Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Can Has Isotopes?

He cracks me up when he does his
Orson Welles impersonations.
Many people think of their pets as their children, I know I do. Which leads me to feel like everyone is judging me. Like I do that Honey-Boo-Ham kid's mom.

Every time I bring my full-figured cat to the vet, I prepare myself for the lecture. It's been that way since he was kitten-ball.

I used to get defensive about it. "But I don't overfeed him. Really I don't." I'd say this as we'd watch Fat Aggie go through the instinctual motions of grooming himself by raising one hind leg in the air and half-heartedly waving his tongue in the general direction of his crotch before flopping onto his side in exhaustion. (I know what you're thinking, but that scene in the Shrek movie is based on Aggie.)

At this point the vet would hand me the yellow "How To Care For Your Obese Cat" pamphlet. Every time.

We'd go home and I'd try to withhold food. But Aggie would make it perfectly clear that the only reason he keeps me around is for my opposable thumbs. As I sheepishly cranked the can opener, Aggie would slowly drag one fang across the back of my calf. His way of reminding me that carnivores aren't really all that picky.

My friends would diagnose my cat with metabolic syndrome. They'd warn me that Aggie was on the path to daily insulin injections.

Feed me!
So last year when Aggie got sick, I thought for sure I was that kind of mom who gave my kid Type-II diabetes. He gave up using the litter box in favor of the bath mat or hamper. Then he'd drink another gallon of water. And even though his appetite became even more ravenous, he started loosing weight. A lot of weight.

I took him back to his doctor. "Help my fat baby! He's melting away!"

To my relief, Aggie wasn't diabetic at all. It turned out he was suffering from an overactive thyroid. I learned this is a relatively common health issue with cats. In fact, there's a nationwide chain of clinics which specialize exclusively in the treatment of feline hyperthyroidism. It's called Radiocat. I shit you not.

You drop your sickly cat off at Radiocat and in three-to-five days when your check clears and/or the cat stops glowing, you pick him up permanently cured. It's a miracle! Thank you Jesus and Iodine131! Best keep him off your lap for a few weeks. (Julie insists that's how she lost her uterus.) And here are some lead-lined baggies to scoop his litter into.

JB and Aggie. They both
know they get treats when
they're adorable.
I thought "RadioCat" sounded cool. I pictured a feline cyborg with lasers and Bluetooth. But the whole radioactive pet thing horrified JB. No way was he going to subject his kitty to such barbaric, painless, life-saving torture.

Given JB's reservations, we opted instead to give Aggie hormone pills. One in the morning and another at night. Every day. Forever. No need to worry about fissile poo. Just remember to scrub your hands thoroughly after handling broken tablets and call 911 if you start lactating.

Immediately Aggie's health improved and his weight stabilized at ten pounds below his max. Last week I took him back for a follow-up exam. The vet said his blood levels are perfect, but he could stand to lose a few pounds. "Keep it," I said when she reached for the yellow pamphlet.

As JB paid the bill, I took the carrier to the car. It was a nice day and Aggie doesn't often get out of the house, so instead of putting the carrier inside the car I popped opened the hatchback and we sat down. This was when I was accosted by an old lady.

"You are NOT going to put that cat in your trunk!"

Getting scolded by a grandma instantly snapped me into childhood mode. "Uh... no... Of course not, ma'am, I'd never..." It wasn't until Grandma huffed away having done her good deed for the day that I thought of what I should have said to her...

My car doesn't have a trunk.

What are you looking at?


  1. Your cat isn't fat... Aggie is husky. :-)

  2. Oh, he's a cutie. And what a great post. I horribly took offense to visitors the other day who said: "oh, it looks like Sophie has NEVER missed a meal". honestly, she doesn't eat that much.She's big, but not BIG. I was horribly put out.

  3. Your cat lost 10 lbs and is still obese? Wow--- my cat only weighs 9. Your cat lost an entire cat!