Sunday, April 01, 2007

King of the Jungle

In the spring, a man's thoughts turn to baseball. A woman's thoughts turn to getting into her summer bathing suit.

I decided this week that it was time to go on a diet. Because I wanted company in my misery, I decided Bobbin, my fifteen-pound cat, needed to join me in this effort to lose weight.

Unfortunately, Bob did not agree with my negative assessment of his physique.

This week has been pure hell.

Bob is accustomed to eating his meals and then polishing off the food in Dinah and Tribble's dishes, too. My first order of business was to segregate him in another room during meals so he couldn't reach their food.

I discovered, if I waited until Dinah and Tribble were finished with their own dishes and then exchanged their plates, the novelty of another flavor of catfood encouraged them to clean the plates. Since Tribble is over twenty, ensuring that she continues to be interested in eating is a priority for me.

Back when I was doing crisis interventions with families, I often explained that, as some family members opted to make more healthy decisions, the most dysfunctional members would often behave outrageously in an effort to bring the others back into the fold. In other words: it gets a lot worse before it can get better.

Of course, Bob has been outraged to find no additional food when he is released from his imprisonment in the guest room. My unreasonable behavior has forced him to forage in his own house.

He has shown amazing dexterity when it comes to breaking into containers where I store dry catfood and people food. I have come home to find glass shattered on the floor where he managed to knock containers off counters. I have found bags of food torn open on the floor of the pantry. For the first time ever, I've found my trash torn open and strewed across the kitchen.

While I'm impressed by his resourcefulness, Bob's behavior has only reinforced my determination that both he and I need to lose weight.

Since focussing on protein and avoiding carbs is my diet of choice, I've been eating a lot of chicken and beef. Yesterday, I spent the day finishing up my judging duties in an erotic romance contest. Around noon, I grilled a small boneless rib steak on my George Foreman countertop grill. I had just put the medium rare steak on a plate when my cell rang in another room. I ran to grab the phone.

You know what happened, of course.

When I returned to the kitchen, my perfect little steak was nowhere to be seen. I stared at the plate in disbelief. Then I screamed, "Bob!" and began to look for him.

I checked his favorite hiding places--under my nightstand, in the guestroom, in my bathtub, on top of the seven-foot bookshelves in my study--nothing! I expanded my search pattern, checking the unusual places.

I found the little bastard in the formal dining room, under the table on the CREAM-COLORED carpet with a dripping piece of MEDIUM RARE steak. What's worse, instead of running in fear, he continued to lick his prize, staring at me with defiant eyes--like it was all MY fault he was driven to these extremes.

Despite my anger and the $6 piece of ruined beef, I found myself wanting to laugh. Here he was, a housecat, huddled over that rib steak like he was a lion on the Serengeti, protecting the carcass of a downed gazelle. When I reached for the slab of meat, he actually hooked his claws into it and hissed at me.

I scooped him up and carried him down the hall toward the guest bedroom sans boeuf, of course. I dumped him in time-out where he stewed for the remainder of the afternoon while I tried to get the greasy blood stains out of my carpet.

Poor Bobbin. Being dragged kicking and screaming toward growth.


Marie Tuhart said...


I laughed out loud at your story. Animals have a way of getting what they want. It will take a bit of time, usually after two weeks they begin to get it (hopefully Bob will). Sorry, about the steak.

Maria Zannini said...

Stop it!! I nearly split a gut and you know I can't afford that right now. LOL!

We had a dog we had to put on a diet once. She stole a turkey.

So did you offer the steak to Trib?

Ruth D~ said...

Not sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I'm glad I did.

I just returned from a walk and ended up with such a shaky hungry feeling I'm now eating a little ice cream, although not under the table. But I certainly undertand Bobbin.


Maya Reynolds said...

Marie: I have a good friend who insists that the reason I have such strong-willed animals is that they pick it up from me. LOL.

Maria: Sorry, I didn't mean to make you laugh. Be careful.

And, no, I didn't offer the steak to Tribble. Cats can't eat steak unless it's cut up for them. Both Bob and Tribble would have just licked it to death. I asked my next door neighbor if I could give it to her dog. She said, "Absolutely not. Penny would never touch dogfood again."

Ruth: I'm glad you found my blog. I hope you'll post again.

Thanks for visiting.