Birdie’s On a Diet

When we first got Birdie she was so slender and graceful:

birdie on the upstairs hall cat platforms enjoying the open window        birdie checking out the master bathroom

Now she’s just fat.  For the last 2 years the vet has warned me to stop feeding her so much.  We always leave dry food out in bowls, but she said we [I] need to stop doing that because Birdie has no shut off valve [I know the feeling].  But she kept giving me such a sad face when her bowl was empty, with a pitiful little meow, so my resolve dissolved and I started filling her bowl every day.  However, now she’s just HUGE:

birdie checking out the wild mouse cage in the living room        birdie checking out the new living room alcove cat platforms

I picked her up last week [which I normally don’t do because I’m allergic and she doesn’t like it] and I couldn’t believe how heavy she was.  OMFG!  It was like hugging a 15 pound turkey.  So 2 days ago I started taking the vet’s advice and giving her 1/4 cup of dry food each day.  So far so good!  But today I heard a huge crash.  I ran out into the front hall and saw one of the downstairs hall cat platforms had ripped right out of the wall.  Apparently when Birdie was leaping off it onto a higher platform it was the last straw for the 6 wall anchors and the whole shelf ripped right out:

Jim witnessed it and assured me Birdie wasn’t hurt, or even phased by it.  But holy shit.  So, Fatso’s definitely on a diet now!  It appears the ends of the metal shelf brackets have slowly bent over time until they couldn’t support the weight of the cats anymore [Darwin uses the shelves too, and he weighs about 17 pounds]:

I grabbed a pair of black, heavy duty iron shelf brackets in the basement which I bought on Amazon last year.  They’re weight rated for 200 pounds so I think we’re good!   The original shelf was too narrow [6″] for the iron brackets so I went down to the workshop and used my table saw to cut a piece of painted plywood [which is actually my original stained glass work table, which I painted white a few weeks ago, but which didn’t work out!] to 8″ wide:

Old shelf in back, new shelf in front:

Then screwed the new brackets onto the shelf, and the shelf to the wall using new anchors and huge screws:

Just to be extra safe I also screwed a little metal L-bracket to the shelf and side-wall:

Jim was impressed with how sturdy the new shelf felt – it doesn’t have an ounce of give, so hopefully it will be able to withstand a few more years of Birdie and Darwin jumping onto and off of it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & Hanukkah, and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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8 Comments

  1. She is not too fat ,this is winter fat!
    Sie ist nicht zu Fett,das ist Winterfett !
    Liebe Grüsse

  2. Poor Birdie! It is really hard. I would have a hard time saying no to her as well. Does she like to hunt? My sister’s vet recommended that she throw the food for her overweight cat, so that she would have to chase it down and get some exercise. This is a more natural way for cats to eat anyway, since they are hunters. I do it sometimes with Creme and Ponche, and they love it.

    • I will try that! It’s hard with her b/c she lives up on her platforms. But she does enjoy when we toss her toys up to her! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  3. Birdie, meet Checkers. Chex is a naturally big boy, but he, too, has no shut-off valve. He must weigh 18 pounds, and he’s SOLID fat. I worry about him developing diabetes or heart disease. But when free-feeding 8 cats, plus feral cats outside, it’s hard to limit his consumption. It’s hard to manage a colony like this! Maybe Birdie should go to the gym, too? Have you seen those exercise wheels for cats? They’re so cool! Look at onefastcat.com. Good luck, Birdie!

    • I would love to build one of those wheels – maybe I will! They are super cool! Thanks for that link, I’ll check it out! It’s very hard to moderate the food for many cats. Even with 3 it’s hard. Bonkers is underweight, so we need to keep food on the floor for him. I don’t know why WP keeps making me moderate your comments – sorry about that! I will investigate further… so weird.

  4. She’s resembling her first cousin in both size and shape. Not a good thing! Dual diets are called for!

    • Yes, Darwin is on the same diet. Although he woke us up at 5 this morning jumping on the bed, knocking stuff off our night tables, and being a general pest so we’d get up and refill his bowl.

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