Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The internet is rallying behind an obese cat named Cinderblock

Screenshot: Cinder Gets Fit (YouTube)

Cinderblock, an obese gray cat with a really good name, has taken her first tentative steps toward total body transformation. She should be applauded for this effort and, because she’s a cat on the internet, has been ever since a video of her first attempt at water aerobics surfaced a few days ago.

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As is obvious from the few seconds shown, Cinderblock does not appreciate the situation at hand. Suffering the indignity of being put in a sky blue harness and tethered to a leash, the poor girl is shown placed on a treadmill, partially filled with water to ease pressure on her joints, and being asked to take a stroll. The image of this unit of a cat, complaining to the camera about what’s been asked of her, obviously resonates with the masses. It’s the kind of thing that’s tailor-made for low-effort replies and quote tweets filled with stuff like “same” or “big mood.”

And yet, Cinderblock’s struggle has also inspired something more positive: a groundswell of support from everyone who just wants to see this ornery cat persist in her weight-loss regimen. These include, thanks to artist Alex Plante, illustrations of Cinderblock in various moods…

along with motivational messages, memed-up expressions of solidarity, and an entire subreddit repurposed so as to celebrate the cat rather than actual cinder blocks.

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Fortunately, the world’s attention drawn to her travails, Cinderblock’s progress is now being documented by Northshore Veterinary Hospital. According to the YouTube channel where its new videos are shared, Cinderblock is “carrying an extra 10 lb of body weight” and uses the aquatic treadmill to reduce the weight put on her limbs and minimize joint discomfort.

We are happy to report that the program has already begun to work. Northshore soon posted a video update of Cinderblock strolling steadily onward while a vet calls out encouragement.

This doesn’t mean that Cinderblock is entirely happy with her lifestyle changes. Along with a prescription diet that she seems to just glare at with dissatisfaction, Cinderblock is encouraged to keep moving around through strategic kibble-scattering.

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The committed staff of Northshore are also succeeding at getting the chonk to swat at some cat toys. (The dramatic music and slow motion are a nice touch.)

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Let’s keep pulling for Cinderblock, supporting her on a personal journey that, with any luck, will soon see her busting out pull-ups and flaunting before-and-after transformation pictures on her personal Instagram. In the meantime, here she is in her Halloween costume.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.