Cinderblock, the fat cat who hates workouts, paws her way into world's heart

Celebrate National Cat Day with a moment of appreciation for the fluffy feline who's become a motivational meme.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read
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Facebook screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

Happy National Cat Day! Tired of the treadmill? Wary of water aerobics? Stop kitten around and take some inspiration from Cinderblock, the fluffy feline who's become a motivating meme.

Cinderblock is a 25-pound Russian Blue cat who recently was brought to Northshore Veterinary Hospital in Bellingham, Washington, to be euthanized because her owner could no longer care for her. But medical director and veterinarian Brita Kiffney just couldn't do it, and got the owner's permission to keep the kitty, CNN reports. Kiffney and staff are now trying to help the cat lose excess pounds safely. Representatives for the hospital didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cinder, as the hospital has nicknamed her, first gained fame for a 13-second Facebook video where she's seen on an underwater treadmill (the water makes it easier on her joints, the hospital says). But instead of throwing herself into the workout, Cinder is seen lackadaisically pawing the treadmill with one foot while wailing, as a staff member offers her encouragement.

That video has been watched more than 2.4 million times, and it's easy to see why. Who hasn't whined their way through a workout -- or wanted to?

Jason encourages Cinder! That's Good Work!

She is not on board with the exercise 😂 Jason is the best- That's good work! #felinemedicine #felinerehab

Posted by Northshore Veterinary Hospital on Saturday, October 19, 2019

"I feel your pain, girl!" wrote Meren Gadman on Facebook. "This is how I feel at 5 a.m. walking in the rain!" 

Lisa Hine wrote: "Looks like me, complaining but still going along with the program. Well, sometimes I go along with the program."

Since she splashed onto the scene, Cinder's made a name for herself on Facebook and Instagram with her relatable regime. Some mornings, she doesn't really want to wake up, even for food.

Cinder is not sure if she wants to get up this morning

Posted by Northshore Veterinary Hospital on Monday, October 21, 2019

Although she does like her feather toy (don't miss the massive toppling over at the end of this workout).

Cinder in action- we are encouraging her to exercise. She loves her feather toy

Posted by Northshore Veterinary Hospital on Friday, October 25, 2019

Another session with the feather toy was dubbed, "Cinder's ab workout."

Don't forget to work your core

Posted by Northshore Veterinary Hospital on Monday, October 28, 2019

And she'll eat her arthritis pill if the vets coat it with spray cheese.

Cinder receives gabapentin daily for her arthritis pain. If we put a small amount of cheese on it she'll eat it

Posted by Northshore Veterinary Hospital on Friday, October 25, 2019

On Sunday, Cinder donned a Seattle Seahawks cheerleading uniform for a video. (Bellingham is about 90 miles north of Seattle.) And maybe she helped her home state team: The Seahawks beat the Atlanta Falcons 27-20.

Cinder's fans find inspiration and entertainment in the cat's workout journey. "Cinderblock is Twitter's cat now," wrote one Twitter user. "I don't make the rules."

Another declared that Cinderblock "might have just broke the chonk chart." Hefty cats are having a moment. A private Facebook group called This Cat Is CHONKY has more than 455,000 members who share photos and discuss the felines.

Northshore Veterinary Hospital has started a Go Fund Me account to help the clinic continue to provide discounted vet services to a variety of nonprofits. And as Cinder slowly continues on her weight-loss journey, she's thankful for the support.

"Thanks for all the attention," reads the caption on a photo of Cinder licking her lips. "I'm eating it up."

Looks like the internet may have found its new Grumpy Cat.

Originally published Oct. 28.