Tuesday 16 February 2021

Picture of overweight, startled gray cat tells a story

You know the saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words' well this picture of a badly overweight gray, startled cat being carried by a smiling woman got me thinking about the backstory. Is the young woman the cat's owner? Is the room a kitchen in a residential home or is the woman a veterinarian or vet tech and is the room a part of a veterinary clinic? Or, an animal shelter - my preferred choice. You can see how pictures can also mislead. They don't always tell the truth even if they are worth a thousand words. Fake news comes to mind.

Obese large gray cat with smiling woman who carries the cat
Is this a vet clinic or a kitchen in a residential home? Pic: Reddit.com

Looking at what is on the counter (medical stuff?) and the general layout and functionality of the place, this looks like an animal shelter of veterinary clinic. The cat might have been brought into the clinic for a health check and to start a diet which is sorely needed. The diet should be immediate, gradual and permanent to avoid hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease being started). But he is probably an abandoned cat at a cat shelter or the owner has died leaving behind this chonky feline.

Putting aside the cat's obesity, which is unpleasant to see, the cats' face is cute. Startled and bemused. Domestic cats do pull some funny faces but they are fleeting moments captured by the camera.

Someone commented that the cat could be pregnant too. I think this is just good old, plain obesity. Killing by kidness. It is ironic that some cat owners give their cats treats because they feel it is the kind thing to do, as it pleases their pleading cat, but in truth it is a silent form of cat abuse.

Feline obesity causes real harm to health over time. Type II diabetes immediately comes to mind as a consequence of obesity just as it is for humans. There is an epidemic of obese domestic cats just as there is an epidemic of obese humans in the greedy (metaphorically and actually) West. Obesity has become somewhat normalised. People can no longer tell what it is to be overweight and they pass this failing onto their poor cat who loves those threats.

Perhaps the obese cat owner wants to be loved but is deprived of it because they are obese. They make up for this hole in their lives by seeking the love and approval of their cat companion. Result? Too many treats and feline obesity.

I'd bet that almost all obese cats live with obese cat owners.

P.S. The fact that domestic cats can overeat is interesting. You would have thought that they would self-regulate better. In the wild, the wild cat species don't become overweight even if there is an abundance of prey animals to kill and eat. They self-regulate. I can only conclude that the reason why domestic cats do not sometimes successfully self-regulate their diet is because they are bored. They eat for pleasure when offered a treat. They enjoy treats so they ask for more and the owner gives it to them. It's a sort of toxic partnership.

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