Year of the Body (yeah, but whose…)

My mom has declared 2008-2009 the Year of the Body. Hers. She downloaded a book on healthy eating. She bought grains and leafy green stuff. She started back to meditating at least once a day. And she’s working out more than ever.

“By Christmas,” she says, “I want to have a whole new body.”weights for new body

Of course, after setting all this in motion, she found something on the Internet about the danger of losing weight once you get past a certain age. She decided to ignore it.

Mom also cancelled her Cable TV. She has been so busy going to exercise class, she says, she has no more time to watch. And she wants to send me off on more walks with my Aunt Sara, since she’s going out more. That’s fine with me.

Our new housemate, Ophelia, is also on a diet. She refuses to eat dry food so she survives on a small amount of canned. She licks her wet food off each dry morsel.

Creampuff and I are the voices of normalcy, although Creampuff likes to eat my crunchies. I eat what my mom feeds me, plus treats, plus whatever disgusting stuff I find in the dog park.

And I’m the perfect size and shape.

Overweight cat contest? Ophelia’s a loser.

Good grief. No sooner did we add a 17-lb. kitty to our household than we heard about a real heavyweight: a 44-lb. cat in New Jersey.

That’s much more than what I weigh. And I am a dog.fat cat

“We’re ignoring that story,” my mom said. “Ophelia is still on a diet. If she’ll ever leave her laundry room hideout, we’ll start her kitty aerobics program.”

No wonder Ophelia wants to hide. My mom’s a terror when she gets fixated on an idea.

Then again, she said, the New Jersey cat, “Princess Chunk,” got all kinds of publicity. Chunk sat in Diane Sawyer’s lap, totally calm. (Diane wore a white skirt that won’t show Chunk’s white hair. Chris Cuomo, wearing a dark suit, edged away).

“Imagine what all this publicity could do for my copywriting business,” Cathy said.

Not much.

Get real, mom. Your cats will always be liabilities. I’m the asset around here.

Dog Saves Owner From Fashion Disaster

OK, I don’t stop with food. Cathy got some flats to wear when she absolutely, positively can’t wear sneakers. We can’t call them “dress shoes” because Cathy doesn’t do dress-up.

She hates to buy shoes because none of them fit. She’s right. Her feet are shaped more like shoe boxes than shoes.

So she buys whatever she can, spending as little as possible. She spends more on concert tickets, books and (thankfully) dog walking. She just begrudges paying for anything that causes pain and pinches her toes.

This last pair were pretty ugly. She was desperate and they fit, more or less. But she knew: they really should go.

I saw what was needed. On her own, she would never replace them. It was my duty to chew them up. Now she’s forced to buy new ones.

So…why did she yell, “Oh no, Gracie!” and shove me into my crate? When do I get a nice thank you biscuit?

When hell freezes over…or Cathy voluntarily dresses up when she doesn’t have to. Not tomorrow, for sure.

A Dog’s Biggest Challenge: Saving My Owner From Herself

Look, I just want to help my mom, Cathy. She works hard, but she’s just a little misguided sometimes.

Take food. Cathy works out religiously. She loves to exercise…and she loves to eat. She knows: she really should be on a diet. Of course, Cathy doesn’t believe in diets. That’s too conventional. So she vows to eat healthy food in moderation.

Cathy just looked over my shoulder. She wants me to tell you that she’s really not that big. She’s the least photogenic person on the planet (I have to agree there). And in that photo where she’s speaking, she’s wearing a coat dress. Yes…it’s like a coat, but…it looked great in the room. Cathy got lots of compliments on her outfit. But let’s face it: in that picture, she resembles a small house on steroids.

I tried to help. A few weeks ago Cathy brought home a piece of coffee cake from Tully’s coffee shop. She likes a nice coffee break in the afternoon with just a small piece of something good. But who knows? I asked myself. Maybe she won’t stop with just one bite. Maybe she’ll eat the whole thing.

It’s up to me to save my owner from herself. Besides, she left her bag open. Gulp! No more temptation, Mom.

I did the same with the cheese last week: a nice chunk of cheddar Mom was saving for a special snack. Cheese is her weakness these days. So once again, it’s Gracie to the rescue – yum!

This time Mom freaked. She thought I would get sick. Visions of vet bills spun before her eyes. She got on the Internet (naturally) and found all sorts of scary warnings. She called the vet. “Gone for the day, leave a message.”

So she did the next best thing. She called her friend Bill, in New York. Bill is a real dog person who’s been advising my mom since the first day she brought Keesha home. I wish Mom would listen to Bill. He believes dogs should not get obedience training and he feeds his dogs muffins. Blueberry, preferably. His dogs are really spoiled.

“Gracie ate cheese!” she shrieked.


“Won’t she get sick?”

After Bill wouldn’t stop laughing, Cathy hung up on him. She watched me closely for a couple of days, which was kind of fun.

Next I’m going to work on hamburger. Cathy shouldn’t eat it. I’ll help her resist.