Svelte, lithe, limber and supple all are words often used to describe cats. So much so that mixing the word feline into this list, wouldn’t be thought of as far off base.
Many times this same list could be used to describe thin and slender humans. Especially if they are of the more graceful kind. As for the feline quality, think how many times you’ve seen a slender female dressed as a cat for Hallowe’en.
All these words are thought of as a positive. So much so in society that many people suffer from bulimia. In an effort to be thin and have it all, bulimia victims allow themselves to eat a lot but only if they are willing to vomit it out and thus maintain a svelte, lithe body. Purging is the one activity that can merge these disparate states, making repeated acts of purging almost addictive.
Was the idea of purging a human act, first, or did we look to our cat friends and put together svelte and lithe with vomiting?
Sure some cats might not realize what they are doing and really only cough things up because too much fur gets ingested during grooming. But doesn’t that very act of grooming suggest that cats are somehow vain?
Isn’t it just possible that some cats are indeed purging? They can’t put their fingers down their throats but they can lick up more fur. Did cats pass on this ill behaviour to human kind? Did the original bulimic watch a cat and get inspired? Did not someone realize that some cats can be fed as much food as they want but still stay svelte and lithe?
But then what about the fat cats of the world? They exist, especially in the indoor cat population. Perhaps they are the mentally healthy cats. But I and many others have seen them groom, too. Why aren’t they svelte and lithe?
Don’t forget the fat cats of this world compete against other cats. Perhaps they groom just enough to look pretty but not so much to make themselves purge. Maybe they think that there are other attractive properties than svelte, lithe, limber and supple. Even in the vain cat world, beauty isn’t always just one dimensional. Too bad that message hasn’t escaped into all of society, especially the bulimic parts.