks in the kitchen! hehehe. Good luck with Krupke! :)


Jenny • July 11, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Bwahaahaha – I nearly spit coffee all over my desk.

My dog was put on a diet after the Vet looked sternly at me when I said I had no idea how he gained 2 pounds (he’s a small dog.)

Last time I checked, he doesn’t have a thumb and didn’t open the can of dog food, himself.


Her Grace • July 11, 2007 at 3:01 pm

I have a fat dog. (I recently read that your dogs lifestyle reflects your own. Urp.) I have her on a “diet” (which means she gets the proper amount of food each day, rather than an extra 1/2 cup because “she’s so cute.”) Now she’s a thief. If we leave anything edible in her reach, she’ll eat it when we leave the room. She’s eaten entire loaves of bread, boxes of crackers, etc. She’s GAINED weight on her “diet” and as her owners we’ve had to retrain ourselves to put things out of her reach.

I know how she feels, but isn’t dieting supposed to be about personal responsibility? :)


Kate • July 11, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Officer Krupke is the best cat name EVER. You are hilarious.


PastaQueen • July 11, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Kate – My friend C. works as a clerk as a police department. One day a skinny cat with fleas followed her into the building after her smoke break. She came up with the name and gave him to me since her apartment didn’t allow cats.


Erin • July 11, 2007 at 5:33 pm

I just watched my cat eat a button I dropped on the floor and I spent a few minutes wondering if I had a closet binger on my hands. She’s so tiny, and I wondered if I wasn’t feeding her enough so she was resorting to hoarding fuzzballs and rubber bands under the coach as a way to cope with emotional neglect.

Then she sniffed my other cat’s rear end and the anthropomorphization stopped.

But if Officer Krupke wants to start a support group with the other Fatblog kitties, you know where to find us.


MizAngie • July 11, 2007 at 6:11 pm

Okay, don’t be surprised if Shaquille O’Neal shows up on your doorstep wanting to sign your cat up for a new NBA Superstar Cat Fitness Program.


anji • July 11, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Jester… I too have a cat that has been very sick… several times and each time I got him to “bounce back” with Fancy Feast Trout Feast. Nothing else BUT that particular one. If he has kidney problems though, it’s high in protein and not recommended. I brought my cat back twice from death’s door by that food and he was/is a very picky eater.

PQ — my dog two weeks ago was called fat by her new vet, haha… she’s a belgian shepherd and should be about 40-45 pounds and she was 61 pounds. She was fine throughout the winter but hubby changed her food and bought this cheap shit and almost immediately she was eating three bowls instead of 1 because she wasn’t getting enough nutrients and was eating just calories, not nutritious stuff. I switched her food back now and we are on an exercise routine now for both of us (haha) though I’m pretty sure she’ll lose 10 pounds before I will! Tee hee…. so, it was both our fault and the crappy food company’s fault… but – we’re getting it under control.

Funny thing… I am more worried about her health than mine. There’s something terribly wrong about that… especially when I am almost 100 pounds overweight. I need to maybe work on that self-esteem thing a bit…


dg • July 12, 2007 at 5:04 am

Best cat name ever :) Hope he’s feeling/looking svelte soon!

PS Where did the new entry go!? I demand my fix :P


Jester • July 12, 2007 at 9:01 am

Anji — That’s funny – the only wet food Coco consistently likes is Fancy Feast. However, she’ll eat a teaspoon or two, then decide that she’s “tired of that flavor.” If she were human, she’d say stuff like, “Gosh, I love pizza, and I appreciate that you ordered my favorite and served it up to me, but I think I’d rather have broccoli.”


BrightAngel • July 12, 2007 at 10:22 am

My 2 Tabby cats are sisters with similiar coloring and markings who were born 5 years ago in my back yard from a feral cat. I think perhaps they had different fathers, because they are genetically different.

Tashy is friendly, brave, stoic, heavy and solid, with shorter coarser hair. Tashy eats dry cat-food at will, and a teaspoon of chicken baby-food at morning and evening. She doesn’t care for people food (not meat, fish or chicken) and won’t eat it at all.

Boodie is frightened of all people except me & my husband, verbally complains to get her way, tends to be leaner, with short-hair but longer and softer than her sister’s. Boodie eats dry cat-food at will, and all but a teaspoon of a jar of chicken baby-food at morning and at evening. She doesn’t care for people food, but will occasionally take a bite, except for tuna which she loves (Tashy won’t even taste it).

Both cats engage in similiar activity.

The FOOD LOVER is the smaller one.

Although baby-food is much higher in fat, and Boodie eats far more of it, Tashy is the heavy one.

Gentics AGAIN.

This week I took both cats in for their annual shots. Last year Tashy weighed 15 lbs. This year Tashy weighs 17 1/2 lbs.

So….do I put Tashy on a diet, while continuing the same feeding pattern for Boodie?

I think not.

That’s what my mother did to me, and it felt horrible.

I bought Weight-Control dry cat food, and am hoping since Tashy likes and eats it more than Boodie, it might help. Perhaps I can also play with Tashy outside of Boodie’s presence.

I suppose the next step would be to ration the dry cat food, and stop the at-will eating. I don’t know if I’m willing to do that.

Tashy is a big beautiful cat….I have no objection to her size. Only if fat seriously affected her health would I take such strong measures.

You can see these are my babies, part of my family and I take great care of them. (I had my 2 previous cats for 17 years) I will admit that Secretly, Tashy has always been my favorite.


BrightAngel • July 12, 2007 at 10:37 am


my cat’s dry cat food is:

Nutro, Natural Choice, Complete Care

It is expensive, and it’s only available at petfood stores, and although my vet doesn’t sell it, he said it’s a good choice.

Ingredients are Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice Flour, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Poultry Fat, soybean oil, sunflower oil etc etc. etc. etc. Uses no byproducts…which is why I choose it when my cats were kittens.

By the way, both cats are combo, indoor-outdoor cats. While Tashy sometimes catches mice and birds, she won’t eat any part of them at all.


Mymsie • July 12, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Awwww – Krupke kitty! The same thing happened to Abbs when I used to free feed her. Now I manage her portions and she’s so slim and svelte! Wish it were that easy with me. Hmm, maybe I’ll ask Abby to manage MY portions. ;)


Tiffany • July 13, 2007 at 8:35 pm

I hate feeling like a bad kitty mommy! My non-overweight kitty lost a pound in three weeks because she hated her new prescription food and was also sick, and I felt like the vet would think I had starved her on purpose. Now she is healthy, but at her last checkup the vet said she had dry skin. The Shame!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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