Once upon a time, life was good. At least, that's the way my cats would have you believe.
They had one of those self-refilling food bowls that held a seemingly endless supply of dry food. They could eat as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted... and they knew there'd be more.
Let the good times roll.
Oh sure, they got fat - but, aren't all house-cats fat? Apparently not.
One day, Simon got sick - and he stopped eating. All he really had was an upset stomach from the stress of a cross country move. It was September of 1999 and I was moving from Portland (Heaven!) to Dallas Texas (Hell!) for what would turn out to be my last full time in-house radio job.
We'd just arrived and I didn't even have a vet yet... but it was clear that Simon felt like crap, so it was looking like time to find one. And I did.
We went to the vet the next morning. I was told to leave the little guy there for a few hours and check in around lunchtime. I figured the vet would say they gave him kitty-Pepto-Bismol and that he was ready to go home. Instead, the vet said something I'll never forget.
"We almost lost him."
At this point, I'm thinking: "Almost LOST him? Isn't that why I dropped him off in a frigging cat-carrier? How do you lose an animal in a cage? He's in kitty lockdown for chrissakes!" I had visions of Simon making a jail-break or something... scampering down the hall and leaping up to swing himself from the doorknob in hopes of twisting it while thinking to himself "damn my lack of thumbs!!!"
"What do you mean?" I asked the vet, who went on to talk about things so horrible that I froze in my spot I thought Simon had an upset stomach... but the poor little guy almost died.
As it turns out, a healthy cat can go a full week without food before it does the body any physical harm - but once a cat gets overweight, that week becomes a time period of as little as two days before you're looking at kidney failure.
I checked back in later that afternoon for a better status report - at which time I was thrilled to hear that Simon was going to pull through, though it would be a few days before he could come home.
In the meantime, Tucker couldn't have been more confused. He kept looking for Simon because he'd never been separated from his brother for longer than a nap. Tuck would solemnly walk room to room, peeking behind furniture and such before returning to wherever I was. He'd then sit at my feet and stare at me with a confused look that screamed of "Help. I can't find Simon."
It was so sad.
The boys were put on a strict diet the day Simon came back home. The mountain of food was taken away - replaced by a little bowl for each of them ("WTF? Where's the rest?")
Each morning when I get out of bed, they get a little to nibble for breakfast. ("WTF? Where's the rest?")
Every night, they each get 1/4 of a cup of food for their dinner. ("WTF? Where's the rest?")
So - on this morning of groundhogs (and hedgehogs) seeing their shadows, Simon woke. And he, too, saw his shadow.
"Daddy!!! Are you awake yet? Daddy!?? Get UP!!! DADDY!!!! FEEEED ME!!!!"
I'd be sick too if I had to move back to Dallas from Portland. It's bad enough that I have to go there once a year to see the family for xmas... Good thing Simon pulled through!::::: | February 2, 2005 12:06 PM