Monday, March 19, 2007

You Can't Keep A Fat Cat Off Broadway

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Hemmingway. He’s big, he’s brown and he performs Broadway musicals twice a day in my kitchen. (You thought your cat was talented.) Hemmy, as he is better known, is a Maine Coon mix that wandered up on my front porch some years ago. His loving personality made him an instant favorite. When no owners surfaced after an extensive search, we were delighted to call him the newest member of our family. We took him to the vet for all the basics: shots, neutering and worming. We bought him a collar and welcomed him into the very corners of our lives.

But a problem soon arose. Despite the vet worming him and my subsequent efforts, his belly remained bloated. I grew concerned. Perhaps there was some sort of blockage. After all, he was a stray. We could only guess at his history. Back to the vet we went. Frowning, Dr. Griffin poked at Hemmy’s stomach and announced that a sonogram was in order. I felt cold when Dr. Griffin called us back to discuss the results. After a bit of dancing around the point, we came to it: Hemmy was fat.

Dear God! A fat cat in my house! That would never do. Off to the big box pet supply retailer we went armed with a checkbook determined to destroy feline belly fat. We bought diet food to cut calories and toys to stimulate play.

Hemmy does not eat food. He vacuums it into his belly at Mach speeds. We decided the best course of action would be to split his daily allowance into portions and feed him twice a day. We knew that if we fed him the full portion all at once that he would eat it immediately and be hungry later. We started with large portions and slowly trimmed him down to the amount recommended by our vet. Hemmy raved and protested the changes but he lost weight.

Now, many years later, Hemmy maintains a healthy weight. We still feed him two servings a day of a top quality food. He likes the food. He does not like the limited quantity.

One unexpected side effect is that twice a day there is a miniature production in my house where Hemmy plays the starring role of a poor, neglected brown cat on the brink of starvation. He’s very convincing. A well-known Broadway producer recently contacted us regarding Hemmy’s abilities. He is working on an upcoming show with a role similar to the one Hemmy is currently performing, and he heard that Hemmy works for peanuts (well, cat food, but you get the idea). After some debate, we turned down the role. We were afraid the stress of life on Broadway might cause Hemmy to regain his lost weight.

However, Hemmy still gives two performances a day in my kitchen. For anyone wishing to attend one the begging…er, I mean acting, typically begins about two hours before the actual feeding time so there are plenty of opportunities to catch Hemmy in action. For ticket information, please call 404-555-4816.


Anonymous said...

This is very funny!! But why do you hate fat cats so? Fat cats need love too!! And they keep you warm in the winter!!

Anonymous said...