Our Biggest Loser: Mischief "Missy" by Lori, Mischief’s Mom!

We came to know Mischief on a very hot day in August 2008 when my daughter brought her into the house in the evening, hidden in her hoodie. She was given the kitten by our local barber who had a litter of kittens. Having recently lost our other cat “Mac” to old age (she lived until she was 19) I was not ready to receive another cat and especially a little kitten.

It came clear very quickly that this little kitten was taken from its mother very early as it still was sucking on anything it could. I also have to say that she quickly filled our hearts with love and mischiefness and hence she wears her name well.

Our previous cat had trouble gaining weight and had to be fed high calorie food just to keep her going. Needless to say, feeding Missy was the opposite. As a Maine Coon cat, they grow to be very big and sometimes top at over 24 lbs. She quickly went from 2.7 kg to over 8 kg within 2 years. The journey to help Missy then began. We tried every food from the vet.

All of them were easily palatable for her but did not fill her up. She quickly began the “bad behaviours” of biting and anxiety around food and her food dish. We tried more protein, more fibre however, it never seemed to be the right food mixture.

I even gave up in 2013 and went to a pet store to obtain “Fat Cat”. While it was much less expensive and Missy seemed to be fuller on the food, in a few short months, she started to look mangy. Taking her back to Dr. Kerr just after Christmas 2013 was the peak of her weight. Missy had gained weight on the calorie reduced “Fat Cat” and in fact was starved for nutrition. She peaked at a whopping 8.39 Kg. which was the biggest she had ever been. This brought on a host of other issues such as vulvitis (not able to lick herself “down there”), as well as other issues for skin and fur and general un-wellness and lethargy.

I must say that the vets and the health care team at North Hill Animal hospital have always been caring and helpful. Missy was put on a new food by Purina called “OM”. I am thinking, great name, and spiritually this would be a good thing.

The goal was to get Missy to a healthy weight so we could “add back” years to her. Being overweight meant that she would not live a long and healthy life and that is just unacceptable especially when we could control it.

We began the journey by measuring, and being strict in her food intake. We got a laser pointer to help with entertainment and exercise. We got a food ball and doled out the prescribed amount of treats daily and watched her enjoy her play time and getting to the treats. In 3 months we saw real progress and in monthly weigh-ins we were encouraged by her weight loss. By September she was down to 6.63 kg. This is just shy of 3 kg. of weight loss in 9 months. It has been a long journey but perseverance prevailed! Now to maintain it will be the next task. With the winter coming, her appetite increases and she likes to go out less and less. We will be diligent in keeping her diet to maintain good health and increase her indoor exercise with homemade toys and the laser pointer.

Favourite Activities & Interesting Facts About Mischief

Anything to do with paper bags, tissue paper. Also loves hair ties and empty paper towel and toilet rolls.

She brought home a live mouse one night last year as a gift to us, brought it in the house and took 2 days to extricate the mouse from our house. My daughter moved out until “Mickey” was removed.

Mischief is fiercely loyal. No matter where she is in the house and even in sleep, she will awake and run to the door to greet us. She follows us everywhere in the house and I often find myself saying “stay there and I will be right back”. She still follows.

I have not gone to use the washroom in private since she arrived 6 years ago. She cries at the door if we close it and she is on the other side of the door. She does not understand the concept of “sleeping in” on the weekend. She has a series of activities that she does to wake us up at 6am. We don’t need alarms. She starts by jumping on the bed and nipping at our toes through the comforter. She then comes to the pillow and starts patting us with her paws. She proceeds to plan C which is licking face, hands and anything not covered. She then goes to plan D which is constant tapping and meowing.

We know not to get to plan E which is nipping.

She has been known to stare down a dog as big as an Airdale. She is not afraid of dogs. She likes to sit in the chair in the office where we have our Mali Uromastix, Chloe. Missy likes to watch Chloe in her cage.

When outside she always goes next door to keep our neighbour company as he gardens.

Missy has become a real member of our family and we are glad she came to us in August 2008.