Morris The Moocher

Dr. John Kaya
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Wednesday - January 06, 2010
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As we spring into 2010, many people embark on the ritual of making New Year’s resolutions. The topic that often tops the resolution list is physical fitness. Some people want to lose weight while others want to gain muscle. For myself, I’ve had the same New Year’s resolution for the past 10 years: six-pack abs. Unfortunately, at present I only have a keg where a six pack should be. My resolutions often end up being more of a mental exercise than a physical one.

Do pets make resolutions? Are they concerned with their physical fitness? The following story is about a cat that had not eaten for months. It happened right after the new year.


Mrs. Ching brought her cat Morris to our hospital because Morris had not eaten for three months. The conversation went something like this:

“Doc, I’m worried about Morris. He hasn’t eaten his food for over three months. Is he going to die?”

“Mrs. Ching,” I replied, “if Morris has not eaten for three months, he probably would not be with us at this time. He’s got to be eating something.”

Mrs. Ching shook her head and replied, “Every day I take out his favorite dish and put his food out on the lanai. By the end of the day not one kibble has been disturbed. I even resorted to counting the kibbles in the bowl and I compare the amount that is left uneaten. Day after day, it’s the same amount, plus or minus a kibble or two.”

“Very strange,” I thought (Morris’s appetite, not Mrs. Ching).

“If you leave the food on the lanai, then I take it Morris is a cat that is allowed to go outdoors,” I said. “One of your neighbors must be feeding him. According to our records, Morris has gained two pounds since his last visit. He is definitely eating.”

After a little convincing, Mrs. Ching went home with Morris and queried her neighbors. It turns out a new neighbor down the street had been feeding him for some time. In fact, the neighbor took him to a veterinarian to have him checked out and even placed a microchip in him for identification. After laying claim to Morris’s ownership, Mrs. Ching proceeded to feed Morris the food that he’d preferred from the neighbors.

Morris is a survivor and connoisseur, it seems. He took the initiative to go a couple of houses down his street to find food that he enjoyed. Was he concerned about his figure? Did he have a New Year’s resolution to trim down? No, he was happy just the way he was.

We should take a lesson from our cuddly counterparts and be satisfied to embrace our fullness. If we did, the wild side would be a happier place. Happy New Year!

Pet Tip:

If you have an outdoor cat, communicate with your neighbors so they know what your cat looks like. Sometimes cats get relinquished to shelters like the Humane Society because they were thought to be a stray.

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