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The Slice: Greedy feline pawed his way into becoming a real fat cat

Tue., July 6, 2010, midnight

Here’s an answer to Friday’s Slice question about pets and automatic feeders.

“When our first grandchild was born, my husband and I agreed to provide a home for our daughter’s yellow cat, Fritz,” wrote Debbie Beaudry of Ephrata.

The exiled feline had fallen out of favor with a certain member of her daughter’s household even before the baby’s arrival. Something about Fritz urinating in a pair of men’s boots.

So, anyway, the pet goes to live with grandma and grandpa. To simplify feeding their new boarder, the Beaudrys acquired a device that was programmed to dispense half a cup of cat food once a day. What could be simpler?

“Fritz was normal weight when we acquired him, but soon started gaining weight,” wrote Beaudry.

Something to do with the stress of the move?

Well, maybe. But mostly he was just too smart for his own good.

“We discovered that he had figured out how to get extra food on demand by sticking his paw up the feeder,” Beaudry explained.

Fritz had learned how to trigger the release mechanism. And the increasingly rotund pet had come to regard the food dispenser as an all-you-can-eat, one-choice feline automat.

Apparently he was unconcerned about his weight.

But Fritz recently moved back to his original home. He’s on a different regimen now.

Said Beaudry, “He is now an outdoor cat and has slimmed down considerably.”

And let’s hope he is steering clear of the boots.

Sliceworld updates: Just a few readers have entered The Slice’s Wonderful World of Water Wading Pool Photo Contest. I blame the cool weather we were experiencing when I first announced this. Anyway, the deadline remains July 15.

The road resurfacing project involving my street is under way. I have not forgotten about inviting a little kid over to watch the heavy equipment in action. But the unpredictability of the work schedule and my occasional need to actually be at the office complicate arranging this.

And, lastly, let’s plan on having a Marmot Lodge meeting on Aug. 3, 2012, to coincide with The Slice’s 20th anniversary.

Today’s Slice question: What made you swear “Never again” about camping?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail This has been a fine year for cloud watching.

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