My cat and I gained the same amount of weight this winter. It looks better on her, plus she doesn’t have to think about getting into a bathing suit. Since the day I brought her home at seven weeks old, I have fed her responsibly — healthy, expensive feline food.

But I admit I tried various people foods on her. I wanted to be able to say my cat eats celery with almond butter or you should see how my kitty devours s’mores. Nothing. I filled her bowls with bits of swordfish, cooked and raw, sardines, anchovies, steak, roast beef, Hebrew National hot dogs, popcorn even. It looked for a while as if roasted pine nuts might be it. I got excited that at last I could brag about my one of a kind snowflake of a animal but then I found she was carrying them and stashing them under the dining room table and just putting them in piles. Maybe she has a squirrel friend she is pimping for.

Anyway at some point while I was pouring heavy cream into my coffee cup, she was winding herself between my feet and meowing. I don’t know where they came up with that word me-ow. It is not the sound she makes. But there are no letters that combine properly to imitate accurately her communications either so, okay, I’ll go with meow.

She was meowing and I was pouring and suddenly I thought, wait a minute, every child’s picture book that includes a cat has a saucer of warm milk. She must intuitively know that I am treating myself to an extravagance and withholding it from her. So I figured I’ll give it a try.

Well you should have seen her lap it up. (I do get lap it up.) Gone in milliseconds; literally inhaled, slurped to oblivion. I wanted a ritual so badly and I finally got it. All winter we have shared our organic whipping cream indulgence.

But as I mentioned in the first line of the piece, now we are paying for it.

I say we but I haven’t heard her complain to her girlfriends that she looks horrible, that she can’t seem to lose this extra five pounds. She hasn’t joined a gym. She is not doing sit ups in front of the TV. She is waddling happily around, winding herself between my ankles, rubbing her cheekbones against my legs, first in supplication and then in gratitude.

She’s purring. And I realize I have been purring too for the last six months — until yesterday when I looked in the mirror. My mantra, that I often mutter to myself, what other people think of me is none of my business, better kick in soon.

This morning when I used about half of what I usually take, she gave me a look. I said, don’t worry I’m not cutting back on yours. You look fine just the way you are.

And she said, so do you.

It sounded a lot like meow.

Nancy Slonim Aronie is the author of Writing from the Heart (Hyperion/Little Brown). She is a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and founder of the Chilmark Writing Workshop.