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01 March 2012 @ 12:58 pm
In Defense of Plumpity  
First, it's the final voting day for this week's Real LJ Idol, so here's where I ask for your help in the polls for halfshellvenus, karmasoup, impoetry, and nodressrehersal. It seems as if our new tribes still don't "get" us, so we're not doing as well as we'd like. :(

Plumpity: I've mentioned our two cats before, Tigger and The Whale. Sounds like a messed-up Disney movie, doesn't it? Tigger is also called Tiggity and Babs (?!?) by Christopher. In the last 4-5 months, I've morphed that into yet another nickname for her: Plumpity.

Tigger's a rescue kitty, so we don't know her exact age. She's at least 16. She's had a hard time this past year, after surgery to remove a lump on her back that was bothering her. After the surgery, we had to put a cone on her, and she got very paranoid and weird. It turned out that she'd become fairly deaf, and with the cone on she couldn't hear or see The Whale, who randomly attacks her once in a while. The cone came off, but the behavior persisted. It led to litterbox problems (she tries to sneak off somewhere private to pee, which is always the WRONG place for that). She's also simply old, and less energetic.

She's always had a loose pouch of a stomach. She wasn't spayed when we found her, so she might have had kittens at some point. In the last 6 months, the pouch has gotten filled in. She used to be a normal-sized cat, but now she's actually a little chubby. Not much we can do—her food's always been regulated, but she doesn't move around as much. By contrast, I started putting The Whale out at night after we developed a rat/mouse problem, and he actually lost some weight. So he's no longer tubby, and now Tigger is. o_O

Christopher likes to kid about her weight a lot, and I suppose it's harmless. But I notice his teasing more than he does, because I worry that she isn't fat, and that her roundness is due to something scarier. We'd never put her through cancer treatments, so we just keep loving her and hoping that it's nothing.

Meanwhile, Christopher created an ascii-icon for her condition: ~((^.^))

Stay with us, Plumpity! We don't want to lose you.

a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: Lexi - sleepy catembroiderama on March 1st, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
Spayed cats have such a tendency to get pudgy, I bet she's fine.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 1st, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
She was pretty much the same size for 14 years, and only recently has gotten pudgy.

But her legs are weaker, and she sleeps a LOT more deeply, so it may also be age.

Or the deep sleep could be a side-effect of fewer distractions, now that she can't hear them. This summer, she was snoozing on the patio bench when the sprinklers went off behind her, and she slept right on through it. In the past, the mere sound of them (and imminent threat of getting wet) would have had her hightailing it out of there in a heartbeat!
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelfembroiderama on March 1st, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
Aw, poor kitty! My older cat is the opposite in that he's been getting slimmer. He's a big cat frame-wise, but he was also fat for a long time but now he's pretty slim under his fluff. He does sleep a lot more too.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 1st, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
The deafness is kind of sad, in that it makes her paranoid and results in that occasional "Where is everybody?" howling.

But OTOH, she's no longer terrified of the vacuum cleaner, and she was safe from the sprinklers-- she just wouldn't have stuck around to find that out, before.

If your older kitty is getting smaller, keep an eye on his mouth, in case his teeth are hurting. But if he's not hurting, then slim is definitely healthier for animals, especially older ones.

After all these years, The Whale went from being about 20 pounds to being 18- 18.5 pounds. He's a little bit chubby, but you can feel the edge of his ribcage now, and he can actually curl up like a regular cat. Not in a very tight ball, but it's a huge difference compared to before. :)
nrrrdy_grrrl on March 1st, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Just keep watching her like you're already doing. You're probably right that she's just older and less active and carrying her weight in a different places than she did when she was younger. The only thing you need to stay on top of is watch for signs of discomfort. Animal cancers or malignancies and even benign growths can be very painful- like that lump that was bothering her.

As the protector of my cat, I want to be able to make decisions about her comfort, health and quality of life that have her best interests in mind.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 1st, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
I hope it's just age, but I keep an eye out for signs of persistent pain or sore spots.

She has occasional cranky days, which never used to be the case, and her version of "cranky" is just "Not being interested in being petted." She's very sweet-tempered, and always hoping to sit on someone's lap, so if she doesn't purr as easily as usual, I know it's an off-day.

Keeping our fingers crossed...
nrrrdy_grrrl on March 1st, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
Otter pose!!!!!

Silly tongue!!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on March 1st, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
:D I think of that as an otter pose, too. All he needs is a clam... :D
nrrrdy_grrrl on March 1st, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
I bet he'd love a clam!
nrrrdy_grrrl on March 1st, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
ps: when will we see photos!!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 1st, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
Hee! I tried to stalk her the other day, and I got a few, but they don't show her smiley-ness or cuteness very well. She's a lightly-spotted tabby, so other than her stripey edges, it's all-camouflage-all-the-time.

All I've got in my gallery is this semi-action photo, which shows her temptations but not her cuteness:

and this barely-visible thing Lauren took (and kept because of the silly tongue):

And this is all-too-typical for The Whale, who is a tuxedo-cat. Those are coincidentally the same markings as an Orca, hence his nickname:

getting the chocolate in the peanut butterdotfic on March 2nd, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Oh, I hope it's nothing but pudginess!

Your cats have adorable names!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 2nd, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
It's funny, my husband's always saying, "Which one is Tigger? Because I can never remember."

o_O It's the stripey one! :0

The Whale's real name is Lightning, because he can be incredibly speedy, but after he got larger and larger (he's talllll), the grownups gave him a new nickname. We'd like to call him Shamu, but the kids protest. Instead, they call him Tubby, which is what one of Lauren's friends nicknamed him. She's not even in the family!