14 January 2011

Am I a bad mom if my cats are too fat??

                              Moo Moo enjoying his water fountain

  In 2008 both of my Siamese cats who were brothers passed away. Yodi passed away one month before he turned 15 years old. His brother Max died 6 months later. I felt like he missed his brother too much. Max made it to the ripe old age of 15 1/2 .  He was a chunky cat for many years but it never slowed him down,
  Yodi was slimmer and was pretty feisty himself, but Max was the most energetic and both of them were crazy characters.
  One month after Max passed away my daughter April found a little sickly yellow cat out in the rain in the parking lot where she lived.  The little kitten hid up under a Hummer and my daughter tried everything for hours and finally succeeded in rescuing him.  She brought him to me the next morning.
  This was the first kitten I had in fifteen years so it was really hard putting up with such an active and destructive little cat. I was used to older more calmer cats like Max and Yodi.  He has been spoiled so much since then.  It's all my fault too, I admit it. His name is Austin and he is now 2 years and 4 months old and huge. Probably I would say about 17 - 18 lbs.
  Every morning he hollers really really loud - so loud that I'm afraid that the guy in the apartment above me will think he's being hurt or something. So I jump up to stop his noise. It's so irritating. He loves his Hill's dry food but every morning he wants his Fancy Feast can food. Sometimes if the flaked fish that Austin craves is not available I can put a can of Chicken feast with gravy down, but not often. He is so picky and I am an idiot for catering to this cat's every whim.
  On Austin's 1st birthday he was sick from a urinary tract infection and I took him to the vet. I wanted a brother for Austin so I told them at the Vet's clinic I wanted to adopt a young cat if they knew of anyone that had young cats and preferably I wanted a gray striped cat if I could find one..  Gray stripes were always my favorite cats when I was a kid.  They said they had some cats in the back. I went back to look and I saw a noisy little gray striped cat right away in a pen with two other cats and they called him Moondoggie.  It was love at first sight.  (O.K. I shortened that to Moo Moo.)  Funny cat names. Anyway Moo Moo went home with me that very afternoon.  I found out later on that he was actually two years old and not one year like they had originally told me.  I never knew there were cats to be adopted in the back of this vet's office because there were no signs and no one ever mentioned it. At times there were a few cats that would be walking around in the waiting room when I would wait during my visits there. I just always assumed the 3 or 4 cats just resided there because one of the cats bless her heart had a really bad deformed foot and the two or three other female cats I saw were really overweight cats and seemed older.  Later I saw the tiny little pens some of these animals stay in by themselves. They are nothing more than cubby holes. When Moo Moo first came home with me he had a real long belly hanging down even though he was real thin.  He also has trouble drinking out of a bowl.  They left a couple of faucets on for all those cats to drink out of at the clinic and they let them roam a lot in the back .Moo Moo hollers and cries and I  have to turn a faucet on in the bathroom so he can get in the tub and drink water out of the faucet.  If he drinks out of a bowl - he drinks sideways and licks the bowl around the edges. After drinking out of a faucet for two years, he just can't seem to completely adapt to drinking out of only bowls.  I have four bowls of water in this small apartment for them to drink from but Moo Moo still has to have some faucet water or he cries and cries. My two cats love to complain.
 It didn't take long after we adopted Moo Moo, for Austin and him to start playing. They are brothers for sure now and they fight like brothers too. It feels so good to give a cat a home. It hurts that you can't help more, but I have taken in and adopted tons and tons of cats during my lifetime. I just have to raise rescued pets on a smaller scale than I used to.
  Now people are really into fighting pet obesity problems! I don't know if I would go that far yet.  My pets always seem to get fairly chunky but they play a lot, they drink bottled water and they eat the best of foods. They are groomed and brushed every day but they are too fat according to what Vets are now promoting. A Vet told my daughter one of her pets was too large and her cat isn't nearly as fat as Austin. My Vet hasn't seen Austin in a year so I am not sure what she would say.
 I do try and play with them more now since I heard so many people getting on the Slim Down Your Pet kick all over the place.  Moo Moo loves to bring me bits of paper that he wants me to roll into  paper balls and throw for him to fetch. We play this a lot. He has dozens of toy balls and toy animals and yet he picks a piece of trashy paper to play with. He can jump up in the air and catch the paper ball with his front paws too just as if he were playing baseball. I'm going to try to video that real soon.
  And my spoiled Austin can open anything and get into anything.  He is huge but he jumps on the counters and on top of the refrigerator.  He opens the cabinets with the dishes in them and if he wants to knock something out on the floor he does. He also loves to sit up and bat this toy glove I have with strings hanging down for cats to grab. When I see him and Moo Moo so active I  don't feel any guilt that they have gotten so big and maybe I am wrong, I do want the best for them.
  I am home all the time so I am looking into making my cats some healthy foods just to try it out. It seems a lot of people are willing to look into making their own pet food.  I will keep you posted.
  For now I am not going to feel guilty they are bigger and just continue to give them the best care. If I saw that  they were having problems I would most certainly correct anything I could for them. I love my boys. My life would be so lonely without them.
  In the photo right above this line is Baby Austin at two and a half months old. Below is Austin in the next photo which was taken a short while ago and he's now 2 years 4 months old, Max is the next cat and is lying sideways in his old blue chair, He passed away at 15 1/2 which is his age in this photo. Then there is Yodi the gray Siamese who is the brother to Max.  Yodi passed away just one month before he turned 15.  At the bottom is silly silly Moo Moo who is 3 1/2  years old from all that I have been told.. He is so much fun to dress up I could not resist. He is always making me laugh. They both do. I am a lucky kitty mom.