Fat Kitty: A decade-long celebration!

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since Fat Kitty came into our lives! Here is his introduction to the world!

I wouldn’t have believed it if you asked me if I would be a cat owner. Jamie had a beloved Cocker Spaniel, Duchess, growing up while I had Lacey the Bichon Frise. When I was younger, we had a spicy tomcat named Peppery who was the neighborhood bully. I used to dress him up in doll clothes and push him around in my doll stroller (which I’m sure went over splendidly) but he wasn’t what you’d call a beloved pet.  Rumor has it you’d be innocently sitting on the couch and he would pounce on your head from behind. His ultimate demise was getting in one of his many catfights at night and we had to put him down because his battle wounds got infected.

So, he was pretty much the opposite of Fat Kitty.

Jamie and I debated getting a pet because our Denver years were filled with so much travel that we didn’t know how we would manage it all. Though we loved dogs, they’re expensive and high-maintenance so when Jamie’s parents announced a move to Utah, we decided upon a cat to fill the void. I put it out on social media and a blogger friend had sadly relinquished her kitty when they moved and so we visited him in the shelter and were ready to adopt…but he was very sick, on a rigorous treatment plan and they didn’t know if he would make it.

I turned to Craigslist and made a posting about a loving family looking for a loving kitty and a woman reached out to us. She had a sweet kitty “Tiger” she had adopted from the shelter a few months ago but her current cat beat up on him (even taking a bite out of his ear).  They estimated he was about 3 years old and she had declawed him because of her leather couches; would we want to come see him?

It was love at first sight. Kind of. He was super shy and hid underneath the furniture. When we finally brought him out, he was a big, green-eyed beauty…but it wasn’t until we tried to put him in his crate that we realized just how big. The poor thing was terrified on the drive home (he still hates the car) and I pet him the whole drive home. I think he imprinted on me and I’ve been the favorite ever since.  We named him Remy but he has been Fat Kitty ever since.

It took him about 6 months to acclimate to our crazy clan and he spent much of that time hiding under beds and behind couches. However, on the first night we brought him home, he woke me up when he snuck into our bedroom. I pretended to be asleep when he jumped up on our bed and analyzed me for what felt like hours. Just when I wondered if this strange, new cat was plotting my death, he crept over to me and wrapped himself around my neck, purring. It was then I knew he’d be a good kitty.

He’s everyone’s favorite (well, except for Jamie because their relationship is dysfunctional at best) and here are a few of our favorite things about him for posterity:

Fat Kity has to find the softest blanket or pillow in the house to lay down (despite his permanent belly padding).

He is the least playful cat ever (and looks at you like you’re an idiot for even trying). We bought a lot of toys before we brought him home and couldn’t get him to play with any of them. We contacted the previous owner to see what he liked to play with and she hedgingly said, “He’s not really super playful.” Understatement.

He is, however, a lover and curls up next to us for marathon snuggles. He sleeps by my side or at my feet every night and becomes unglued whenever I’m out of town. Just ask Jamie; he gets the brunt of Fat Kitty’s neurosis every time I leave for extended periods of time.

The first time he caught a mouse at our house in Arvada, he didn’t know what to do so sat on it (undoubtedly a fate worse than death).

One our funniest memories is when Hadley and I were snuggled up in my bed and he walked into the bedroom. He was fairly agile when we first got him and liked to jump up on the window will. This particular day, the blinds were 3/4 of the way down so when he jumped up, he knocked right into them and flipped over backward. Hadley and I laughed for the next 30 minutes.

He has been an indoor kitty with outdoor tendencies so we slowly started letting him in our backyard. Our old yard was fenced in but a few times, he jumped up on the fence via the Powerbox and went on the lam. We found him a few doors down under our neighbor’s porch with their very enthusiastic Golden Retriever, Kozmo, excitedly pointing him out. He was hiding in a little hole so we ultimately had to spray him out with the hose which went over splendidly. He was covered in mud so it was one of his first baths where we were introduced to the “Meow of Death.” He hates water!

One of his other baths was when Bode finger-painted him with pudding. It took several years for Fat Kitty to warm up to Bode but they’re bestest brothers now. We estimate they were both 3 years old when we got Fat Kitty and if you know 3-year-olds, you know they’re not super great around pets. Bode never hurt him but just LOVED him so much that his snuggles were like being mauled.

Hadley, on the other hand, was obsessed. We got him when she was in kindergarten and every essay, drawing and conversation revolved around him for a few years.

After Fat Kitty went on the lam, we decided he needed supervised exercise so we bought him a leash to walk around the neighborhood. Do you know that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula is working at the travel agency and sees Ian for the first time when she is wearing a headset to talk on the phone and she gets embarrassingly yanked back? That was Fat Kitty every time we put him on the leash. He would try to run away until he realized (too late) he was attached.

Fat Kitty hates change so our move was pretty traumatic for him. First, he had to go on field trips to the neighbors during our house showings and then he freaked out when we started packing up the house. And the 10-hour drive to Utah? Bad, bad, bad. We got him a sedative from the vet and tested it out on him a couple of weeks prior. He was a hilarious drunken sailer and we figured he’d conk right out but no such luck. Hadley and Jamie drove with him and he cried/meowed the entire 10-hour drive. When we arrived at Jamie’s parent’s house in Utah, he pooped in a few inappropriate places and then passed out on the couch from the trama. Poop is his weapon of choice when he is ticked off.

While our house was being finished, we stayed in my friend Kristen’s gorgeous Park City condo which didn’t allow pets so Fat Kitty stayed with Grandma for a few months. He was pretty traumatized those first weeks following the move and being abandoned but sure warmed up to her, Aunt Lisa and Grandpa. When we would come visit, he made very clear that GRANDMA was his new favorite person. They put him on a diet so he dropped a few pounds; it was the first time anyone has ever come home from Grandma’s weighing less.

He loved our old backyard in Arvada with his greenery and bushes to chill out in the shade. Our 0.5-acre property has been a dirt/weed patch but we finally got it landscaped this summer and he has had the time of his life! We back to some huge fields for prime mousing and he would sometimes disappear for a few hours. But we’ve never had any runaway incidents since our move. In his old age (13) he knows who butters his bread.

Speaking of bread, Fat Kitty has dropped a few pounds and is back to his svelte figure from the Grandma days. He was throwing up a lot last summer. and he had a lump on his side. We started freaking out he was ill and started by cutting back on his food (we would always just leave a large bowl out for him). His forced “diet” did the trick. That lump was just a blob of fat and he was throwing up because he was purging after overeating.

So, now he’s just a kinda Fat Kitty instead of morbidly obese Fat Kitty.

And we’re pretty darn grateful to have had this sweet boy in our lives for 10 wonderful years.

Hostages

See this guy? 

He’s going through a late-in-life crisis. We’ve been traveling the last few weekends. First, to Salt Lake City for Christmas, then to Zion for New Year’s and then again last weekend for Jamie’s grandpa’s funeral. Compound that with the fact I’ve been gone a lot lately–and it’s about to get worse–and this guy is needy, needy, needy. We try to give him as much attention as we can when we’re around but his anxieties are manifesting themselves early in the morning.

Apparently we’ve made a bad choice in feeding him kitty treats after we wake up because he’s become downright obsessed with them, so much so that he desperately needs them at 4 a.m. And 4:30 a.m. And sometimes at 5 a.m. I normally love having him sleep at my feet but these early mornings are killing Jamie and me, especially because he hasn’t been sleeping well anyway (sometimes he doesn’t fall asleep until 1 or 3 a.m.) So, we started locking Fat Kitty out of our room and while he’s happy to go to sleep with Bode, he has made it clear we are his No. 1 choice. The other morning, he stood outside of our door meowing. I tried to shush him away but he kept right on going. In a desperate attempt to get him to shut up and not wake everyone else, I got up but didn’t give into him by rewarding him with kitty treats until much later. If it works for kids, it works for cats, right?

Nope. Fat Dude has a food quota to reach every day and he doesn’t go down easily. So, last night we made a new plan: to let him “meow it out.” The problem with that is it wakes us up but unlike when we let our kids cry it out, we aren’t worried about something being actually wrong.

Last night was night one of Operation Meow It Out and we cranked our humidifier to high so we wouldn’t hear him. I had to go to the bathroom at one point in the night but told myself, “Don’t do it. HE’LL KNOW YOU’RE AWAKE AND WILL START MEOWING.” At 4 a.m., he came calling but I only heard him meow once…likely because I was in my own stupor from lack of sleep. I went on to feverishly dream about him but was wracking my brain about the word he used to express his displeasure.

When I woke up, I remembered that word loud and clear: “MEOW.”

Heaven help us all. We’re being held hostage by a fat cat.

The Prodigal Cat Has Returned

Fat Kitty has had a rough six months. First, we started tearing apart our house and loading everything up in boxes.

Then, we’d dump him off at our neighbor’s house during three months of house showings.

And don’t forget about the 10-hour drive to Utah where he was so traumatized he meowed the entire drive, despite being given a sedative (that is one strong-willed cat).

Then, after only a few days with us at Grandma’s, we left him there to fend for himself. He was so depressed he didn’t even leave the basement for the first week.

Poor, poor kitty.

Our Park City rental didn’t allow pets so my in-laws graciously let him stay for a couple of months. We’ve been in our house for almost four weeks and we had every intention of quickly bringing him to our new home but the chaos continued as we unpacked and finished off two rooms in our basement. We FINALLY wrapped the construction last week and moved Hadley into her bedroom after the poor girl has endured several weeks of sleeping on the floor in my office and then a few days on the beanbag.

We were excited to finally bring Fat Kitty home!

On Friday, Duane, Linda and Aunt Lisa drove him out to Midway (amidst much meowing, of course) and poor Fat Kitty could not have been more confused. He tepidly walked into his new home, explored a bit and then dove under our bed. A while later he reemerged to survey the rest of the house and he seems to be settling pretty smoothly. That night, he cuddled up to me on my pillow and all was right in Fat Kitty’s world again.

Now, lest you feel sorry for The Fat One, don’t. Living at Grandma’s for three months has been like a Fat Cat Day Spa/Boot Camp. They bought him new food dishes, a cat tower, scratching pad (which he loves despite being declawed?), a comfy bed (he’s currently curled up in it as I type) and lots of toys. Much to all of our shock, The Fat One (a.k.a. the laziest cat in America) loves to play in the evenings. Who knew?

As we curled up to Fat Kitty in Bode’s bed that first night, my sweet boy commented, “I had forgotten how joyful it is to have him around.”

And he is a joyful, sweet, gentle, snuggly cat.

Not only has he emerged from The Grandma Spa more playful with a new lease on life, he also has a girlish figure. They put him on a diet with a very regimented feeding schedule and he lost two pounds.

The miracle of the matter? He’s the only one to EVER emerge from Grandma’s house skinnier than when he entered.

Sometimes you’re the cat, sometimes you’re the mouse

In the past, we had a problem with baby bunnies falling down our window well and as much as we hated to do it, we rescued and relocated them. I used to be a big fan of bunnies–heck, I adored my childhood pets Whiskers and Snowflake until my Aunt Sue’s dog had them for lunch. But in our neighborhood, the rabbits are pests who destroy our garden. Jamie has finally successfully blocked them out of our backyard so was surprised when he was downstairs on the phone and noticed movement in our window well. Big movement.

Shocked, he gazed upon Fat Kitty frantically pacing back and forth with a mouse in his mouth.  Being the nice man that he is, Jamie went outside and jumped down in the window well to save him but much to Fat Kitty’s dismay, he got rid of the mouse.

An open letter to The Fat One:

If you’re going to drop down into the window well in hot pursuit of a mouse, make sure you’re not too fat to jump out.

A Few Weeks (from Hell) in the Life of Fat Kitty

An Open Letter from Fat Kitty Voicing His Displeasure About Getting Booted During Our House’s Multiple Showings

One day I was snuggling up to my human friends. It was snowy and cold when Human Mother told Human Sister to take me across the street to Grandma Jean’s house.

I don’t like field trips. The only time I like to leave is when I sneak away and I never go far.

The Human Family left me with this stranger with only my blanket and food.

Grandma Jean has two cats. They cornered and sniffed me.

I do not like to be sniffed. Warning: Do not go anywhere near my butt.

I hid under Grandma Jean’s bed for the entire two hours.

When Human Mother and Father came to get me, I would not move for The Betrayers. Betrayer #1 took the broom and poked me until I came out.

That was Day From Hell #1.

The next Day From Hell was even worse because hell was moving.

I think it was called a car and I was in it.

The humans took me to their friend’s fancy house to lock me in their laundry room while they were out of town.

They had a key and the security code but not the instructions how to do it.

The security alarm sounded.

I freaked out and kindly requested to go back to Grandma Jean’s with the butt-sniffing cats.

The cops came.

Human Father held up his arms in the air, holding the key as evidence they were not burglars

The police did not understand my distress signal I sent revealing they are, in actuality, cat burglars.

We drove home and I went to another neighbor’s where I’ve spent lots of time the last few weeks.

I sit on the stairs glaring at the door until my humans come get me.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, SELL YOUR HOUSE AND STOP REHOMING YOUR CAT.

The End.

Love,

Fat Kitty

Hiel Fat Kitty

Fat Kitty. Captain Squishy. King of the Squish. He goes by many names (except for his given name, Remy) and what’s not to love? He’s fat, squishy, lovable, gentle and an Olympic-level snuggler.

We were horrified upon returning from Canada to learn that Jamie’s sister, who lived with us this summer, decided to put him on a diet. Garfield does not diet. He just has a slow metabolism! And she while she’d limit his food to one small bowl in the evenings, the kids and I would sneak our starving cat extra food.

I think he actually gained weight on his diet but don’t most of us?

Bode, Hadley and I adore him but after five years as a part of our family, Jamie still openly disdains him. We just don’t get it.

“Why aren’t you nicer to Fat Kitty?”

“I don’t understand why you and the kids are obsessed with him.”

“Three out of four members of this family love him. Maybe there’s something wrong with you!”

“Three out of four Germans liked Hitler.”

 

The War of The Fat Cat

In terms of household pets, Fat Kitty is a great one. Cuddly. Affectionate. Cute. Low-maintenance.

Usually.

It’s just that Fat Kitty has developed a rebellious streak in him. When some household pets get ticked at their owners, they become calamitous. Our neighbor’s dogs were famous for gnawing everything in their house–from pillars to couches. Call me crazy, but I’d have locked those bad boys up every time I left the house but they weren’t disciplined so their path of destruction continued.

As for Fat Kitty, he never jump ups where he’s not supposed to, nor does he destroy anything but instead uses poop as his weapon of choice. For years, he would occasionally overshoot his kitty litter box and I’d find his gift wrapped up in a nice towel on the floor in the laundry room. But it was never a regular thing.

Until recently.

With all the traveling we’ve been doing lately, Fat Kitty lives in a permanent state of Teenage Angst. It has come to the point that we actually sneak around to pack for a trip because we don’t want his guilt trip. He parks himself in the middle of our suitcases and his ticked-off stare bores into the very depths of our soul. When we leave, his back is always turned in mourning.

Here’s the tricky thing about Fat Kitty: He doesn’t unleash his true frustrations until we get back and then it continues for weeks. The poop, that is.  I’d estimate he goes in his kitty litter box about half the time these days and the other half? I can handle blankets or anything that cleans up easily. But when he pooped on Bode’s beloved sheep skin rug that does NOT clean easily, I was calling mayday.

So, I’m mad because he’s pooping everywhere. He’s doing it because we keep ditching him to travel and claims he won’t stop until we do.

This is what I call Fat Kitty Blackmail.

 

Fat Kitty’s Conspiracy Plan

One of the nice things about having my parents come visit last month is that my Christmas shopping has been done for weeks. Sure, I inwardly whined and complained about being dragged from store-to-store by my mom because I hate shopping but you just have to learn to suck it up for people you love. And shopping is what she loves.

Despite my best intentions to hide all our presents in one place, it never fails that I “misplace” at least one item.  Jamie gives me C-R-A-P about it every year because it’s usually his gift. In my defense, I eventually find it, even if it’s five months after the fact.

This year, I’ve misplaced some stocking stuffers, which isn’t overly suspicious but the other missing gift has raised some red flags. I cannot find the gift that Fat Kitty got Jamie: the book, How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You. I suspect foul play.

He pleads the fifth.

 

 

Lessons learned at 5 a.m. and 5:10 a.m. and 5:20 a.m….

We learned a couple of things when our fire alarm falsely went off starting at 5 a.m. this morning:

1) Bode can sleep through anything.

2) Fat Kitty (who’s still MIA) is a “save yourself” kinda cat.

The Rebellion of the Fat Cat

Our busy travel season is heating up and someone always gets left in our wake: Fat Kitty.

He’s usually a really great cat–snuggly, loving, gentle and oh-so tolerate of kids pulling him in every direction. He’s not destructive either (with the exception of his flip-flop fet1sh) and so when he acts out he doesn’t think to be mean or aggressive. It’s just not in his nature. When Fat Kitty rebels, he poops. Mainly: where he’s not supposed to.

When we go on extended trips we hire a cat sitter but for a weekend getaway, Fat Dude is on his own and he lets us know exactly what he thinks about it by the brown care packages he has been leaving.

But his latest incident caught us completely by surprise. We had been running errands all day and it was time for Bode’s piano lesson. The last thing Hadley wanted to do was be dragged there so I upped the ante for her. “Why don’t we bring Fat Kitty in the car?”

“Really? I thought he didn’t like it.”
“Who knows? Maybe he’ll change his mind.”

She was referring to the (NON)joy ride he took a few years ago when we looked at the Christmas lights. Terrified, he clung to me the entire time and took days to recover.

I decided it was time for Round 2 of Fat Kitty Torture.

Since I was driving, it was Hadley’s turn to hold him and it was like Ground Hog Day all over again. Excitement over finally leaving the house, then horror he was going in the car. He seized Hadley like she was the last chocolate egg in the Easter basket but after a while, he started to loosen up a bit, even putting up his paws to look out the window.

But be ye not deceived: he hated every minute of it.

We thought he had almost successfully completed the drive when, as we were pulling into the driveway, I caught a whiff of something.

“Does anyone else smell that?”

Bode immediately perked up. “It smells like POOP.”

Then Hadley looked down between her legs and Fat One had poop right on her lap.

Me thinks it’ll be another few years before we take him in the car again.