She was the liveliest kitten in the big cage at the vet's office - this was before our small town had an animal shelter. When we asked if we could take out a kitten we were advised to be careful. One of them was an accomplished escape artist who got out several times a day. Turned out that didn't matter because it was the little escape artist we were interested in. Ten years later we found out the staff had called her Houdini. I wish we had known that at the time. Stinky might have been spared the embarrassment of her name.
A Rose By Any Other Name...
We brought her home on a Friday. During he weekend that followed she was unexpectedly timid in her new surroundings and wanted to stay on my lap. That would have been very sweet aside from the fact that she passed gas continuously. The only time she wasn't on my lap making stinks she was in her litter box making deposits. That's when we started calling her Stinky. We took her back to the vet for another round of stronger parasite killing meds. That fixed her stink problem but the name stayed with her.
She was a scrawny little thing then and so malnourished her whiskers were malformed. They were way too fat and so brittle they broke off to short stubs. Once she was rid of all the parasites and had adequate food her whiskers grew back and she looked like a normal kitten.
Although Stinky was healthy now other problems became apparent. One evening she wanted to go outside and I wouldn't open the door. She found this unacceptable and kept making it obvious she wanted out. When this didn't get the desired result she decided I needed a little education. So she jumped up and bit at my arm. Repeatedly. I had never had a cat do anything like that.
This kind of behavior continued and worsened as she grew older. She didn't like rules or being told what to do and preferred to attack from behind. Say she was eyeing the kitchen table and getting ready to jump. If I reminded her to stay off of it and turned my back I was in trouble. She also became very territorial about her litter box. I found this out when she bit through my jeans after I changed her box. She would even get upset when someone walked by outside her window. So although she had come by her name because of her smelliness, she kept it with her “stinky” behavior.
It was time for Stinky to be spayed and she came through the surgery just fine. When she was home recovering I noticed how poochy and weird her shaved tummy looked and started to wonder if it was swelling up. I started worrying about infection. So I called the vet and explained about the distended tummy...
It's called a fat pad.
All cats have them. It's nothing to worry about.
This was news to me. I had never noticed a fat pad on any other cat. Little did I suspect that this normal fat store would expand until Stinky was shaped like a bean bag.
A family emergency forced Stinky to spend over a month with her then skinny cousin Ratty. They were left alone for over 8 hours a day with lots of kibble. Stinky had always turned to food when she was a skinny little kitten. If she was happy - off to the food dish. If she got in trouble - off to the food dish. Bored - off to the food dish. So she took advantage of the situation. Ratty started overeating too, as a reaction to the stress of having Stinky around or maybe to keep Stinky from getting all the food.
It ended up being an all out eating contest. Ratty got some bad habits that eventually led to her being fat too. Stinky continued on the road from plumpness to obesity.
Attack Of The Fat Pad
At some point Stinky had become noticeably plump. It was easy to overlook at first - long fur covers a multitude of cat treats. My initial attempts to control her weight consisted of switching to a dry diet cat food. This did nothing to control her weight. She just got fatter.
Stinky hardly drank water. This also worried me. Besides being bad for her health I thought it might be a factor in her aggressive tendencies. I started giving her a bit of watered down canned food along with the diet cat food. I was back at the vet's discussing her weight problem and mentioned the watered down canned food. He told me that I should avoid canned cat food. Dry cat food is healthier, better for their teeth, has 100% nutrition, etc... And don't worry about her not drinking as cats don't need much water.
The vet put her on an extremely small amount of the diet kibble twice daily. I still have scars as a result of that diet disaster! It was 5 o'clock, time for Stinky's meager dinner, and I didn't have in her dish yet. She attacked me from the side biting my upper arm. That was the end of that weight loss effort.
So, no more dry cat food, diet or otherwise.
Mellowed With Age
Stinky isn't nearly as scary as she used to be. Maybe she's getting nicer. Or it could be old age and laziness. These days she puts all her efforts into bugging for more food and isn't violent about it, just annoying. She has figured out that biting me won't get her what she wants so I'm fairly safe now when it comes to limiting her food.
Back when I was living in fear of the next attack, I'd get even by having a bit of fun at her expense. Some of the results are in the Gallery page. I even resorted to listing her on Fleabay. Years later and I still haven't got a bid!
We get along better now, aside from the constant disagreement about the food situation.
Finding The Inner Thin Cat
Age has been catching up with Stinky. She had 3 attacks of pancreatitis and now has digestive problems and food allergies which make it more difficult to limit her food.
She is staying around 14 pounds and she may not get down to her goal weight of 12 pounds. Still, it's better than her all time high of 18 pounds. Although we will keep trying, this may be as
thin as she's gonna get.