This post by Kathy Waller
At the outset, this post contains no advice at all, just what I’ve heard, and it will look like it’s about my cat (again), but it’s actually about weight management. But to get to the heart of the matter, we’ll have to go through the cat.
William is on a diet. He’s nine years old and it’s past time for him to take off the weight I’ve allowed him to put on. I want to prevent diabetes and all the ills the older cat is often heir to.
The vet advised me how I might begin, but with two cats, it’s difficult. I can’t isolate him because he wouldn’t eat without Ernest eating first, and isolation brings the risk of his clawing a hole in the door. With cats, you don’t close doors, period. And the last time William and Ernest were separated for any length of time, William stopped eating (!), ran a high fever, and became practically catatonic (no pun at all). After a few hours, I took him to the vet, she put him in the cage with Ernest, who had been there a couple of days, and by evening, she reported, William was “eating like a horse.” I don’t dare keep them apart until William decides to eat.
I switched them to a grain-free diet–never could understand why carnivores needed grains–and they both fell to enthusiastically, but after a few days I began to worry I’d changed their food too abruptly. I did not want to throw anyone into liver shock, so I’m now mixing old food with new, and over three or so weeks will have them both back on meaty kibble. I’ll also check to make sure the grain-free they’re eating is of good enough quality.
To digress a bit–my massage therapist suggested the new diet. I spend an hour a week on her table, so we have time to talk about many things, including food and cats.
The following pictures give evidence of William’s need for a lifestyle change:
Now to the heart of the matter: I’ve had my own battles with weight management since I was about fifteen, and have battled long and hard with several weapons, some better than others. Finally I’m seeing progress and have hope I’ll get down closer to where I should be–not the 1991 level of 18% body fat, when I felt I could fly, but closer. The time since I was fifteen is too long to write about here, but I’ll repeat what I heard last night.
It was in one of those Internet commercials by a bariatric specialist who spends fifty-five minutes saying how shocked you’ll be to learn what she has to say, and the last five telling you about the pill she’ll sell you (I didn’t listen that long)–but one thing she said about refined and “invented” foods (chemicals) woke me up:
“Anything the body doesn’t recognize, it turns to fat.”
It sounded so reasonable, I asked the massage therapist about it. She said, “Hmmm, yes, that works.”
Later, she said, “That’s not exactly how it works. [I’d suspected that, I’m pleased to say.] When the body/brain doesn’t recognize something, it tries to wall it off and stores it in fat cells. What it doesn’t know is stored rather than excreted. But the doctor’s description is close enough.”
Well. I wondered why doctors and nutritionists don’t use the chemicals-to-fat equation to explain what’s wrong with eating refined foods. They say it in other ways, but not that way.
It’s like Emily Dickinson’s “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant– / Success in Circuit lies.” Why don’t they stop going in circles and say exactly (almost) what happens.
As I said at the outset, I’m just repeating what I heard. No medical or nutritional advice is offered here. I don’t want any humans or animals to be harmed as a result of reading this post. We could all be wrong.
But if it’s true, it’s bound to operate the same way in cats. I think.
A long time ago, I began a blog in which I would discuss my experience with pounds. A counselor once suggested I write a book about it. Personal accounts of such helped me in various ways, and I had a lot of experience and had learned a lot and might have something valuable for others.
I disagreed for this reason: All the women who write those books successfully are highly literate Jewish gals from the Midwest, and they’ve said all that needs to be said, and I’m a marginally literate Southern Presbyterian from Texas, and we Scots don’t necessarily want everyone knowing our business, and I can’t remember anything since childhood anyway.
He said he’d give me my notes. I’m sorry I didn’t take them, because I’d like to know what he noted about me. (Probably,”She never shuts up.”) (Jewish gals from the Midwest: Geneen Roth [When Food Is Love] and Betsy Lerner (Food and Loathing, a marvelous book]. And others.)
But anyway, I decided a while back I would blog about it, and I set up the blog and named it Guts and Midriff, after a line from Shakespeare.
There’s no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine. It is all filled up with guts and midriff. ~ William Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 1, 3. 3
Shakespeare has a line for everything. And it appeared no one else had used that as a title.
I wanted to be anonymous, though, because I was afraid I’d make a mistake within WP, and my name and all my sordid secrets would be out there and all the billions of blog readers would learn them and I would be–something. I don’t know what, since I’m sure all of them are out there anyway. But I left the blog private and unwritten.
Now I shall throw caution to the wind and open Guts and Midriff, and let everyone know what I think I know. So there.
This post is late because last night, when I finally chose the topic and began writing (as usual), William climbed into my lap. When he wants to occupy my lap, there’s no discouraging him without repercussions–he slips down and takes chunks of my skin with him–and there’s no room for both him and the laptop, as there used to be. So I stopped writing. Then I fell asleep in my chair for a couple of hours, and he almost slid out of my lap that way, and I decided it best to go to bed. And I’ve had appointments today, so there.
To repeat something else, I heard a minister say an excuse is, “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” Yeah, sort of, as in I should have written this last week or last month, but I did begin on Friday, and it wasn’t okay, and that’s what happens, and then when I begin, last minute, William or something jumped into my lap. He was in my lap last night while the bariatric specialist sat on the footstool, finishing up her commercial (the pills). Excuses vary in quality, and this one isn’t great, I realize.
To quote a different minister, whom I think I’ve already quoted on this blog, “It’s a grrrrrrreat” failing.” He was Scottish, and, like Shakespeare, said everything better than just about anyone else, so I’ve spelled it roughly as he said it.
Kathy Waller blogs at various places
and has had two stories published
in a recently-released anthology,
but she doesn’t have time
to say anything else about that.
She’ll fix it later.
*(Kathy Waller blogs at Kathy Waller–Telling the Truth, Mainly,* and at Austin Mystery Writers. Her stories have been published in Mysterical-E and in Murder on Wheels: 11 Stories of Crime on the Move (Wildside, 2015).Telling the Truth, Mainly refers to a line from Huckleberry Finn. The blog was formerly named To Write Is to Write Is to Write, an allusion to a quotation from Gertrude Stein. It was a good quotation but a bland title.)