This weekend, our dear friends Jason and Juan came over for dinner. Jason cat-sat for our cat Lucia when she was a wee little kitten, weighing in at a mere four ounces and was so damn cute that it was hard not to overzealously squeeze her to death. See?
Lucia is now just over two years old, and is… how do we say… a bit round. We’ve had many guests comment on her physique – though it’s always confusing as some insist that she’s a heifer, and some coo with adoration that she’s “perfect”. However, this weekend, upon seeing his kitty god-child, Jason exclaimed “She gets wider every time I see her!”. It was easy to brush away that comment as it’s not like he said it to ME, and I was 3/4 through a bottle of Chardonnay and a little too toasty to care. Later that night as piles of dishes sat on our counter and Matt and I nursed the end of a good buzz, Matt said rather pragmatically, “Do you think Lucia needs to go on a diet?”
Sounds of protest were the first things out of my mouth, because despite her squishy little belly that sways when she walks, I DO think she’s perfect. She’s a fluffy, puffy feline, and she has brilliant green eyes and an usually calm demeanor. So she’s a little large – so what, so am I? As I thought about it, I realized, she DOES need to go on a diet. Because she’s a cat, and weighing 14 pounds is not exactly svelte for a cat. I have no ambitions of putting her in a bikini, but I want her to live until my children grow out of the tail-pulling phase and realize what a great cat she is.
My reaction was surprising because I realized (as ridiculous as this is going to sound) that my feelings were hurt for Lucia. I have felt the sting of being told I need to lose weight, so the realization that my chubby kitty also fell off the Fat Tree and hit every branch on the way down was a bummer, and it stung. I felt as if her obesity were my own personal failure, as if I have been shoveling chocolate chips into her mouth and placing a tray of goose fat in front of her every morning.
I got over it the next morning and have been cracking fat jokes in her direction every chance I get (I’m so compassionate, aren’t I?). Matt even called me out because he made a comment about her size and I told him it was rude, and then the next day I referred to her as a fat-ass. Wanna know my justification? I am fat, so I’m allowed to make fat jokes. Kind of like black people and the n-word.
So now, Lucia and I both will tackle obesity in 2011, with her weight loss goal a whopping one pound, and mine, a fantastic fifty. Together we will battle our addiction to food and fondness of lying around. While I initially was disappointed that my big fat problem had affected my big fat cat, now I realize it’s a blessing in disguise. Why? Because together, we’re a purrfect pair.