It is widely known that cat enthusiasts on the internet have a special fondness for chubby cats. Another popular favorite among cat lovers? Cats that resemble cows! When you combine these two beloved characteristics, you get an absolutely enchanting combination. One such feline in the United Kingdom, known as Keith the Cat-Cow, perfectly embodies this irresistible charm. Not only is he incredibly adorable, but he has also demonstrated a tremendous capacity for love and kindness towards his family. At the age of nine, Keith’s owner shared on Instagram, “We rescued Keith when he was a sick and malnourished six-month-old cat found on the streets. He was battling cat flu (FHV) and gastrointestinal issues. As volunteers, we decided to bring him home, hoping to provide him with a better life. Keith had an incredibly vibrant personality, exuding joy and vitality. He became my daughter’s best friend and soulmate, as they forged an unbreakable bond. During times when she lacked companionship, Keith would play with her.” I had the opportunity to speak with Keith’s owner to feature his heartwarming story on this website, and fortunately, she graciously agreed. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this extraordinary cat who is bound to capture your heart.
Could you share with me the tale of how Keith became a part of your life? Back in 2013, my daughter and I dedicated our time to volunteer at a local cat rescue center. One day, we discovered a young kitten who had been abandoned on the streets. He was in a terrible condition, suffering from cat flu and gastrointestinal issues, likely due to his scavenging for food. Despite being at the center for a month, his health was not improving. Interestingly, my daughter, who is Autistic, formed a deep connection with this sickly feline. He would diligently trail behind her, even hopping onto her shoulders as she went about her tasks. Witnessing their bond, I made the decision to rescue him and bring him home, without disclosing my plan to my daughter. I transferred him to a veterinarian for further examination, afraid that he might have FIV or FeLV, potentially endangering our other cats. Unbeknownst to her, the following day, which coincided with Charlie’s 10th birthday, we surprised her by picking up the six-month-old kitten from the vet instead of donating something to the rescue center, as she had expected.
Now, let me share with you the story behind Keith’s name. Initially, my daughter named the weak kitten “Spartacus,” as she felt he embodied the spirit of a warrior. However, in just a few days, we all realized that the name did not capture his true essence. Rather than being a stoic fighter, he proved to be a playful clown, constantly evoking laughter from us. Consequently, Charlie decided to rename him Keith, after the famously amusing comedian Keith Lemon.
I’ve noticed that Keith has slimmed down quite a bit. Can you fill me in on his journey towards becoming a leaner kitty?
Keith has battled with weight issues since day one. At just one year old, he already weighed 5.5kg and had to be put on a special veterinary diet. It seems that no matter what we did, he still felt like that hungry little kitten he once was on the streets, constantly looking for food. Whenever we restricted his meals, he would get incredibly stressed and even fall ill with flu-like symptoms. It turns out that Keith used to scavenge for food from bins when he had the opportunity, which made him sick from time to time.
Surprisingly, his weight continued to increase even when we were feeding him the right amount through a feeder. We thought that making him an indoor cat when we moved would prevent him from scavenging, but it didn’t have the desired effect on his weight loss. We’ve gone through countless tests and spent a significant amount of money in an attempt to solve the mystery of Keith’s weight gain. Despite his larger size, Keith is unusually active and hyper. His vet suspects that there might be an issue with his pituitary gland, but the risks and costs associated with an MRI and anesthesia outweighed the potential benefits since there wouldn’t be much we could do if an issue was found.
Our main goal with Keith now is to prevent further weight gain, as he is a master thief when it comes to food. We are constantly brainstorming new ideas to keep food out of his reach and slow down his eating habits.
How would you describe his character?
Keith exudes a vibrant and joyous personality that never fails to bring laughter into our lives. Notably, he shares a remarkable bond with my daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, and it is truly an extraordinary connection. His mischievous nature adds an element of playfulness to our days, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have him as a part of our family.
What activities does he enjoy the most?
Right from the beginning, Keith became Charlie’s closest companion, engaging in endless games together. As Charlie has grown over the years, their activities have evolved, yet his favorite hobbies remain painting and solving puzzles.