We’ve noticed lately that Shorty – the waif-like ginger kitten that turned up at the finca where we live in rural Mallorca in August 2012 – has developed something of a barrel-belly. If he could speak, he might say the same about me! (Only joking, honestly). It’s obviously not a case of pregnancy, as we took the little mite to be neutered as soon as he was deemed ready and it was clear, even to those of us without veterinary training, that he was a little chap – with not-so-little chap-bits!
The truth is that Shorty has always been a gutsy cat – on every level. He wormed his way into an existing family of feral cats who’d been born, in two separate litters from the same mother, on our land. This was their home and territory, and they initially weren’t too thrilled to see a tiny ginger kitten trying to muscle in at meal times. He persisted and the five remaining cats in the family now accept him as one of their own.
Shorty really enjoys his food. And everyone else’s. Our outdoor cats have their own individual feeding bowls and twice a day assemble for food – each eating from their own bowl. But it’s not long before Shorty decides that he needs to be eating a little something from all the other bowls too. He could also be supplementing his food intake with ‘things’ acquired during his ramblings. When the cold weather arrives on Mallorca, Shorty will be well padded to deal it, but we want him to be healthy at the same time.
So, The Boss and I are currently thinking about how we could put him on a controlled diet. The logistics aren’t easy, as he’s used to eating with his adopted ‘siblings’. If only there were a Slimming World for cats . . .
Jan Edwards 2013