Jackson, my cat, was looking a bit off. I can’t say exactly how he was looking, but he appeared to be a bit lethargic, and maybe not as up-beat as he usually appears.
I noticed it on Wednesday night, but then I shrugged and figured I was probably over reacting.
On Saturday night I went out in the garden and he was lying between the lavender, and looking just too cool for his own good.
I stood there and stared and him, and then I thought, if I left him he might be not well and he might pass out in the neighbour’s garden.
It was 19h30 on a Saturday night, so I stood there and thought about it. A sane person might have shrugged and left it, but I am not really enrolled with that particular school, so I called my local veterinary clinic.
Panorama Veterinary is a 24 hour vet, and has a veterinarian on staff all the time, so you can toddle down there with your sick and wounded animal any time.
Nice overtime fee.
I took Jackson down to be checked out as I knew I would push myself into paranoia if I just “left it..”
As is my luck, I handed over a few hundred rand to a very nice vet to tell me that Jackson is fine.
I must confess the fact that she pushed a thermometer into his b.um and gave him an injection in the neck <as a precaution> and he remained dozing on my arm. I thought it was a sign that something was clearly a bit off, but vet lady assured me that Jackson is in great condition.
But my actual story is the part where Connor and I were waiting on the waiting room.
Panorama Vet is surprisingly busy, so we had to wait about 45 minutes. The practice has one of those little powerpoint things running with semi amusing distractions and basic advise for pet owners.
One of the slides was about Hills Science Diet and some BEFORE and AFTER photographs of some rather large dogs/cats and how they lost weight by their owners putting them on a (restricted) diet of Hills.
Okay, normal stuff. But the dog and the cat in the image were huge, but the after pictures were obviously of really slim and healthy pets.
I am sitting there with Connor and Jackson is in his travel box, and I am sort of staring blankly at the screen. Overweight dog image comes on the screen and the woman next to me asks: “Is that a real picture, is that dog really that big?”
So vet receptionist goes: “Yes it is…”
Woman next to me – who just for the record is really large goes: “Those owners should be shot for animal abuse …”
I sort of pulled my head around and looked at her and thought, seriously woman, of all the chunky people in here to be passing judgement on a chunky dog ….. and the dog’s owner … me thinks you need to maybe stand on a scale some time and take a good look at yourself.
Obviously I did not say that, as I sincerely lack the guts to often say what I think, but then the thought occurred to me.
And then I remembered my other humbug issue.
There are so many overweight kids in my kids’ school it is a bit alarming. Usually, when I see the parents they are packing a few extra kilograms – but who among us isn’t.
I know it is really easy to say that “weight” is hereditary, but I personally believe it isn’t…. too much. Weight is often what parents teach their children to eat as part of their daily diet, or combine a certain lifestyle that includes food/activity and so on, and maybe then a child starts to have the same “shape” as his or her parents.
Seldom do “big kids” belong to small parents, it just does not really happen, or it does, and I have not encountered it much.
My kids are ridiculously skinny. It really is one of those cases of if they did not have an arse, their pants might not remain up stories.
As a kid I was really skinny. As an adult I was as well. I started packing it on in my early thirties, so I have about 10 kilograms that I need to get rid of, but that being beside the point, for today.
There are several kids at my daughter school – pre-school who are chubby. We are not talking endearing “puppy fat” we are talking overweight for kids.
There are several kids at my son’s school primary who are larger than they should be, again not a bit of “puppy fat” but overweight kids. Like shirt too tight, or pinafore dress that does not quite button up well.
The question that runs in my head every time I see these kids is “If they are big now, they will be big as adolescents, if they are big as adolescents they will probably have harder teenage years than teenage years already are. If they are big teenagers, odds are they will enter their twenties big. Yes, I get that big people can be happy people and it is not all about the number on the scale. But overweight people are often picked on and made to feel sh*t by their less kilogram challenged peers. These larger kids end up entering the rather challenging twenties with depression and a poor self image…”
Or I could just be jumping to conclusions, and this was just an image on the screen at the vet. And overweight kids at school are okay, or they are not ……