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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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« Announcing: A Year of Writing | Main | For Chloe »

It’s been far too long since I wrote about my cat. 

You remember this animal?

big boned

Hey there, cat lovers.

You may recall that in 2007 we adopted a kitten who quickly ballooned into an impressive cat-shaped balloon. At her pinnacle, she weighed 20 pounds. That’s more than our dog weighs. In addition to being huge, she was gross. Her fur was oily and dandruff-speckled, she couldn’t clean her butt, and when she laid on her back, which is her favorite position, her breathing was labored and wheezy. It was sad.

We put her on a diet. Many months later, she weighed exactly the same amount. Her butt was still a crime scene; her fur, un-pettable. Eventually we figured out that she was sneak-eating the dog’s food. Charlie isn’t enthusiastic about his food, but Izzy is very much a fan. (Charlie, conversely, would scrabble up the cat’s food in his chops the second we turned our back, if we put it anywhere within his reach. And then he’d hork it right back out. Up? Up and out.)

So: we continued with the diet, and we remembered to place the dog’s bowl out of reach whenever he wasn’t using it and/or we weren't around. And now, two years later…


 Where's my goddamn medal.

Izzy now weighs 14 pounds. Fourteen. She lost six pounds, also known as a small cat. Are you impressed with her? Be impressed!

IMG_5751 IMG_5752


For not only is she no longer a bowling ball—she can play! She runs and jumps after laser pointers and whatever you care to dangle within her reach. Her fur is not even mildly disgusting. You can pet her all the way down to the tail and you never want to shudder. She can clean herself. All the parts of herself. And she does, all the time. She's a big show-off about it, if you want to know the truth.

She’s not exactly what you might call petite, but she’s at a healthy weight, so we’re happy. Of course she still demands food constantly, and plots our deaths day and night so she may one day eat our flesh. But until the moment she exacts her revenge, we will pet her silky fur and feel satisfied that we did right by our insane, possibly homicidal cat.


I’m not going to eat you. I just want to gnaw on you for a bit.


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  • Response
    Its too bad I cant my cat on all my travels. I try not to be away very long.

Reader Comments (17)

That's over a third of her body weight so that really is pretty impressive. I wish I could lose a third of my body weight, or heck, even 6 pounds.

December 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercsmith

I got a 5mo old kitten (Winston) at our local shelter last October and he is the most food centric cat I've seen in my life! I have to feed him and my other older cat (Twitch) separately, otherwise Winston will almost knock Twitch aside to eat her food. Winston actually snorts when he's INHALING his food! Talking about your kitty sneaking dog food, my son has a dog and he'll forget to close the closet where the dog food is and I'll find Winston IN the big bag grabbing A LOT of snacks and NOT being very sneaky! Lol But, Winston is a super fun, loving kitty- I have to love him! P.s. Looks almost just like yours!

December 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

What is it about black cats? I had a male that would attack loaves of bread sitting on a kitchen counter. He acted like we were starving him.

December 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpagalina

Our black male, Oskar, acts like we're starving him, too. He'll even steal spicy tomato salsa.

Are we cat racists?

December 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElan Morgan

Well done! I'm very glad. There's nothing more regrettable than a fat cat. Well, actually lots of things, but a fat cat is up there. I know it's hard, and takes time, but you've done it! I hope you're feeling pleased and satisfied, because of course you'll get no thanks from the cat in question.
Mine is 20 years old and a struggle to keep up around 61/2 pounds - she's no fun to stroke, skinny and bony as she is. Enjoy petting your nice solid cat.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Pam, our 16-year-old dog is down from 27 to 17 pounds, so I know what you mean! We're filling him up with treats while the cat shakes her head in disgust.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralice

Hurrah! I have to admit to reading this thinking: oh no, the cat is dead. I clearly forgot about the 9 lives. Did you buy her a cat treadmill? (I'm sure such a thing exists in an Amazon warehouse somewhere).

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Reluctant Launderer

What a beauty. I have a soft spot for black cats -- grew up with one.

One of our cats will eat EVERYTHING IN HER PATH, while the other cat slowly starves. We had to rig up a probably-too-complicated system to ensure that the one doesn't become a whale, and the other doesn't become skin and bones. It's mostly worked... although fatty could stand to use a pound ;)

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Well done, Izzy! She's gorgeous! (My black cat, Wynton, would love her!)

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Wow, Alice, that's fantastic! I have a fatty of my own who's been on a diet for years, but I can't get her to drop more than a pound or two. What food worked for Izzy?

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Ross

Leslie: NutraMax Lite. One 5.5 oz can a day, split up into 4 portions. BUT I am not a vet, so you should check with one before putting your cat on a diet. If they lose weight too fast it is very, very bad for them. (Goal is to lose no more than 1/2 pound a month, I think.) Good luck!

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralice

Cute cat! Nice to know she's not remotely disgusting.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKorinthia

My little black cat, Kizzy, is very proud of Izzy. he's not fat but it's only because we don't leave food out. He would eat everything in sight if he could.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRita Arens

You need to write about Izzy more often! Love this cat.... What a personality!

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

What a transformation! My black cat lurks on top of the refrigerator and strikes your head when you go for your human-snack. Weight loss motivation for us both.

December 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

I'm so glad for Izzy! and my cat needs to go on a diet too. Glad to know it can work!

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternerr

She's so wee and adorable!

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Lee

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