My Cat Is Fat

Last night, I was forced to admit a terrible truth, one that I had long suspected but habitually denied.

My cat is fat.

I knew she was lazy. Anybody who sleeps 21 hours a day earns that designation. The excessive girth my parents keep pointing out whenever they’d stop by for a visit? Nothing more than visual deception. A trick of the light. “She’s just furry,” I’d say. And, when that declaration was met with skeptical stares, I’d throw in an adverb to appease the masses.

Really furry.”

About a month ago, Audrey decided to weigh Sydney. She came in at 11 pounds. I hardly thought this was anything to be concerned with. Why, she was the size of a large infant, and nothing more! So I went about my business, still believing my cat was not fat. And then last night, Audrey decided to do a little Googling about cats and their average weight and blah, blah, blah.

“Guess what?” she said. “Sydney’s fat!”

“No, she isn’t,” I replied. “She’s furry. Really furr…”

“The average female calico weighs between 7 and 9 pounds,” my daughter said, cutting me off mid-argument.

Sydney, looking very regal. And fat.

Well, then. I guess it’s true. My cat is fat. What’s up with that? I don’t overfeed her (though she is devious when it comes to her canned food, tricking both me and Tara into feeding her one morning last week). I suppose it’s the lack of exercise, but I can’t very well make her wake up and run around the townhouse, unless I grab the laser pointer and have her chase after that red beam of light (which, come to think of it, is always hilarious). Even now as I write this post she’s curled up at my feet, snoring contentedly.

That’s right. My cat snores. It’s the damnedest thing.

But as far as cats go, Sydney’s pretty cool. I’ve owned many cats over the years, and she is hands down the best I’ve ever had. She’s friendly and affectionate and tolerant, doesn’t shy away from strangers, and aside from her predilection for jumping onto the dining room table and chewing up napkins when my back is turned, really doesn’t cause any trouble.

I suppose I’ll overlook those few extra pounds and let her hang around for awhile longer.

Even though I adore her, the fact that I am blogging about my cat is a sad sign that I’m sort of scraping the bottom of the barrel for blog topics today. Sometimes the inspiration is there, other times it isn’t, but when five days have passed without writing I feel like I’ve got to put something out there. I actually have a running list of blog ideas saved to an MS Word document, but mostly they are random scraps of ideas without much substance. Some of them have been on there a year. In an effort to clean up the list, and add a couple hundred more words to this post, I thought I would finally allow some of them to see the light of day. So, without further ado, and exactly as I have written them, here are a few of those topic ideas (in bold), with my current thoughts.

Poaching an egg. 

I’ve never poached an egg before. I thought it might be fun to chronicle my first attempt, complete with photos documenting the process. Trouble is, I prefer my eggs scrambled or over medium, proving this idea wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

3-Day Rule.

Umm, what 3-day rule?! I don’t really remember! I think I was referring to the unwritten but widely accepted rule that some guys have about waiting three days after a date to call a woman back. Here’s my take on that: it’s a stupid rule. There isn’t much more that needs to be said about that.

Coaches surprised about Gatorade bath.

I was watching a football game and, for the umpteenth time, the coach looked genuinely surprised when his players dumped Gatorade all over him. This happens after every. single. victory. Do they really not know it’s coming?!

Chai Tea/Tai Chi

Love the play on words, but I’m not a fan of chai tea and I don’t practice martial arts, so really it was more of a punny title than anything else.

Pant like a dog.

One day last summer I was driving home on a sweltering afternoon and I spotted a dog on the side of the road, tongue hanging out of its mouth, panting away. I thought to myself, what an efficient cooling system a dog has – it’s so much better than sweating! 

Grocery stores require too much thinking.

I’ll bet you a hundred bucks I had just returned from grocery shopping and was mentally exhausted after having to choose between paper and plastic.

Comic strips – all the best are gone. Except Pickles!

R.I.P. Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Bloom County, etc. The only comic strip that still makes me laugh on a consistent basis is Pickles.

Random Twitter followers.

Why are you following me, John G. and Cody and Ashley? Who the heck are you, Mildred and Pierce? How many people in this day and age are actually named Mildred and Pierce, anyway?! I don’t know half my followers on Twitter. Is that weird? And why won’t Zach Braff ever reply to any of my tweets??

There you have it! It’s good to purge sometimes, and now that I’ve removed those admittedly odd ideas from my list, I can focus on coming up with better content in the future! What do you think? Do any of those ideas deserve to be expanded on? Do you make lists for future blog topics, and then sometimes wonder what in the hell you were thinking later? Is there any topic that should make my list but hasn’t?


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

30 thoughts on “My Cat Is Fat

  1. Yes, it looks as if Sydney is–fat! Sorry to to agree, but she is. That’s okay, however. In the past 12 months my Lucy has gained more than a pound, which is a lot for a dog that weighed just over 7 pounds and is now approaching 8 and a half. I know what to do with Lucy–fewer treats, more walks. But, hell, it’s hard to walk a cat.

    Good luck with feline weightloss–or bettter yet–just let her be.



    1. I’d thought about slapping a leash on her and taking her outside, but I’d rather not end up the laughingstock of the neighborhood. It’s bad enough I’m the laughingstock of the family.


  2. I am definitely not going to preach – but since you said Sidney is a really good cat & I assume you would like to keep her around for as long as possible, you might want to try the laser pointer trick & get her a little more exercise so she is as healthy as she can be. I’ve said it now it’s up to you whether you do anything about it or not.
    To answer one of your questions – I am new at blogging – but yes, I do make lists of blog topics for future reference. However, my blogs don’t always stay on topic. My last blog (in my mind) was going to be about e-books versus paper books & turned into a bit of a rant about my husband K & his nagging. Talk about getting side-tracked!


    1. She isn’t morbidly obese or anything, but I will make an effort to wake her from her naps more often and get her active. Hmm…maybe the answer is another cat! What do you say, honey? Or…even better…a dog. Sydney does like dogs!!

      I’ll be sure to check out your blog. I’m always interested in a good “my spouse is such an ass” rant! 😉


      1. As I said, I am not preaching & the only reason I say anything at all is because in June I lost my beloved Bandit, a husky/rottweiler cross to heart disease. Bandit did not have an ounce of fat on his entire body, not because of anything I did in particular, but because he was always self-regulating in his food intake. We were lucky to have a couple extra years due to his ideal weight & I wouldn’t trade a minute of that time.


  3. When my daughter was born, we had two cats, each tipping the scales at 17 pounds. We have a really funny photo of one of the cats lying next to our newborn daughter, who weighed about 10 pounds less than him at the time! But it was better to see them that way than the 7- pound skeletons they were at the end 😦 (but they both lived a long happy time)

    Maybe I’ll keep your list for my own inspiration for future blogs – my posts have been too few and far between lately!


  4. Mark, the photo of Sidney is beyond precious. I love how her little paws are crossed.

    “I’ve owned many cats over the years, and she is hands down the best I’ve ever had. She’s friendly and affectionate and tolerant.”

    I too had a female calico cat when I lived in NYC and she was, hands down, the best cat I ever had too. So maybe it’s the breed?

    “unless I grab the laser pointer and have her chase after that red beam of light (which, come to think of it, is always hilarious).

    I would LOVE to see that!!!!

    And this?…….

    “Who the heck are you, Mildred and Pierce? How many people in this day and age are actually named Mildred and Pierce, anyway?! ”

    HILARIOUS, Mark!


    1. Those crossed paws were the reason I took the picture. She was lying on my chest while I was watching TV, looking like she owned the place. Or owned me, as the case may be!

      Did you know that calicos aren’t actually a breed? The term merely refers to the color pattern, which can occur on many different breeds of cats. For instance, I think Sydney is really a calico American domestic shorthair, to be exact. Or medium hair, with all that fur!


  5. Sydney is not fat. She is pleasingly plump — and adorable. Plus, she has a certain gravitas. I have a friend who had a cat that was over 20 pounds — now THAT was a fat cat — he could have used some laser-directed exercise. My own current two are not fat, although the younger one has a rather large rump. Maybe we should use the laser pointer more with him — he really is hilarious. The older cat will chase it a little, but he’s nearly 16 and his more sense than to make a total fool of himself the way the younger one does. And blogging about cats is not just filler, I’ve written about mine a number of times — back when I was unemployed and still had time to, which I don’t much now between 9-5 and freelance work. Oh, and about the poached egg? If you had trouble with popcorn, I don’t advise trying to poach an egg — the only time I want them is over corned beef hash, anyway, and I can get that at a diner and let them hassle with the poaching.


    1. That’s why I try to never order something I can make at home myself when I go out to eat – I save the tough cooking for the experts! Plus, I do believe Tara’s mom may be poaching an egg on our next visit. I’ll let her have the pleasure. 🙂

      20 lbs. – that’s one big cat!! Sydney’s downright scrawny in comparison.


  6. Here kitty, kitty, kitty! You know that they have those lasers that run on batteries and automatically move around. Just an idea.

    Okay…I like the supermarket idea. Sometimes I’m exhausted especially having to decide from brand A that is .36 cheaper than brand B which is .36 more but has 1.2 ounces more than brand A. I’m not a mathematician you know!

    I also like the comic strip one. There have been some doozies over the years. Some forgotten, some not. Very sad!

    Mildred Pierce is one of my favorite Joan Crawford movies.

    If I were to stalk you…it would probably be Rhubarb Fulkerson…for no particular reason.


    1. Rhubarb Fulkerson?! Looks like Google will be my next stop.

      And no, I did not realize they have battery-activated lasers that move around on their own. How very Mission: Impossible. Sounds like a good investment for the ol’ chubby cat!


      1. I don’t think you’ll find anything on Google. But, you never know! It’s actually somebody that David knew growing up. I just happen to think it hilarious that someone actually named their child that. LOL


  7. Yeah, I’d still go with the “really furry” explanation. LOL. I think my girl calico might be more than 10lbs. She really isn’t fat though. She’s pretty long. My boy part siamese is well over 10lbs. He’s really long. Maybe your cat’s long too. LOL


    1. I don’t know that Sydney really qualifies as being “long” – so I will, indeed, just keep calling her really furry! I once had a siamese, and boy was he a troublemaker. A skinny troublemaker, as a matter of fact.


  8. i love your random list- it’s just like the inside of my mind. Of course, I tend to write whatever nonsense I’m thinking about. No quality control…


  9. Sydney is awesome. And discreet. I’m pretty sure she still hasn’t told anyone about the shenanigans she witnessed in your living room a couple weeks ago.


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