Ask, and you shall receive.
I was so bold as to beseech you for guest blog posts, and you delivered. Oh, mercy, did you deliver. Being Team Tabby’s Place, you delivered with guts and glory and Hollywood-blockbuster excitement.
And then you threw in a line about “19 pounds of angry fat” just as a gift of laughter.
Since this is the time of year when Hollywood releases their Serious Intense Films For Your Oscar Consideration, it’s entirely reasonable that a certain large cat wanted to court his own nomination. Chopper doesn’t need no stinkin’ 19th-century Russian literature or musical about the miserable to inspire his Academy Award drama.
Take it from the brave woman who dares to be Chopper’s ma:
“I came across your request for guest bloggers, and as Chopper can’t help but to hog the spotlight (because he’s just so enormous), we thought we would chime in and share his most recent CATastrophe (yes, I went there).
“The story starts a few months ago with our vet looking at us with a Very Serious Gaze over the rim of a pair of spectacles and the words, ‘with regards to his weight…we’re really going to have to do something about this.’ And we weren’t even there for his weight – we were there because of his excessive manscaping (to put it delicately). For some reason, Chopper licks himself bald from breastbone to his…well, you get the picture.
“Anyway, she chalked it up to allergies and wrote a prescription, then told us to feed him approximately 1/3 of what he was currently ingesting, and sent us on our way.
“To say that Chopper is displeased with his diet would be an understatement of epic proportions. He immediately went on a food-scrounging campaign that could only be described as ‘Shock and Awe.’ He jumps onto the counter and knocks the ¼ cup measuring cup that we use to dispense his breakfast and dinner onto the tile floor, resulting in an enormous clatter. He follows that with the plastic cup we use for the dog food, then whatever mail happens to be up there as well. After he’s inhaled his ‘meager portion’ of kibble, he starts his assault on the dog. He whacks him in the face with his paws until the poor, ancient sheltie wanders off in a fog of confusion, at which point Chopper settles down to eat HIS dinner. He jumps on the children and helps himself to pot roast (they encourage this behavior, of course). From nowhere, 19 pounds of angry fat lands in our laps and dives head-first into the bowl of Rocky Road. Patchy and hostile, he has been-to put it mildly-demanding and, okay I’ll say it, NAUGHTY.
“Fast forward to the Sunday after Hurricane Sandy. We are chilly, without power, making do. My husband pours himself a glass of milk and sets it on the counter, then leaves the kitchen to help the children with something. CRASH! Enter disaster: Chopper has jumped on the counter, slapped the glass of milk onto the tile floor, then jumped down ONTO THE BROKEN SHARDS OF GLASS to lap up the milk. We rush into the kitchen, at which point Chopper gallops off to the basement, leaving a blood spatter trail that would keep Dexter busy for hours.
“Of course it’s a Sunday. Of course nobody in our town has power, including the vet. Luckily, a very dear friend of ours is veterinary Chief of Staff of a practice in Princeton and can meet us at his office as soon as we can get there. With an openly aggravated and bleeding Chopper in tow, we navigate streets covered in downed wires, detours due to trees in the road, fleet after fleet of power company trucks.
“Five stitches later, we are told Chopper has juuuuuuuuust missed hitting his femoral artery. Sporting a Cone of Shame and a 12 day course of antibiotic (because of his FIV+ status), we return home with a visibly chastened Chopper.
“We told the children he was dressed as a flashlight for Halloween.
“The up-side to the story is, while he was unconscious, our friend weighed him, and Chopper has lost 4 entire pounds and now weighs in the vicinity of 15 lbs. Also, his belly hair is growing back since he couldn’t reach around the cone to lick it. And, he’s had some of the wind knocked out of his sails. As a bonus, his perceived hunger, along with his newly-streamlined physique, makes him a mouse hunting MACHINE. So while Chopper (being Chopper) will always have some kitty swagger, it’s been tempered with just a touch of humility. But he won’t pass up a bowl of Rocky Road if it’s offered.
Chopper’s family–Dana, Chad, Sophie, Tessa, Jack the Sheltie, and of course, Chopper”
That’s a lot of guts and gratitude, Chopper’s family – yours, Chopper’s, and even Jack the poor ancient sheltie’s.
We’re grateful for you. We’re grateful for Chopper’s recovery. We’re grateful for cat swagger in all sizes.
And the image of 15 pounds of happy fat will warm many Thanksgivings yet to come.