Undoubtedly, the internet’s cat lovers have a soft spot for chubby cats. Another feline feature that many people adore? Cow-patterned cats! When these two beloved traits merge, you get the most irresistible combination. Keith, a British spotted cat, is not only charming but also has an enormous heart filled with love and kindness. At nine years old, Keith’s owner shared on Instagram that they rescued him when he was six months old and gravely ill on the streets. Keith had Feline Herpesvirus and digestive issues, but his vibrant and fun-loving personality won over his owners’ hearts. Most notably, he became a loyal companion to the owner’s daughter, who has autism, and the duo became inseparable. Upon speaking to his owner, I learned more about Keith’s remarkable tale, which I am thrilled to share on this platform, so let us all get to know this exceptional feline that will surely warm our hearts.
Could you share the tale of how Keith became a part of your family? It all began back in 2013, when my daughter and I were doing volunteer work at a local cat rescue center. One day, a frail kitten, struggling with cat flu and gastrointestinal issues, was brought in after being found wandering the streets. Despite receiving treatment for a month, he wasn’t showing signs of improvement. My daughter, who is autistic, developed a bond with him as he followed her around and playfully climbed onto her shoulders. Concerned about his health, I decided to take the young cat home to give him a better chance at survival. However, I couldn’t risk exposing my other cats to any contagious diseases he might have. So, I secretly took him to the vet for further tests without revealing the truth to my daughter. The next day, which also happened to be Charlie’s tenth birthday, we surprised her by bringing home the six-month-old kitten from the vet. At first, she named him Spartacus because she thought he was a brave warrior. But soon enough, we realized that his goofy and humorous personality was more fitting for the name Keith, inspired by the comedian Keith Lemon.
I noticed that Keith has lost some weight recently. Can you give me some insight into how he managed to shed those extra pounds? Keith has always had trouble with his weight, even as a young cat. In fact, by the time he was only a year old, he weighed 5.5kg and had to be put on a special diet by the vet. However, it seemed like he still felt like he was a starving kitten on the street and couldn’t stop eating. Whenever we tried to restrict his food intake, he would become incredibly stressed and would often have flu flare-ups, making him quite ill.
To make matters worse, Keith loved to go outside and would often eat from bins or other sources of food, making himself even more sick in the process. Despite our attempts to regulate his feeding through a feeder, his weight kept increasing. When we moved house and made him an indoor cat, we hoped it would help with his weight loss, but unfortunately, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
Over time, we have had every test performed on Keith, spending a significant amount of money to try and get to the root cause of his weight gain. Even his vet believes that he may have a problem with his pituitary gland, but we decided against paying £5000 for an MRI and putting him under anesthesia since there would be nothing we could really do about it.
Ultimately, our goal with Keith is to prevent him from gaining any more weight. He’s quite the master thief when it comes to food, so we’re constantly coming up with new ways to keep it away from him and slow down his eating. Despite his weight issues, Keith is still an active, hyper cat, which is pretty unusual for a cat his size.