My Cat Got Fat-Shamed At The Vet

Now he's on a diet and everybody's miserable.
Publish date:
November 4, 2011
diets, pets, fat shaming, cats, vet

This is Jimbo, full name Jimbo the Amazing Orange Cat Magilicudy, and yes that whole thing's on his file at the vet. The vet, which someone (Pete) recently decided was now my responsibility just because he'd been doing it for several years with no help and apparently now that I'm a sober, responsible adult I have to do my share around here, blergh.

That same person would say that I shouldn't further shame and expose Jimbo the cat by putting this whole ordeal on the Internet, but you know what? The cat can't read. He can't! And he also doesn't have any of the feelings I'm about to spend a whole post ascribing to him. Shhhhhh.

SO. If you want the state to give you a human person, you have to prove that your cat is properly vaccinated, so I took Jimbo to the vet by myself for the first time a few weeks ago. I'd been led to expect an ordeal getting him into the cat carrier, but actually I just threw some treats in there and he trotted right in. No wonder he can't read, right? He's dumb.

And aside from the unearthly mrowling he let loose in the car ride over, the whole thing wasn't too bad. I fed him a lot of treats, rubbed him and used my soothing voice and the vet thought he was very sweet and handsome. (Does the vet tell everybody how good-looking their pets are? If so, well played.)

But then: It Happened to Us: The vet said Jimbo needs to lose weight. She patted his fat belly, ya'll! It must have been humiliating.

And look, I know intellectually that Jimbo is fat -- he weighs 18 pounds, and everyone who meets him comments on his size. But I have some sort of mental block, perhaps constructed of mother's love, that keeps me from emotionally understanding it. I just don't see a fat cat when I look at him! He just has a large frame! He's like a proud jungle cat, not some roly-poly housecat.

Let's just say we were both a little indignant.

To add insult to injury, they shaved a patch of his fur off when they were vaccinating him. He wasn't right for days, and I still catch him washing himself despondently, like he doesn't recognize who he's become these days.

I wanted to post a picture of the patch, but not only did he continually turn away in shame when I tried to photograph it, but Pete strongly requested that I refrain, as it would be to "too much humiliation for the little guy."

So now the cat is on a diet, which is seriously heartbreaking. Apparently, he's only supposed to have a half-cup of food a day, which amounts to a quarter cup in the morning and evening. Go put a quarter cup of anything in a bowl and see if it looks like a satisfying meal to you. No wonder he's pissed.

In the past, he's bullied us for more food, standing on the bed and screeching into our ears until somebody gets up and pours him some fresh chow, if they can manage to get his head out of the bag long enough to pour.

Now he just eats what we feed him immediately and then looks around all sad and confused about how he ended up in this place. I imagine I had a similar expression on my face when I worked in educational publishing. Pete keeps caving -- sighing "I can't take it!" when Jimbo is stands and plaintively gazes into his empty food bowl.

"I wouldn't leave you standing in front of the fridge looking like that," he says.

Recently, he's become radicalized in his beliefs, walking around the house chanting "3 quarter cup! 3 quarter cup!" and claiming he is starting an"Occupy the Chow Bowl" protest.

And look, you can pry my oversized portions from my cold dead hands, so I don't like being the one to enforce this cat diet, but I'm just trying to follow vet's orders! Has anyone else successfully dieted their cat?