The people who know us best instinctively know how to push our buttons. So naturally my brother knows one of the easiest ways to get me riled up is to tell me my cat is a porker.
“Buddy’s looking like he’s put on the pounds,” he’ll say casually. “How much are you feeding this cat?”
“Buddy is NOT fat!” I’ll reply indignantly. “It just looks that way because he’s meatloafing.”
“No, I’m pretty sure he’s just fat.”
Well now he may be right. Buddy isn’t exactly fat, but he’s on the wrong side of skinny and a few bags of Temptations away from being kinda chubby. Now is the time to nip this in the Bud and bring his weight back down before it, uh, balloons.
(Above: Buddy in super-chonk meatloaf pose, left, and Buddy in a photo taken a few days later. The way a cat sits or stands can dramatically change the way his or her body looks.)
The problem is, Buddy has mastered the art of the guilt trip.
When he’s legitimately hungry he isn’t shy about meowing for his meals, but what he does in between meals is much worse. When I head into the kitchen for a beverage or a snack, Buddy will pad right up to the doorway and stop, looking at me with his big, expectant eyes. His gaze will follow me as he sits there all hopeful.
And if I leave the kitchen without opening his treat cabinet, those big green eyes become accusatory, as if I’ve committed a profound betrayal of his trust by not giving him the ultra-processed kitty crack he loves.
It’s the complete silence that gets me. No meows, no complaints, just dead silence and those big eyes.
Worse yet, he’ll park himself right next to me and watch me eat a bowl of cereal or a cookie, continuing the silent act. What kind of horrible Big Buddy gets a snack for himself but not his Little Buddy?
So yeah. It’s diet time.
Buddy doesn’t know the dreaded D-word. He’s about to learn. But his diet may be harder on me than it is on him.