As you know, Bob, J.J. had been diagnosed in 2017 with kidney disease, and for the next six years we did everything we could to keep weight on him, including making sure there was always kibble in his bowl and feeding him lots and lots of treats, Lick ‘n’ Lap, and other cat dainties. That more than anything is probably what kept him going until the age of twenty-one.
Unfortunately, it also meant that Jeremy, Jessie, and Jemma, who all ate with him in the same spot (Jasmine has her own food bowl on the counter for Skitty Kitty Reasons), got to take advantage of the Never-Ending Buffet and turned into hecking chonks over the years. Jeremy in particular developed a trick where he would loiter around until J.J. had consumed what he wanted of his treats, then come in and hoover up whatever remained.
But because J.J. needed to be able to graze, we couldn’t just feed him separately. Our vet knew this and said that things would resolve themselves once he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. And she turned out to be absolutely right. J.J. lost his interest in treats at the beginning of March so they weren’t put out anymore, and after his death we filled only three bowls with the appropriate amount of kibble for each cat’s weight. That plus a wet food dinner and the occasional treat provided sufficient calories for the Three Chonks but was nowhere near the groaning board they were used to.
We are now on week five of no treats and appropriate kibble amounts, and Jeremy is visibly leaner—he still has a belly but he also has a waist and you can see the indentations of his flanks. The vet wasn’t worried about his weight because he’s such a long cat, but it’s still good to see him get a bit smaller because that will make it easier for him to move around and jump. Jessie is also smaller with a now-visible waist although not quite at the level of her brother, and even Jemma (who we assume became a Chonk because she’s the omega of the group and eats after everyone else is done, so would hoover up whatever she could) is getting a bit lighter.
Of course, Jeremy would like me to know that he is STARVING and we need to feed him immediately. Which might concern me if he didn’t also do this when J.J. was still here. Jessie and Jemma seem to be content with the food level adjustment—Jeremy is just a scrounger at heart.
And please note that of all people I am not fat-shaming my cats or rejoicing that they’re losing weight merely because of the way it makes them look. Their weight was making it harder for them to jump and run around (especially Jessie) and I want them to be able to do that and not have any weight-related pain in their joints. I love these little furheads and want to keep them with me as long as possible, after all.