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Elisa's 1st stop motion animation movie.
Click image to watch.
An Unexpected Friend Silent Movie

Vol. 1, No. 31

Table of Contents
Assist Feeding - Niles says "No" to New Floors
Feline Nutrition - EQL
Pro-Active Cat Care - Varying The Diet
Feline Obesity - Exercise to Achieve Weight Loss
Kitty Potpourri - Famous People and Their Cats!



Assist Feeding -
Niles says "No" to New Floors
by Rachel Garb

HOW IT BEGAN
Except for being a pound or two overweight, Niles has always been a very healthy cat. This is the first medical problem he's ever had. I believe it was brought about due to stress. Last month we had new floors installed throughout the house. It was very loud and very smelly. Each day, I'd sequester the cats in a bathroom, but one day, Niles hid under a pile of furniture the workmen created in one room to clear another room. I could not get to him until the end of the day. He was very frazzled that night.

After that, I noticed he'd relinquished his role as Alpha cat, no longer yelling for food or picking on his brother, Frasier. A few visitors commented on his fur sticking up, and a few days later, I realized he was dropping weight - from 15 lbs to 12 lbs. I took him to the vet the next morning.

THE DIAGNOSIS
The vet was not sure what it was. Blood tests were inconclusive. He thought a biopsy might be in order. We could do it now, or in a couple of weeks. I regretfully opted to wait a couple of weeks. After a few more days of watching Niles refuse food and vomit when I gave him medicine or force fed him, I took him in for the biopsy. The doctor suspected lymphoma, but the result showed it was HL (hepatic lipidosis). The feeding tube (through the neck) went in the next morning, and after a few more days' stay at the vet, Niles came home.

TAKING CARE OF NILES
Niles gets an 8 fl oz (237 ml) can of ClinicCare RF (Feline Liquid Diet) each day. He can only tolerate 1 syringe (12 ml) at a time, so I've basically been feeding him 20 times a day - about once every 45 minutes during my waking hours. In addition, he gets Cimetidine (0.5 ml twice a day) and Lipo Plus (one capsule a day).

Niles is having strange mood swings. Sometimes he is happy and sits with me as I'm working. The other day, he even ate three Whisker Lickins bite-sized treats when I was giving them to the other cat. Other times, he is sad and hides in a cabinet or under furniture. The happy to sad ratio at this point is about 30/70.

Read the update on Niles!



Feline Nutrition - Varying The Diet
by Garry White

Yes, I know this was a FORUM topic, but you folks didn't exactly pounce on it. So let's pursue it a little deeper, and from a standpoint of clinical correctness. But before I get into all that, let me share something with you. Perhaps some of you know that I have Goofy Wilbur and Grandpa Clark. Wilbur, as you know, drives Clark to distraction; he bugs Clark at every opportunity. But I have observed something recently that fascinates me. Wilbur, you see, follows Clark everywhere, even to the litter box. But here's the catch.he sits and watches while Clark "does his stuff", and then he pounces at Clark IMMEDIATELY when Clark is done. There's a brawl, naturally, and Clark usually just takes off rather than put up with Wilbur's nonsense.

GET THIS: As soon as Clark departs, Wilbur jumps in the box and covers up Clark's "stuff". carefully and thoroughly.almost obsessively! There's not a doubt in my mind that he's chasing Clark out of the box just so he can do this. But why?

Okay, let's talk about things on the other end of the cat: Food. Variable diets. You all know that I'm a proponent of offering my cats the same small pleasures that I, myself, enjoy. Diversity.variation.new things.different things.

I do it with their toys, their lifestyle, play habits, and especially with their foods. There are those who claim that a cat's diet should never change. Roughly translated, that means: "Look, I can't waste my time determining whether a cat might like something else to eat! He likes this food, that's what he gets." Okay. It's your cat and you're in charge. But other than laziness, there's nothing to support that position. I did some research, put my numbers together for several "quality" foods, and then I got on the phone. Sixteen vets spanning nine states. My phone bill was in exponential values (1.046698553457-E4), and when I questioned it, Ma Bell said: "Look, you owe us a lot of money.just pay up!" Kidding aside, it was a very worthwhile project. With the exception of two vets (who assured me in great confidence that the only safe food for a cat is what they sold), all others said that as long as it's a comparable, quality food, it won't affect the cat medically or clinically. If the cat will eat it, they said, and if it's nutritionally okay, then do it. In fact, four of them asked if they might use my protocol in advising their own clients.

Comparable quality; that's the ticket.

Brand-A, Brand-X, Brand-Y.if you've done the basic nutritional research, and they're closely matched, then there is no clinical or medical reason why you shouldn't offer your cat a variety of options. Maybe not always; maybe just sometimes as a treat. I challenge you with this: Take a can of Seafood, maybe a can of Chicken, and maybe a can of Beef: Crack the lids, just barely, and set them on the floor at feeding time. If you don't get caught up in their excitement, then you and I are reading from different pages. It's all about pleasing those babies, folks, and this is one small thing that we can do to bring a little excitement to their lives.



ProActive Cat Care -
EQL
by Garry White

I love abbreviations, don't you? In fact, I love them so much that here's a challenge: ITORAW

Fluffy has a problem. You, Fluffy, and the Lamborghini are off to the vet at a speed just under Mach-4. Good for you, and assuming you didn't get killed enroute, remember that you're a basket-case because your baby is sick. And in such a state, you're qualified to stand up and blink occasionally, but that's about it. However, you're aware of this (well, now you are, right?) so you're prepared! Some time ago, you anticipated just such a situation, and you took the time to create an EQL.Emergency Questions List, which is stored in Fluffy's binder. I know you did. There are those who try to tell me you don't actually read this Newsletter, but I know better.

Anyway, you're finally at the clinic. Doc checks our little lady over (required), rubs his chin (required), and tells you in no uncertain terms what's going on: "Mmmm. Well, her glyciperides are high. Which means, of course, that her flapistat is acting up. Obviously, she she's experienced a significant decrease in her hemophylidormilykratz."

Not required! Many vets talk to us like this, assuming we understand, and we do not. So our job extends beyond nodding dumbly; we need to go home with more knowledge than.Fluffy's sick. Time to get tough.here are some things that belong on your EQL, and note that not all of them are questions:

  • "I'm not a vet; please explain what you just said, but in terms that I can understand." Here you take notes, or you turn on that cheap Radio Shack tape recorder.
  • "In your opinion, what is her prognosis?" Brace your feet, but the next item covers this base.
  • "Okay, the prognosis is not good, but I want it understood clearly that we're going to do everything possible to keep Fluffy alive. If your attitude is that 'A sick cat is going to die anyway; save your money', then tell me now and I'll find another vet. Otherwise, let's settle into this and set a plan to keep Fluffy alive!" DO NOT hesitate to declare this one! Many vets don't want to 'bother' with an ailing kitty, because there's no money in it. You'll make emergency calls that he/she can't (and shouldn't!) charge you for. Too bad.

  • "If Fluffy has to stay here for treatment, I want visiting rights. Period. Not negotiable."
  • "Okay, Fluffy is going home with me, and you're prescribing medications: Tell me what they are, explicitly. What are the contraindications? Is this (are these) an approved treatment for Fluffy's condition? Do they need to be refrigerated? Is there a potential for interaction with other medications? Should I give them at a specific time of day? Before meals, with meals, after meals?"
  • "All of this is new and confusing; I'll need after-hours contact information for support."
  • "Based on what you've told me, what can I expect to see: Her demeanor? Tell me what I might see that I should consider an emergency."

Okay, you get the picture. You've been to the vet, you got a bagful of this and that, and you're home with Fluffy. It's 10:30 PM Saturday night, and Fluffy goes upside-down. You can be prepared and know who to call and/or what to do or you can hope that Fluffy lives until Monday. Or Tuesday. Or whenever the vet is available.



Feline Obesity -
Exercise to Achieve Weight Loss
by Kathy Fatheree

Question: Do you exercise? Hum? Do you?

If you don't exercise now, you probably remember when you did exercise and how you felt. You felt good! Right? Right! Exercise can help a kitty feel good and lose weight, too.

NOTE: Just as humans need to visit the doctor before starting an exercise program, your kitty needs to be checked out as well. You want to know that the heart is strong and that the rest of the body can tolerate the increased activity. You will want to rule out any health reasons for why kitty doesn't move around very much on his or her own.

Caution: Obese cats have a high risk of injury when starting an exercise program. Start off slowly and do not try to get your cat to jump or make quick turns until kitty builds up muscle and initiates these activities on his/her own. The type of play you will want to start off with is "straight-line" play. like chasing a string as you walk though the house. following a ball as you roll it. chasing after a paper wad, taking a walk with you, etc. Once kitty's muscles are stronger, you can increase the activity level.

Let's look at the benefits of spending a little time each day helping your overweight cat exercise.

  1. Metabolism - Exercise raises metabolism, and a raised metabolism will burn fat. If your cat is a total couch potato, just getting kitty up walking around might a big first step!

  2. Muscle Tone - A fat cat has more fat than muscle. It's really hard to lose weight in this condition. Simply standing up and moving around is difficult for the obese cat not to mention the danger of injuring bones and joints. If kitty can gain a little muscle, kitty will lose weight faster because it takes calories to maintain and build muscles. The more muscles the more calories burned. And remember, the heart is a muscle and must be exercised to stay strong.

  3. Mood - Exercise increases the good mood chemicals in the brain and the better we feel, the more active we are. Some cats are prone to depression so it's even more important to get them up and moving around. It's a catch 22 though; if you don't feel good, you don't feel like exercising, right? So it's very important to help your kitty get moving.

  4. Bone Strength - Bone must have impact exercises to keep strong. If a kitty lies around all the time, the bone becomes weak and can be more prone to breaking from a simple twist or a jump. Weight bearing exercises increase bone density, i.e. strength, and include jumping and running. Remember, to prevent injury, work up slowly to weight bearing exercises.

  5. Immune System - Some bodies of research are indicating that regular exercise can help to build a stronger immune system, which can help fight many diseases. A strong immune system may help kitty fight off infections, viruses and some forms of cancer. The key is to exercise daily and eat as healthy as possible.

Start off slowly, perhaps starting with just 5 minutes a day if necessary. Be consistent and play every day. Work up to more and more minutes everyday.

Oh yes, and there is one more added benefit...

Bonding - The more time your play with your kitty, the stronger the loving bond between you two will grow. Your cat will be happier and respond to you favorably and who can resist a happy cat? :-)

How do you get your cat to play?



Kitty Potpourri -
Famous People and Their Cats!
by Dan Malenski

There is not nearly enough room in this newsletter to even list all the famous people that had cats for companions, much less talk about them, so we will just choose to talk about two of them this week. The role the person's feline companion played in their climbing the ladder to fame is subject to debate, but I think that we can agree that they did play a role, leaving only the degree subject to debate.

One of the most famous cat lovers was Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), the Prime Minister of England during World War II. He cared for many cats but was especially fond of marmalade cats (ginger tabbies), and had many during his lifetime. Not all of his cats were ginger tabbies, however. One, whose name was Nelson, was a great black cat from the Admiralty House who was appropriately given the title of "Rear Admiral". It has been reported that they slept in his bed every night and accompanied him to his wartime cabinet meetings. Moreover, he would not start to eat his dinner meal unless the cats were in the room. If the cats were not in the room, he would not start eating until one of his servants fetched them. On his 88th birthday in November 1962, he received a ginger cat with white chest and paws from his private secretary Sir John Carville. He named it Jock, after his secretary's nickname.

Jock was such a favorite that Churchill requested in his will that there should always be a marmalade cat living in his residence, Chartwell Manor. Jock was only two when Churchill died in 1965 and lived on until 1974, and now is buried in the pet cemetery in Chartwell. The national trust that inherited Chartwell upon Churchill's death has since acquired Jock II and Jock III, and the latest is currently living in Chartwell.

We are sure that everyone heard about Socks, the "Presidential Cat" in the Clinton household, who went to live with Betty Currie, a secretary to Bill Clinton at the end of his terms, but how many know of India (full name: India Ink)? India is a jet-black female cat who has been in the George W. Bush family for the past ten years. She was named after the former Texas Ranger baseball player, Ruben Sierra, also known as "El Indio". India currently resides in the Whitehouse, loves to play hide and seek with her "owners", and likes tuna-flavored treats.

While we were scouring the internet in our search for information for this week's column, we made a startling discovery. Many will remember the phrase "the eagle has landed" on July 20, 1969, after the lunar module separated from the command module and landed on the lunar surface, but who would ever think that we had not been the first ones to set foot on the lunar surface! The following is the story from a source that must remain unknown for obvious reasons:

"On June 15, 1967, two years before Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the Moon, our feline friends were there. In an expedition funded by the sale of all those socks, pens, and little balls that disappear after your cat had been playing with them (and secretly hoarded for years), three intrepid cats became the first terrestrial creatures to set paw on the lunar surface. This photo offers proof positive:

Because of the potential for national embarrassment, this secret is more closely guarded by the American government than Area 51. Ask any government official about this story, and I guarantee you, he'll deny it."

Note from Dan: Area 51 is a military facility about 90 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

 

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Copyright © 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.