Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brian vs. A Cat

I have an arch-enemy, a nemesis, a thorn in my side. While this could be seen as a negative, it's really not. Superman's super-ness springs from not just his powers but his prowess in thwarting the evil plans of Lex Luthor. Batman's life would be pretty boring without the Joker. Being an Eagles fan is just a little more exciting when it's Cowboys week.

My nemesis isn't a supervillain, a neighbor I have to "keep up with", another runner, or a coworker gunning for the same promotions. He's a cuddly eight-pound brown tabby named Higgy the Cat. (Actually, his name is Higgenbaffum, but that's another story.)

Higgy's a nice cat, a friendly, affectionate 13-year old who still in many ways acts like a kitten. He's a genius at getting into things, is very athletic for his age (There's no such thing as "cat years", but a chart at the vet's office says that 13 for a cat is the equivalent of the early 70s for a human), and loves to play and start fights with his brother Pooka and his adopted little sister Elizabeth, who is often terrified of him.

The problem is that Higgy is evil has a different weight-loss strategy than I do. I often strike out at the diet part of diet and exercise, but I make up for it on the exercise. Higgy, on the other hand, has hyperthyroidism, which means that he has a nuclear metabolism that has caused him to lose over half of his body weight over the past three years. (He used to be 18 pounds.) So, he's insatiably hungry very, very often, and when he's not eating he's howling and knocking things over, making it a challenge to work from home. Pooka has the same condition, but since Pooka spends most of his time doing his impression of a throw rug, he's a little more manageable.

I'm happy to report that Higgy is on thyroid medication and is responding very well. But his medication has made him very finicky, and the only cat food he likes is Elizabeth's, which consists of huge, crunchy kibbles that take Higgy forever to eat. Thus, it's hard for him to eat enough to maintain even his reduced weight. To correct this, our vet recommended that we give him baby food and that occasional table scraps are ok, as long as they don't have chocolate, since caffeine is deadly to cats.

So, Higgy gets cake. And cheese. And crackers. And once you give him a crumb, begging turns into all-out frontal assault. But when I made a spinach salad for lunch, I did not expect it to be attacked by the tabby. Since when have cats liked spinach salad? Since when have I liked spinach salad?

(Blurry photo by me)

I fought him off this time. I won the battle, but the war's outcome is still very much in doubt.

Oh yeah, running. I ran 10 miles this morning 1:34:20. Awesome. I'll probably go for a shorter run tomorrow, 8-10 on Friday, and probably take the weekend off.


  1. That is one darn funny picture of Higgy! He looks so hopeful...that you'll turn around or go away and he can scarf it all down!

  2. You said, "Since when did cats start liking spinach salad?"

    I said, "Since chefs started putting lots of creamy, good tasting salad dressing on it!!"

    Cats love milk...can't blame her on the Spinach salad with cream dressing.

  3. "Since chefs started putting lots of creamy, good tasting salad dressing on it!!"

    That's when I started liking it, too!

  4. :)

    so much for the health benefits...

  5. My (flawed, I know) thinking is "well, at least I'm eating vegetables that I otherwise wouldn't have eaten."

    But yeah, I run so I can eat more. Races just make it fun. :-)