Why did the cat get fat?


…because the mouse was a big lardy podger. 

Where's the Doritos?


In my daily routine I tend to have a look at the on-line newspapers and just have a read of whatever article takes my fancy.  Yesterday, I found a piece about dieting.  More specifically, it addressed whether the ‘myth’ that eating late at night engenders more weight gain has any veracity. 

The last I heard, there was a consensus that it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat – all your body recognises is total calories in versus energy expenditure, over the 24-hour period. 

However, Times Online has this to say: 

Now a small study has shown that the theory may have some validity after all, which makes eating an apple a better choice than more “fattening” options, even if your overall calories are under control. 


What startled me when I read down the article was what the poor, lowly lab mice had to endure, to prove that late-night munching may, after all, be detrimental to one’s waistline. 

In a six-week study on 12 mice, which were all given the same calories as part of a high-fat diet, those that ate during the day gained 5lb compared with 10lb for those who fed at night. 

Now, what caught my eye about this was the extent of weight gain.  Six weeks.  Day-eater mice gain 5lb.  Night-eaters gain 10lb.  Presumably the night-eater mice were also low-functioning, adolescent ‘gamers’, puffing on spliffs, making regular trips to the food trough, before passing out and missing school in the  morning. 

That aside, though, isn’t 5lb-10lb an insane amount for a mouse?  Over a six week period?  Surely that’s at least doubling their body weight.  I’m amazed they could actually get them to that size. 

While conceding that eating an apple (the article is about the so-called apple diet) is a healthy thing to do, The Times refutes that it has any metabolism-boosting properties.  Instead, it has this to say, 

When it comes to foods that really do have such an effect, there is some research to suggest that chilli sauces and mustard may help to gradually raise the speed at which we burn calories. 

Could someone pass me the Thai Chilli Sensations crisps, please?  Oh, and I’ll go for a hot dog too.  Hold the ketchup.  Don’t be shy with the mustard, though. 


My Mum has been a bit poorly for a week or so.  She’s had some dental problems and is on two courses of antibiotics to try to kill an infection that’s making one side of her cheek all puffy.  I’ve had to do a bit of the care-taking for her as she’s not been well enough to make meals and has had to sit on the sofa for a good part of the day. 

This has given me an inkling of what people with full-time care responsibilities must go through.  I’m KNACKERED.  I have been taking more rests in-between making loads of cups of tea (Mum’s a mega tea-drinker) and helping with whatever happens to need doing.  I’m not on my own.  My Dad does stuff for her too.  I’d like to do more, but I have to be careful because if I burn out, that will put me out of action for a good few days, making me unavailable to my Mum. 

I am trying to keep a sense of humour about it all.  The phrase “the blind leading the blind” seems ripe for conversion to “the sick leading the sick”, because that’s what it feels like.  This period of Mum’s sickness is unlikely to last much longer, as the antibiotics start working, but it has given me a small insight into what the life of a carer must be like.  If anyone is currently in that role, then more power to you!  You do an amazing job.


9 thoughts on “Why did the cat get fat?

  1. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and we used to have an ENORMOUS one in the garden, so fat he couldn’t climb the steps.

  2. Making mice gain 5 – 10lbs in 6 weeks seems really cruel. As you say, that is an enormous ammount for a mouse to gain. Quite a lot for a human and mice are lots smaller. Poor mice.

  3. Hey Louise,

    I hope your mum feels better soon and that your depression is manageable at the moment.
    Spring is here, lets hope the sun makes us brighter.

    Dom x

  4. Poor mice it always staggers me what is done to any animals to prove a point. Loved the way you got your point across though. When your done with the thai chilli crisps chuck them my way i love them. Bang goes the midnight feasts. xx

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