Counting carbs for feline fatties

by Natalie Dee

I have a three-legged cat. She has a small build and weighed seven pounds when I adopted her. Since then sheís gained eight pounds. She is HUGE.

I like my cat. I donít want her to die of clogged arteries or somethingóIíd feel like a terrible person. I feed her what it says on the cat food bag, but I think she needs to get more exercise. Trouble is, how are you supposed to exercise a three-legged cat? óKrista

Well, there are ways besides exercise to get your cat to trim down. You said your cat has a small build, and the label on the cat food bag suggests a serving size based on the needs of an average-built cat. Your cat is not average.

Donít free-feed her. Make sure youíre giving her a set amount of food a day, and donít give her a lot of treats or table food. If that doesnít work, you need to start feeding her less. Gradually decrease the amount of food youíre giving her until you notice improvement.

Also look into low-calorie cat food thatís especially made for fatties. Your vet might be able to recommend a good one, and would also be able to help set up a feeding plan based on your catís size and activity level.

Also, just because your cat only has three legs doesnít mean sheís destined to a life of inactivity. Try to find some cat toys that encourage her to bat around, play string games with her or try to get her to freak out on some catnip. Any activity is better than no activity. If you can get your cat to drop a couple pounds, she will be a lot happier, healthier and will probably get around easier.


I have some sort of motivational problem. Every time I sit down to do work I find myself on the Internet, letting it absorb any time I was going to put to good use.

The thing is, I know what I need to do to get my work done, but I simply canít. Even when I do get super-motivated to be productive, the computer sucks me in. I always get my work done, but in an extremely tight and stressful window of time right at the last minute.

Is it a maturity thing? Will I grow out of it? Do you have any tips for staying away from this heinous machine for a few hours every day? óHarry

This is an extremely common problem. Nobody likes to do work. It is boring. Even if you like your job, you would prefer to not be working.

In the last five years or so, just about every office building in the country has been rigged up with the Internet. That means just about every office worker is battling the Great Distraction.

When youíre working, you are just sitting, staring at Microsoft Word or some spreadsheet, and you know full well that the Internet, with its massive amounts of things to read and games to play (that have nothing to do with spreadsheets), is only a double-click away. Itís sooo easy to fail. Itís sooo easy to just take a sec to read the news and wind up looking at eBay until itís time to go home.

The worst part of it is, if you really like looking at the Internet, your attention span takes a blow. You get used to the multimedia frenzy, and being able to just close pages if they donít instantly grab your attention. You need the constant stream of information and little animated gifs and all that.

THIS IS NOT WHAT WORK IS LIKE. Work is looking at a grid for eight hours. Work is having a list of 2,000 files, and having to change one element in every one of the files over and over and over, 2,000 times. No wonder so many people have problems like yours.

My suggestion? Suck it up. This is when you have to dig deep and pull out a heaping handful of self control. The Internet is still going to be there when youíre done. Everything you want to look at is waiting for you. Do your work first.

Donít even open your browser window. If you need it open for e-mail, open your e-mail and minimize the window. If you have a project to do, work out a schedule for completing it. Say you have a week to finishódivide the amount of work by five and do one-fifth of it every day BEFORE YOU LOOK AT THE INTERNET. Then you can look at websites, if you must.

This way, when the due date rolls around and youíre getting to the crunch, you will have a nice amount of work already done and you wonít have to kill yourself. This is called budgeting your time. Itís a pretty important skill to have.

If you still canít stay away long enough to get real-life things done, you might need more help. As silly as it sounds, Internet addiction is an actual problem. If itís really interfering with your life and work, and you are totally helpless to fix it, you might want to see a professional.


Iíve been wondering what to dress up as for Halloween. Iím in college and every Halloween thereís a huge party where everyone dresses up and has a great time. Most of the people will be drunk and not notice, Iím sure, but I still want to look awesome. Iíve been trying to come up with a great idea and I just CANNOT think of anything. Please help! óAmber

There are all kinds of things you can be for Halloween. You can get a bear costume, or be the ass-end of your friendís donkey costume, or be a ghost. But you want to look awesome at a party. That normally means you have to be a Sexy Nurse, a Sexy Witch, a Sexy Vampire, a Sexy Pirate or a Sexy Zombie. Thatís it.

But today I give to you the greatest idea ever: SEXY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. I will leave it up to you to come up with the details. Wear a suit or something. You only have a month to get it together, so youíd better get to work.

Natalie Dee is a Columbus-based artist and writer whose work can be seen at To Ask Natalie, e-mail

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