After the death of my sweet, beautiful and dern-near perfect cat, Alice, I started subjecting the rest of the cat army to weekly weigh-ins. You see, Alice had been losing weight, but since it was gradual and since I saw her every day, I wasn’t aware of the weight loss.

So, the morning after she died, I weighed my remaining two cats. Even though the process is painless, every week one of them acts as if she’s undergoing surgery without the benefit of anesthesia – and I have the scratches to prove this. Nonetheless, I reward them with treats following my weekly ordeal.

Some weeks I don’t want to know my true weight, so on those days I make sure I’m fully dressed and shod before stepping onto the scales. After checking my weight, I weigh myself holding one cat, then step down, catch the other cat, and once again step onto the scales.

For the past couple weeks, however, I have doubted the results of the weigh-in. Indeed, either I have the capacity to gain and/or lose multiple ounces in a few minutes or my bathroom scales were faulty. In case you’re wondering, I know my weight dramatically fluctuates because I weigh myself a couple times before I weigh the cats and a couple times afterward. I acknowledge there is no good reason for doing so.

Due to my well-established cheapness, I didn’t want to replace the scales. But this week, when the scales showed that I weighed the same amount no matter which cat I held, I knew something was amiss because one cat is heavier than the other. Trust me on that.

Anyway, my pantry was in need of several staples, so I added bathroom scales to the list, grabbed a mask, and headed to the Supercenter.

In spite of my advanced age, I had never bought scales. I received semi-pricey scales one year for my birthday and they performed admirably until a corroded battery leaked acid onto the sensors. The other scales were hand-me-downs and, as I reviewed my history with scales, I decided that maybe that’s why none of them performed admirably.

So, in the market for scales, I found myself in the Supercenter’s bathroom aisle. I didn’t know what I was doing. Buying scales is not as difficult as purchasing light bulbs or toothpaste, but it has its share of stress. Every product looked the same — like a square iPad. I couldn’t tell the difference between the digital offerings. I considered the lone analog scales – the type with the needle that settles on a number – but my vision is so poor that, even with glasses, I‘d have to crouch to read the numbers.

In the end, I selected mid-range scales that also promise to analyze my body composition.

I’m already questioning this decision and wondering how many human treats I’ll need after next week’s ordeal.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.