Yesterday Dan and I took Merlin to see the vet for his annual check-up. We knew he has put a fair bit on since his last check-up (when he was 6.3 kg) and he was so heavy in his cat carrier that we had to drive him up the road as he was too heavy to carry the 15 minutes’ walk up the road.

Dominika took one look at him and declared he was overweight. A weight of 6.3kg-6.8kg is fine for Merlin as he is a Maine Coon-Siamese-something else crossbreed and definitely takes after his daddy Michaelangelo with his long whiskers, bulky body, big paws and tiger stripes and has a fascination (like most Maine Coons) for water, but being a greedy puss he has munched his way through too many bowls of cat food and is now at risk of diabetes and heart problems. Dominika said we must be strict with him and deny him treats, and give him only 80g of dry food per day and she wants to review him in 8 weeks.

I  somehow don’t think Merlin the Kitty will be very happy with his new diet regime but it is for his own good. If Fred leaves some of his food in the bowl then Merlin eats that too. We have tried separating them but it just doesn’t work and Microchip bowls cost £99.99 which we just can’t afford at the moment. Fred isn’t quite so bad but needs to lose about half a kilo ideally so we’re cutting both their food down and hopefully this will help them to lose a bit of weight, even if it’s not as much as we’d like. Maybe it will help us to bide some time to shell out for Fred’s microchip bowl in a few weeks when we have a bit more money.

It doesn’t help that Fred and Merlin are house cats and really don’t get enough exercise and Dan is afraid of letting them out and never seeing them again – run over or nicked, as they are the most beautiful specimens with bright eyes and lovely thick, healthy coats of fur – and our garden area isn’t private or safe enough for them to wander without the risk of them coming to some harm.

However, I am determined to have another attempt to put them in a harness and walk them round the garden. They may protest a bit at first but they’ll get used to it!!!