Generally, people who come to visit make a comment about something in their friend’s house that’s changed since the last rendezvous. In the best case scenarios, those comments go like this.
“I love the colour you chose for the bathroom! It’s such a refreshing shade of purple.”
“Oh, wow. Where did you get that painting? It’s so beautiful.”
“Sherman seems to be getting over that whole crotch-sniffing thing. He’s growing up so fast.”
Lately, though, and sadly, folks have made comments about poor Leroy. The problem seems to stem from his annual case of the winter lazies, and appears to be exacerbated by him cresting the hill into kitty middle age. His normally somewhat trim figure has begun to really spread out like a creamsicle forgotten on the counter.
The Electrician and I are watching television while I write this, and he just pointed at my screen and said, “Who is that fat cat?” When I replied it was Leroy, although in an admittedly poor pose, he said, “Geez, he looks like Marlon Brando in The Score.” I googled it: poor Leroy does look washed up and worn out. At least his whiskers still look respectable.
I’m not too sure what to do about Leroy’s growing girth. He’s on prescription diet for his finicky bladder–I once paid over a thousand dollars to the emergency vet to save him from blocked up plumbing–so changing his food is not a viable option. I would love to make him exercise more, but putting a cat on a leash really ends up being taking him out for a drag across the pavement rather than a walk. At times, he will chase cat toys, but only briefly; after a few minutes he seems to realize he can’t actually eat the catnip mouse or the green feather, and then he lies down next to the nearest heat register to recuperate from seventy-two whole seconds of exertion.
Then, when I suggest we find a more exciting way to get his kitty heart rate up, Leroy just gives me the look of doom from his laserbeam eyes.
I’ve been slowly trying to cut his food rations. He knows something is up; it’s as though he counts the kibbles on his plate. Apparently, he thinks I’m trying to starve him to death, because he has been a grumpy lump who keeps trying to lick the dirty dishes in the sink. I would try running him on Sherman’s treadmill, but I worry the cat would resent me and try to kill me in my sleep (or at my laptop) when I least expect it. Leroy is dumb enough that my death at his paws would be very slow, very painful, and not at all well-planned.
So far the only potential solution I have involves the purchase of some porkchops, a spool of twine, and a remote control car faster than the cat. Considering the speed at which Leroy moves these days, I can probably find such a vehicle at the dollar store.
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