Getting the cat off the couch

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A reporting assignment recently took me to the home of a person with multiple cats.

That wasn't the story being covered, but these felines were healthy and slender.

They made me realize there was one frighteningly fat cat back on my couch.

Sadly, Our Jakey has become a giant who now dwarfs a Mazda 2.

It's little wonder he can no longer leap directly onto the bed or up on the kitchen counter. He's heavier than guilt.

And now I'm about to have a kitten myself, because although not a cat lover, I wouldn't want anything to happen to Jakey.

You see, the other people in my family are very, very attached to him.

My wife cuddles the cat at every opportunity and sometimes goes into a strange falsetto when it's near. I believe she says, "Oh, is that my Jakey, Jakey, Jake, Jake? My little pussycat?"

And my two-year-old son chases "J-T" around the house, trying to grab it by the tail or pick a fight.

Unfortunately, my kid has also been known to stick out his tongue and repeatedly lick Jakey if we turn our backs for one second.

As the person tasked with feeding the cat - and cleaning out the litter box (a different story altogether) - I'm at a loss as to how to help him shed the weight.

He doesn't get a lot of food, and what he eats is supposedly good for "weight control." So, do I give him less grub?

He also gets a lot of exercise trying to avoid my son. But should he get more?

It all seems a little odd, trying to make your cat lose poundage. But if I don't want Jakey The Hut to overtake the Town of Paradise, I must do something.

And it's not like I've had much success losing weight and keeping it off myself.

So, here's where you come in - if you're still awake. I'd like my readers to share ideas about getting Jakey back in shape.

I'm going to take him to the vet and get professional advice, but I'd still like your suggestions. And I'd prefer if your answers purred with puns.

C'mon, there's got to be more than one way to trim a cat.

The Catkins diet?

Puss'n'boots camp?


American furball?

You get the idea.

Email your suggestions to me, Don't have email? Send it to my attention care of the paper's address, which is on the bottom of page two.

I'll put the best suggestions together for a future column, if Jakey doesn't explode and take out the Northeast Avalon.

                                                            ° ° °

An unexpected Twitter response to last week's column from the classified site, Kijiji:

"So @bartlett_steve, did your wife really post you for free on Kijiji? ... I hope she realizes it is a policy violation :P"

Steve Bartlett can be reached at the email address and Twitter account listed above. He believes someone attempted to him reach via carrier pigeon but his cat got to the bird before he did.

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