Weighing In On Fat Cats

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

During the cold snap back in January I woke up one night thinking someone was walking through the house. It wasn’t really footsteps I thought I heard but something sounded out of place. I know that once the temperature gets down below zero Fahrenheit (I still go by the Fahrenheit scale. I will never change to that Celsius stuff. That is the only thing the American have done right in the past 200 years) houses creak, moan, and make all sorts of strange noises when it gets cold. I have friends who hear what sounds like gunfire on their roof at 2 in the morning and that must be unsettling. But my noises didn’t sound like a possible armed invasion so finally I got up.

There was nobody there. I looked out the window, there were no tracks in the snow, no suspicious characters were out on the lawn casing the place, there was nothing. Then I heard it again. It was Nicholas, our boon companion of the pussycat persuasion, running down the cellar stairs.

Perhaps I should explain in case you haven’t met Nick. He is a tad overweight. At his last weigh-in he tipped the scales at 17.5 pounds. When the little porker runs down the stairs it sounds like..  let’s put it this way, have you ever been standing by the St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal when someone rolled a ten-pin bowling ball down the 283 steps that lead up to the church itself? Well, it sounds like that only louder.

A rather interesting observation about the 283 steps, I was there once doing the tourist thing and there were several pilgrims kneeling and praying all the way to the top. Being a bit of a heathen, I began to wonder how anyone could amass 283 sins that needed to be absolved by climbing the stairs on their knees and praying all the way. In my whole life I might have committed three, well maybe four sins if you count the incident with the stepladder and my neighbour’s bedroom window, but that would be about it and they were so minor St. Peter would just wink at me and open the gates.

Where was I? Oh yes, Nicholas. Have you ever tried to weigh a cat that is not particularly interested in his body mass index (that’s whether he is a tub or not)? You can’t just plop him on the scales and say ‘stay’ because he won’t.

We have a set of scales we bought to weigh luggage if we can ever go someplace again but Nick has no place for us to put the hook and if we found one the man from the Ontario SPCA would be pounding on the door seconds after the howling started.

Hence the only way we can do it is to pick him up and climb on the scales with him. That sounds simple enough and I suppose it is as long as you know the ground rules.

  1. Never try to weigh a cat when you are bare-naked. Cats have claws. I don’t know if you are aware of that. At least a gallon of peroxide should be on hand before you attempt the weigh in. An ambulance idling in the driveway is not a bad idea should he hit an artery.
  2. Some sort of medieval armour may be necessary to keep you reasonably protected and if armour is not readily available, the 9 and 1 should be pressed on your cell phone before you begin.
  3. Someone with a degree in math sciences should be enlisted to calculate the actual weight of the cat by first weighing the two of you together, then you after climbing on the scales by yourself. There must be some formula for figuring it all out but I’ll be damned if I can do it. Unless you know the science major intimately you may want to wear clothing yourself rather than stepping out of the shower sans culottes and grabbing the cat.
  4. It seems cowardly I know, but you can always get your wife to do it.

Another way and this is my recommendation, take the damn cat to the vet. It may cost you a few thousand dollars but it will be worth it in the long run.

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