An oft-heard comment among visitors to Tabby’s Place is, “Your cats are so big!”
Is it the Ringoes, NJ water? Are cats like koi, growing to fill their space, so that cage-free living means enormous cats? Honestly, our cats don’t look unusually large to me…well, except for a certain contingent. Some call these guys the fat cats, but I’ll stick with plus-sized, or the latest buzz word, full-fashioned. And, truth be told, these sizable sweeties are growing in number.
There was a time when our Weight Management Suite was home to a mere five cats. They happily (if hungrily) occupied one of our small Specialty Care Rooms, and enjoyed became rapturously euphoric over their scheduled feedings twice daily. The “biggest losers” would graduate out of the room (and occasionally eat their way back into it), making room for new XL felines. And so it went.
But this summer, it became painfully obvious that we had far more than five cats in need of such a regimen. Every time I walked into Suite B, my beloved Angelina seemed a few inches rounder, and would greet me by purring, rubbing, and then immediately going over to devour approximately 800 pounds of dry food before settling down to cuddle. Over in Suite C, plump Ginger was ever-plumper, and Jan, the little patchwork quilt, looked increasingly like a calico-upholstered watermelon. When Denise and Danielle sat down to take a serious look at how many of our cats really needed to lose weight, the list came to…well, a whole suiteful.
And so it happened that the living-large felines came to have their very own suite. No adoption room would fit this crew, so Suite A is now home to quite a cast of dieting characters. In addition to the beautiful girls mentioned above, the Suite A slimming spa is open for business to Cookie (longtime resident of the old Weight Management Suite, and a gentle old soul who always looks angry but is just timid), “Wacky” Jackie, Maggie (who loves human beans for our affection and our tasty fingers), Oreo (not to be confused with Oreo), Sarafina (who shares with former resident Tara the distinction of having been likened to an area rug when she lies down), perky and cuter-than-you-can-stand Paprika, and Scooter (whose fear of all matter does not extend to food). The room has room for two un-chunky oddballs, too. We couldn’t bring ourselves to separate Ginger from her devoted fella, Kurt; and moving Ali (best described by Jonathan as “afraid of molecules”) from her turf would risk setting this delicate flower back in her progress by many months.
This colorful crew will be spared the clock-watching agony of previous Tabby’s Place dieters. This time, we’re letting our extra-grande kitties “free-feed” ’round the clock. The only catch? We’ve essentially replaced their Doritos with celery sticks: in those full bowls, they’ll now find reduced-calorie fare. No word yet on how this is going to go over with the crew.
Stay tuned to future posts for updates on the large-and-in-charge kids’ progress…if they don’t find a way to mutiny on us first. 😉