Monday, 11 April 2011

I'm doing this because I love you, Kitty.

So it's just you and me tonight then, Kitty. Just you and me, and as you flop heavily onto the floor in front of Come Dine With Me, I know it's time to put you on a diet.

The last diet I put you on was a catastrophe; a cacophony of screeching shrieks that tore into the very fabric of my being. "Of course I love you, you dumb ANIMAL! This is why I'm not giving you treats! Because I love you!" And yet the reproachful stares get longer, and throughout the week your proximity to me grows further and further away, until I'm perched on the edge of the sofa, and you're stretching your legs out, poking me, willing me to fall off. This is how it works in my house. Sorry, her house. If she doesn't want to be near me, I have to move. She is only the size of a handful of socks, but she can take up as much room as several hungover cows if she wants to. Andy asks; "Why do you let her bully you like this?" I reply, I don't. How ridiculous. Bullied by a cat? I glance quickly over my shoulder to see if she's listening. One half-closed eye reveals that she's heard every word, and is ready to pounce with judgemental purring should she hear anything less than complimentary about herself.

Sometimes I sing to her. I think her occasional bullishness is a repost for my seemingly endless cat-themed re-workings of pop classics and operatic themes. I'm not the only person who does this - I won't mention any names as I wouldn't want to unwittingly offend or embarrass anybody with so much heart that they dance and sing with their cat, but I can assure you, it's a rewarding experience; until she decides a certain line isn't quite satisfactory and claws her way out of my clingy grasp and runs for the dining room chairs. "Stinky pie, stinky pie, no you don't get any treats to-day, (you are such a tubby cat)" sang to the tune of Poker Face while cradling her like a baby and poking her nose has recently had my hand scratched to smithereens. Not to worry, it's all for my art.

This week, it's diet week. After several months of kowtowing to her every tiny little gloriously fluffy silly cat-faced whim, she has begun to resemble a saggy old tabby hot water bottle. Her head, not usually the largest of cat heads, now looks tiny in comparison to her body (which I described as 'gargantuan' yesterday, but was rebuked for being 'size-ist') and gives her the almost creepy air of a puppet-come-alive. If she moved about more, I'd be inclined to be frightened of her coming into my room at night and scaring the living crap out of me. No more kitten biscuits for you Kitty, no matter how often you show me your tiny adorable mouth. No more food pouches than absolutely necessary, little Kitty, despite your constant yowling. When I eat crisps, you will no longer eat crisps. When I have mashed potato, you will no longer have any mashed potato. I will not be letting you get away with your nightly excursions to the kitchen any more, despite how deeply impressive it was that time when you got cake out of a not-properly-shut-fridge and ate half of it. I would have had to polish it off.

No more will you be fat, Kitty. You will be sleek and healthy. You will not cry for food, you will cry to be held and to go outside to exercise. This is not projection, don't look at me like that. I will go running tomorrow, when I'm not so busy. Stop glaring that way. For an old cat, you do have some bad habits.

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