Post-Christmas: And the Cat Ate Everything

My Christmas holidays were filled with fun times: catching up with family and friends, trading stories about recent adventures and job updates, and relaxing over helping with some house projects and couch time. Good food and good times were had.

But while we were gone the Spirit of Feasting was upon my cat Elsa. She took on the holiday weight gain with round-the-clock eating for four days straight.

A little back story.

Elsa and her brother Socks started out as small sleek kitties when we adopted them. We laid out a bowl of food for them to share, as we had done for previously owned kitties.

But something different happened. While Socks stayed small Elsa started to get a little pudgy in the middle. At first we thought she was just going to be a big kitty, until we realized she was eating the food pretty much all the time.

A new tactic was tried: we put a separate food container for Socks on top of a freezer so Elsa couldn’t get up there, being so heavy, and restricted Elsa’s food on the ground. It worked great for a while, until she started losing enough weight to jump up and eat Sock’s food. The weight came back on.

It got to the point that the vet told us we would have to find a better solution or Elsa might face serious health issues in the future. So we decided to feed both Elsa and Socks once a day.

And it worked. Socks would eat most of his food on the freezer, then if Elsa jumped up and ate the rest it wasn’t enough to spoil her diet. With this plan in motion Elsa went from 19 pounds to 11 pounds in about 12 months. Everything was going according to plan, and everyone was happy—except for a grumbling Elsa.

Fast forward to us going out of town for Christmas. We didn’t have an automatic feeder so we planned like usual when we went out of town—we left food containers out. I filled two on the ground and one on the freezer for Socks. Whatever was leftover I would take away once we got back and start them up again on their diet. I expected most of the food to be there.

We have a camera set up in the cat room to watch them eat. I’d check on them occasionally while we were gone, and almost every time I saw Elsa eating. Well, when we got back, one and a half of the ground containers were empty. We weighed her to discover she’d gained 3 pounds over our Christmas vacation. 3 pounds in 4 days.

Good things come from what you make of them. I had a great time helping out my in-laws with projects and catching up on things, but while we were gone my cat was going crazy gorging herself with food. She couldn’t see the bigger picture of just eating occasionally and lacked the discipline of stopping herself from overeating. (Of course, I am just saying this to make an analogy here. She might just be hungry all the time in general and I will keep feeding her once a day to help her maintain a healthy weight. I love her to pieces and she is sooo fluffy.) Elsa is lucky she has someone to help her out so she lives a long life. She will be getting a timed-release feeder when we go on trips from now on.

With the right mindset and follow-through sometimes you can find a light at the end of your tunnel. With perseverance comes solutions.

May your good times be filled with mostly positive experiences, and when the negative happens hopefully there will be a way out for you to persevere.

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