Strange times. We have it on good, or at least loud, authority that Hillary Clinton is planning to have some of our troops massacred just for the thrill of being able to lie about it to the American people. That Bernie Sanders keeps a sperm sample from Karl Marx in a locket on his person at all times to keep it warm and viable. That Barack Obama is going to make us pray to Allah five times a day just so he can look at men’s butts. People will say anything about anybody. They really don’t care much about the truth anymore.

Well, this stops here.

Because I am here to report that our cat Tater, in spite of everything that everybody ever says about her, is not fat. All you people who come to the front door and are greeted by our bounding and enthusiastic house mammal can just take your “my, what a fat cat you are” and stuff it. I saw you rolling your eyes when we insisted she was only the exact right size she needed to be to contain her personality. That she couldn’t possibly get fat on a half cup of dry store kibble a day. I know you were thinking this was one of those “love is blind” things, like when you say your grandkid is smart as a whip, while he has one hand down his pants and the other in his nose up to the second knuckle. But after a while, when complete strangers came and knocked on the door to sell some Jesus and tell us our cat was fat, we started to think maybe it was true.

But it’s not. She is medically certified not fat. We had to take her to the vet the other day. First time she’s been since she was brand new, nine years ago. She had the sneezles. After the third sneezly day we looked it up on Dr. Internet and discovered we might be endangering her very existence by waiting for the sniffles to go away, so we packed her up and took her in. The vet had a look all around and held a stethoscope to her brisket for a minute and looked in her ears and in her mouth and said there was nothing wrong with her. Her teeth looked perfect. Her chest was clear. Her coat was healthy. She didn’t need any medications. He didn’t offer any vaccines just because. She was admirable in every way. And for what he charged us, we couldn’t even have filled up the pickup truck.

“Do you think she’s fat?”

“No,” he said, just like that, without even hedging. He could feel her ribs just fine. “They all get that waggly apron thing; it’s where cats store their healthy fat. She’s just a nice big cat. She could drop maybe ten grams, but she doesn’t need to.”

Black Cat Smiling

Okay, ten grams is a lot of cocaine but not much cat. We’ve seen big cats before. We had a neighbor who went to pick up her cat when we came to the door, and she picked it up, and kept picking it up, until finally she was standing up with the front end of the cat in her arms, and its butt was still on the floor. That was a big cat. Tater’s just big compared to those little noodle-tailed pansy cats you see. She’s not fat. Vet said so.

She quit sneezing two days later. Next time I’m sick, I’m going to the vet. He’ll tell me I’m fine, I’m pretty, I don’t need dental work, and there’s no need to hit the gym or the pharmacy. And my fur is to die for.