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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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I am not at all afraid of my cat.

My cat tried to kill me. But I'm sure I had it coming.

It all started when I mocked my cat's ass on Twitter. Izzy the cat is—well, she's become a big girl. She rapidly morphed from an adorable teacup-sized kitten to a hulking mass who causes the house to shake when she jumps off a chair. Here is what she was:

Wuzza wuzza kitty playing.

And here's Izzy now!


She actually looks relatively slender here, due no doubt to her slimming black hue. She's way more of a moose than you can tell from the picture. In real life, she causes people to exclaim in surprise when they see her. She's not small.

I don't even know how she fits on this windowsill.


I know that this is partly our fault. Or at least it's our fault for not addressing the issue as soon as we noticed her rapid expansion. It occurred, as these things do, after she was spayed. When she figured there was no reason to keep up her girlish figure. She let herself go, and we let her do it.

Look, now her back-fat is causing her to slip:


So lately it seems that she is too heavy to clean herself. Specifically, she cannot reach her butt. And this is disgusting. I even tried cleaning her myself—out of love, yes, but mostly disgust—but the fur is all matted, and now there's no getting it out. It's clear that we need to take her to the vet and get the whole cat-butt problem worked out. She's also apparently incapable of cleaning her back, now, and let's face it, it's really hard to pet her when she's like this. Our love, apparently, is conditional, and the condition is "must not have pooplets stuck to ass when you rub our legs for a pet."

Oh wait, I just found a picture in which her enormous girth is revealed.

she's a big cat

NOW YOU SEE. Quick, look away—I can't be sure what prolonged viewing of her Rasputin-like gaze would do to your brains.

I feel bad for her, but that didn't stop me from writing a Twitter about her ass. And not a few minutes later, I walked into the kitchen, and Izzy dashed in front of the doorway, causing me to fly across the room, landing on both wrists and one knee. I had to lie there for a while. Henry came in and offered to kiss my knee, but I demurred. Over the next few days, my knee turned all kinds of colors. My parts hurt. But it could have been much worse.

I have never almost been killed by a cat before, and it's a humbling experience. I can only conclude that Izzy can read, and that she's following me on Twitter. She's probably reading my blog. So I just want to say here that 1) my cat is beautiful, no matter what condition her ass is in, and 2) I was wrong to publicly mock her. Oh, and 3) I am sure that if we take her to the vet it will be so she can be admired, and not to have her hindquarters shaved and a tasteless diet food prescribed. In conclusion, my cat is beautiful. A big, beautiful beast.

If I don't post in a couple of days, you'll know that she didn't accept my apology.

Reader Comments (71)

"NOW YOU SEE. Quick, look away—I can't be sure what prolonged viewing of her Rasputin-like gaze would do to your brains."

Oh my Lord... this has just sent me into gales of laughter so long and intense my mascara is now running, my stomach muscles are tired and my kid thinks I'm out of my mind. But only because HE didn't get brain melt from the Rasputin-like gaze. Well, that, and... he doesn't understand the Rasputin reference.
September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTitanKT
Thank you, thank you...for making me laugh out loud during an otherwise bleak day. I LOVE your writing.
September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommentersusieQ
I also had the pleasure of having my cat attempt to off me. This was when I first got Shrapnel and hadn't wised up to his evil ways yet. I like to have a glass of water on my bedstand in case I wake up thirsty in the middle of the night. He likes to knock it over. I had a lot of glasses broken courtesy of the cat. To make it worse, he would position the shards of glass so they would be right where my feet would hit the carpet when I first woke up. Evil genius, I tell you.

BTW: Izzy is perhaps a little zaftig, but the constant showing of her belly shows that she is comfortable around you guys and trusts you. She is a happy cat.
September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHer Ladyship
While I can understand the admonishing comments from concerned kitty lovers, it's not easy keeping indoor cats active. When you have indoor/outdoor cats, they get out, they roam, they climb, they chase stuff. It's a no-brainer. But when they are indoor only, as is increasingly the case since many of us live in areas unsafe for kitties to roam safely outdoors, it's harder to get them to be as active. If you can make some play time for the kitty, they will get used to it and probably do it on their own too. Or another kitty. That would do it too! :-)
September 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlionemom
Wow, she looks exactly like my cat, Xena. The only difference is that Xena isn't trying to kill me, she just wants to steal my husband.
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Jane
Yet another reason to add to my list of why I'm a dog person!
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen
I also have a luxurious feline (25lb). His butt used to get so bad it could only be described as a festering rank baboon ass from hell.We switched him to Wellness canned food with a little bit of there Core high protein dry food ( I wouldn't eat dinner off his ass, but at least we're no longer embarrassed to show it to company.:)

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGuido
there, they're, their....I shouldn't type before coffee.

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGuido
OMG, poor IZZY! I love how she lies around on her back, apparently constantly. I have a 15lb long haired kitty that I always calling "fat-ass" and "fatty", but he is not actually fat, and if he were wet he'd look very slender indeed. I also have two cats who clean each other's asses, but they enjoy cleaning their own as well. Particularly in front of company, for hours on end. Hmm....
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Oh, what a sweet big girl!! We have a giant boy-kitty, too - I would bet money that he outweighs your girl.

I have to say - I LOVE your wood floors!! They are so what I would love to have in an old house.
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraudrey
"Look, now her back-fat is causing her to slip"

LMAO I almost farted with laughter. No wonder she was out to get you. I would, too, after a line like that!!!
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEuthie
We adopted a fat cat and we had a very short learning curve in regards to the smelly behind. Kitty was cleaned daily with hypo allergenic baby wipes, every six weeks she was taken to the groomer for a bath and a sanitary shave. She hated going but she felt much better when she came home. I policed her diet the best I could but older indoor cat with a slew of issues it really wasn't easy. We did manage to get her from twenty five pounds to a svelt nineteen and it took us five years to get her down to that weight. Three days before I had to put her to sleep, one of my vets stated that it would be great if she could loose even more weight. It didn't happen. The point to all of this is, that once cats gain weight it is a huge struggle to get it off, you can be sure that the two I have now are watched like hawks in regards to their diet. No more sanitary shaves in our house.
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterToni
bless you for making me laugh!!
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterla_chypriotte
Oh, pretty Izzy! My kitty (for the record, a gray striped tabby) also porked out after being spayed, but she's a respectable 14 pounds. Not fat... fluffy! (Just like her mum... sigh...)
October 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermadrigalia
Commenter Sarah: "who just happen to be black, like Obama"?? Did you really mean to write that?

LOVE the last Izzy photo. She is gorgeous.
October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharity
We have a cat that is just as big as yours and sits in compromising positions that make him look even fatter. I call him Fatty but that is not his name. He has not tried to kill me yet, but if I stand between him and his food, it just might happen.
October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDani You are frickin hilarious. Came over at my lovely friend Ez's suggestion and laughed til I cried. Thank you so much for making my day that much brighter. You are a gem.xoMelissa
October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa de la Fuente
Owning a black cat has got to be the most obvious form of self loathing. It's a BLACK cat! How do you NOT cross paths with one that you LIVE with? I'd just be thankful that she only took you on a trans-room flight and not far worse. Not to be superstitious, but if I were you, (I wouldn't own a black cat) I'd be on the lookout for some questionable cat activity in the backyard. Can your cat operate electric tools as well? Well enough to construct a sacrificial altar large enough for let's say... a grown woman who makes fun of her cat's ass? Don't forget, Halloween IS just around the corner...

This was a good read, by the way...
October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeilen
That is the funniest blog I've read in ages . . . I needed a good Monday laugh and somehow while link-hopping I came across your part of the world . . .THANK YOU from the bottom of my laughing heart!!
October 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjem
Rasputin Cat? Watch your back, that's all I have to say about that.
October 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAzúcar
I know I'm all late 'n stuff regarding the fat cat issue, but forgive life sucks and I'm currently very anti-social.

Anyway, raw food doesn't have to be difficult - they make the food in frozen little patties that have to be defrosted. How hard is that? We currently have 13 cats, of various ages and origins. (we have a small rescue) We've converted all of our cats to raw food (from Wild Kitty to Nature's Variety to homemade) and eventually, even the elderly cats who grew up with kibble have switched. And, they can now all clean their own butts.

We had a reason for switching - we had a kitten with IBS and kibble makes him very sick. It's horribly sad to watch a kitten with gas pains so bad they make him cry. The raw food fixed him. The raw food also fixed our fat cat from Best Friends who used to always have a dirty butt.

Raw food can be a little work (the Wild Kitty mix) or it can be as easy as defrosting frozen patties or nuggets (Wild Kitty frozen, Nature's Variety, Primal, etc.), and I think it would make Izzy feel better. And, you wouldn't be grossed out by her filthy butt and her matted back hair.

At the very least, decent wet food like you'd find at the fancy schmancy pet food stores (w/ one cat, it doesn't cost so much - we can't afford canned food for 13 of them) would help. Just make sure the ingredients aren't full of fillers and floor scrapings.

Of our 13 cats, the heaviest one is maybe 13 pounds. They all have great skin, fur, and best of all they smell clean. Plus, it's better for their kidneys.

Or, if you don't want to go any further than Petco, Natural Balance is a good chain store food if you don't want to feed raw. The most a cat should have is 2/3 of a 5.5/6 oz can of wet food.

October 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFlippyO

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