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Veloise
January 11th 06, 02:16 AM
Hi all--
I need help with this before my road trips next week and next.

Older kitty, 13, is a slug who lies around on heat ducts all day. I
was free-feeding her and it was fine. She seemed depressed and turned
inward, so to keep her happy, we adopted a new flame point Siamese
special needs baby who bounces off the walls, chases her buddy, chirps
happily, and generally makes a pest of herself. And it's worked out OK;
I'll hear them chasing each other. Baby free-fed too, with canned food
for breakfast and dinner.

So I was not working all summer, and we each did our own thing, I'd
go out, come back, they were fine. They got breakfast while I made
coffee, and they got dinner every evening.

In October I landed a F/T job, and the next week was on a plane down
south for 4 days. I left a silo full of kitty bitties (9 Lives for Fat
Cats, I think) and they ate it all! When I returned, my baby looked
like she'd put on a couple punds on her heretofore 6lb frame. The older
kitty also looked rounder.

But, no choice. They sent me away for four more days the next week.
(And put me up at a motel that did not allow cats; I checked.) More
kibbles, more pudginess. No ribs, and a definite rotund shape to both
of them. My baby got up to 10 lbs (and she's still there).

And the next week...three days on the road. I know they were bored
and lonely and ate just for something to do.

The following week I actually got to stay in the office and learn how
to do my job. (All the "training" had not imparted anything.) But the
next week, I was gone for 5 days. My old kitty got up to about 15 (she
should weigh about 10).

Upon my return, I went to a diet of "we eat when mom's home" and
that seems to have helped. If I leave overnight I'll put a big handful
of kibbles in the dishes, and sometimes they don't eat it all. And I am
feeding them more of the canned food and less kibble...but in years
past, we'd go through one can (1/4 per kid morning and night). Now they
are wolfing down their share, and begging for more before I leave for
work. They have become maniacal about following me into the kitchen,
and whenever I walk through (say, to go to the bathroom) they beg and
plead and scream. The old cat even rouses herself from the heat duct,
just in case it might be worth her time.

The diet has worked for the old cat. She almost has a waistline
again. The baby is still super chunky and w-a-y-y-y too fixated on
food. She can no longer jump into the bathroom window for a good view,
which is where she spent most of the autumn.

I've realized that I am training them to follow me to the kitchen
and beg, so tonight I picked up some Science Diet fat cat kibbles. And
some fresh catnip, and a talk-to-me treatball. And a window-mounted
birdfeeder. And new batteries for the laser pointer. The job is sending
me away for four days next week, and after the weekend, for another
three. So I need to get us out of the eating-begging-voracious cycle!

Ideas welcome. TIA

--Karen D.