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

Vol. 1, No. 35

Table of Contents
Assist Feeding - Dependence
Feline Nutrition - It's Your Turn
Pro-Active Cat Care - Blink of An Eye!
Feline Obesity - In the Dog House
Kitty Potpourri -
The Amazin' Kreskin



Assist Feeding -
Dependence
by Kathy Fatheree

I made a new friend today at work.

I was standing at the printer waiting for my document to come out and somebody else's job starting printing before mine. I could tell it was information being printed off the Internet and being ever the curious one as to what people are researching, I flipped the papers over to take a peek! It was information about cats! There were several different articles flowing out of the printer right before my eyes.what a nice break from my job. The topics were behavioral issues such as not using the litter box . as well as inappropriate biting. Hum. I wonder who is printing this out? I didn't know of anyone in my area that had cats. My printout finally followed about 20 pages of cat information so my interest was really peaked. I picked up my printout and went back to my desk. I WONDER who printed that out. and what kind of problems are they having? So... I sent another document to the printer and stood there and waited for it to print out hoping the owner of the cat information would show up. Finally a lady who I had casually spoken to before walked up and claimed the cat papers. She was rather embarrassed and mentioned that she was using her lunch hour to research information about cats.

It turns out that she is not at all a cat person. In fact she is somewhat allergic to cats and is really a dog person. About 4 months ago though, her daughter gave her a tiny "special needs" kitten that was barely alive. This kitten was abandoned by its mother and had a host of troubles. It couldn't hold its head up to eat and had tremors of some kind not to mention being loaded with fleas. The lady had to assist feed the little tike and had spent gobs of money to save him. Just recently, this lady has been having to work exceedingly long hours and her life has gotten more complicated and she hasn't been able to spend much time with "Smudge." The little guy has started exhibiting typical cat rebellion behaviors typical of being left alone for 14 or more hours a day. This lady knows that he is trying to tell her something, but she "doesn't speak cat" so she is at a loss.

The more we talked, the more I found out. Smudge seems to be lacking some of the normal cognitive skills and did not know how to drink out of a water bowl when he first arrived. He finally learned to drink off this lady's finger as she held it just below the waterline of the water bowl. She also ran home everyday for lunch to feed him and give him water. Each meal he drank water off of her finger. Now that he's a little older and eating on his own, the owner does not go home for lunch. What's happened now though is that "finger drinking" is the only way he knows how to drink water! He will not drink water by himself. We talked about different ideas on how to break this learned behavior. but it might take a little while since they have been doing this routine for 4 months now. Talk about dedication. especially for someone who really doesn't like cats! I'm really excited about meeting Smudge and will post his picture soon so you can meet him, too!

If you have been assist feeding your cat, but your cat is now well, you may or may not have a dependency issue. Your cat may WANT you to assist feed him or her. Cats that do not mind the assisted feeding come to enjoy the intense one-on-one attention. If your vet have given the go-ahead for weaning your cat off of assisted feeding, be sure to replace that time you spent feeding with special, focused attention. I hope your kitty makes the transition back to eating on his or her own easily. Pour on plenty of love to help the transition.



Feline Nutrition - It's Your Turn
by Garry White

It's been a while since we've asked for reader feedback, and I'd like to gather some now. Kathy and I are pursuing the holistic routine, some of you think a raw-food diet is the way to go, and many of us are comfortable with store-brand foods. Most of us are probably not qualified to declare (with authority) which is the best approach, so let's have some fun expressing our thoughts and beliefs. Please take a few moments to send us a general email, and don't worry about any particular format.we'll sort out your facts.

Again, structure isn't important, but since this article is about nutrition, try to focus on the basic theme, and feel free to improvise!

  • What do you feed your cat(s)? It's okay to give us brand names!
  • Why did you choose that brand?
  • What brand(s) would you avoid, and why?
  • Do you prefer a particular feeding protocol (raw, holistic, natural, etc)? If so (or not), why?
  • Do you prefer canned or dry? Explain your choice.
  • Fish - should cats have fish in their diets? Explain your answer.
  • Wild foods - should our inside cats be allowed to eat mice and other rodents occasionally? Explain your answer.
  • If yours is a multi-cat household, tell us about your feeding routine.
  • Are you currently giving special feeding considerations to an ailing cat? If so, what's the condition, and what food is he/she getting?
  • Do you believe in nutritional supplements for Kitty's diet? If so, which ones (and why)?
  • If obesity is a problem with your furry gang, how do you deal with it?
  • Nearly every commercial pet food manufacturer uses grain/corn as a significant ingredient in their foods, yet we hear some vets (and other groups) profess loudly that these are unquestionably bad for Kitty. Given that huge manufacturers probably build their foods from massive research, we have to allow a certain degree of credibility, and it's only fair to assume that not all of them (especially the larger companies) are merely profit-mongers who don't care about our pets. What's your take on this?
  • Do you feel that cats should be restricted to a single food, with no variations? If so (or not), why?
  • If your kitties are fed both canned and dry, are these fed separately, or do you mix them?
  • How long do you leave a plate of canned food out for them?
  • On a scale 1-to-10 (1 is least), how important is proper nutrition to a cat's long-term good health?

Okay, you get the picture. No frills, no guidelines, just give us your views on nutrition, your feeding habits/routines/problems/successes. We'll use your information for future articles (submitting articles gives us your permission for us to publish your views).

feedback form coming soon



ProActive Cat Care -
Blink of An Eye!
by Garry White

The teacher gets a lesson: Guess who took an unplanned ride on the Kenmore Express today?? You got it.WILBUR! So help me God: There were clothes in the dryer, ready to come out, with another stack on top waiting to go in. I took out the dry clothes and piled them on a table beside the dryer, then put the wet clothes in the machine. I must have turned my head for a split-instant that I surely do NOT recall, because I closed the door, hit the "GO" button, and all H_ _ _ broke loose! The machine goes CLUNK-BANG-CLUNK, Clarkie races past me and jumps at the dryer door, screaming, and I think the machine is blowing up! I'm only a single step away, so I snatch the door open, and out flies Wilbur! PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE let this be a lesson to all. Nobody was hurt, but this could have been a disaster of the ugliest order! This same thing almost happened to Clark when he was a kitten, so you can be sure I'm careful beyond common sense.and STILL it happened! Also, I run a very tight schedule, and sometimes I load up the dryer in the early-AM, but don't turn it on until that evening when I'm there to take the clothes out.imagine the possibilities with that scenario!

Be careful, folks.and then assume that no matter how careful you are, you still missed a potential disaster.

And check one more time.

Another very careless act I observed a few days ago was this: I watched an obviously well-to-do lady exit her Mercedes in front of the grocery store (parked in the Fire Lane, naturally), with two small dogs on leashes.which she tied to a nearby handrail while she went inside to do her shopping. My immediate thoughts were to confront her, but I feared the probable retort: "Hey, I love my pets! Why, I even take them shopping with me!"

Can we be too careful, or too caring? I say no; we cannot. My little act of carelessness today was inexcusable. I know Wilbur loves appliances (and especially the dryer!), and it would have taken me less than an instant to take that final peek. But I didn't. I could easily have hit the button and charged out the back door.which I do often. The lady with the dogs: Were those dogs subject to a good, swift kick by someone who just doesn't like dogs? They certainly were available to be stolen by anyone who passed by!

A lady who operates a candle-making business in my building told me what she deemed "the funniest story" a few days ago. Her mom got a new kitten recently, and apparently Mom enjoys a Gin & Tonic or two in the evening. So does the kitten, she says, and it's just hilarious to watch the kitten slurp up those cocktails. Since she's a sort-of friend, I told her to enjoy the show; it's not likely to be a long-running production.

Have a good week, learn from these experiences, and next week I have a little surprise planned for you.



Feline Obesity -
In the Dog House
by Kathy Fatheree

I think I'm in the doghouse. I'm not positive yet. but all indications are pointing that way.

If you have had the opportunity to read the last several issues of this newsletter, you will remember that I've been having trouble with Phoebe not wanting to eat her food. I'm was scared she was getting Fatty Liver Disease (also called FHL - Feline Hepatic Lipidosis) so I spent extra time feeding her piece by piece . even dipping each piece of dry food in water so that she would eat.

All of my cats eat the same food and since the others were eating. I thought only Phoebe was having issues. Then, all of a sudden, my 3 other cats stopped eating the food. I had been sneaking Phoebe some of Maya's high-protein, high-fat food, so I thought they wanted some of that. I've learned that many cats actually enjoy a variety of food, so I thought the mix was good. but then I thought they were just being demanding and wanted the fancy stuff. I wasn't about to let everyone eat Maya's food all the time. think how fat everyone would be! So. I stood my ground and told them to eat their food. They ate, but very reluctantly so. and not very much of it. How strange I thought. could it be the hot weather we've been having? Are they actually being that stubborn? What was really going on?

Then. oh my goodness. it hit me like brick. what if the food is bad? My heart sunk. In the 20+ years that I've had cats. I've never gotten bad food. But then I've always bought vet food or store bought food that had tons of preservatives in it. Lately, I've been feeding my cats a natural holistic food.

So. I got on the phone. called the cat food company and explained my story. I felt so bad because me and my kitties had been battling this food issue for several weeks. Could it be possible that the food was rancid? The Customer Service lady took all of the product information, lot number, date code, etc. and said that the lab would test the sample lot. Then she asked me where I lived. and then she told me what I didn't want to hear. Sometimes, food that is shipped to Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. sits in a warehouse for a week or more. in the heat of the summer. can become rancid because they use natural oils to preserve the food. There was total silence from me. How could I have spent even a minute thinking my cats were being stubborn about their food? With that good ol' hindsight. it should have been obvious. It just snuck up on me gradually and I just didn't see it.

Lessons learned:

  • Know what your cat's food smells like, looks like, feels like . and if you dare. what it tastes like.
  • Always look for date codes and buy well before that date. (not always a guarantee like in my case)
  • If a dry food bag has even the slightest hole in it, return the bag no matter how far you have to drive to get a fresh bag.
  • Don't buy canned foods with dents, the seal may be broken.
  • If you are at all hesitant about the food, call the manufacturer.
  • Know your cats eating behavior and give them the benefit of the doubt. If they slow down or stop eating. they are trying to tell you something. Be a super detective and find out what it is.

I asked the Customer Rep what they would do about this situation and she said she would send me a replacement bag. It hasn't shown up yet, but I am anxious to see how my cats will react to it. They've been eating another brand this past week and doing quite well, but it's not a holistic food. I'm a little worried though. it's been really hot here lately . and it's been almost a week since the rep told me the bag was coming.

If the food WAS bad... I just can't believe how good Phoebe was to eat it because I begged her to. What a fabulous kitty.

I'll let you know how this turns out. Wish us luck!



Kitty Potpourri -
The Amazin' Kreskin
by Dan Malenski

This week's article was inspired from a form of media used in the olden days, that is, a newspaper! Only we "old-timers" remember newspapers and some, like me, still read them-really! I had a newspaper opened up at the kitchen table, and Melissa, true to form, had stretched her body across it, from corner to corner, and prevented me from reading but a few words here and there. Melissa knows that I get upset at times over what I read, and I suspect that her motherly instinct is showing here by shielding me from things that disturb me. What she did allow me to read, however, was an article about "The Amazing Kreskin" and his companions, who will be the subject of this week's article.

Kreskin, a well-known television personality, was born as George Kreskin, but is widely known as just Kreskinor by his stage name of "The Amazing Kreskin". As of this time, he had appeared on over 500 television shows, which include the "Tonight" show, "Mike Douglas", "Merv Griffin", and is a regular on the Letterman, Regis, and Howard Stern shows. He is an illusionist and a mentalist who is not fond of labels and prefers to state his talents, that is, one who is capable of reading thoughts and making predictions without tricks or gimmicks. At this time, Amanda, who is watching over my shoulder as I type and always curious, asks, "What does Kreskin have to do with cats?" So, now I have to get to the point, and that is, we not going to discuss his feats at all, but focus on Kreskin's three feline companions and his feelings toward animals.

Kreskin has always lived in New Jersey where he cares for three rescued cats. The youngest is Bugsy, named after the infamous Bugsy Siegel, who was adopted when he was a barn cat in 2000. His skills include pilfering objects when no one is looking. "Squeaky", a good-looking black and white cat, is now ten years old and received her name being that her meow more closely resembles a squeaky door hinge in need of lubrication. His oldest companion is 15-year-old "Miss Kitty" who is named after the "Miss Kitty" of the television series, "Gunsmoke". Some will remember that "Miss Kitty" was Marshall "Matt Dillon's" lady friend. Miss Kitty is a special needs cat who requires insulin injections to manage her diabetes. The photograph in this paragraph shows Kreskin giving her one of her daily injections. When he is on the road, his personal assistant and other staff members care for the cats and make sure that Miss Kitty gets her insulin.

The following are some of Kreskin's quotes that clearly show how he feels about animals:

  • "I love animals and can't bear to see them mistreated or neglected."
  • If you want to understand a person, forget psychobabble. See how they treat animals."
  • "Animals don't betray people."
  • "It's a lot of nonsense that man is the center of the universe. We're sharing this earth, this climate. If we don't think that way, then we're dumb. Animals are part of the family."

Kreskin is also an outspoken proponent of spaying and neutering and is the national spokesman for United Action for Animals, an organization that focuses on pet overpopulation and educating the public.

The information for this article was gleaned from several sources, but much of it came from the newspaper that I was reading (with Melissa''s help, of course), that is, the Star Ledger in Newark, NJ. In closing, I will quote the journalists who interviewed Kreskin, as an example of his talent:

"As we wrapped up a most delightful interview, without any preamble, Kreskin led photographer Chris Barth and me to his living room, packed with memorabilia. From a wall of books, he suggested we each take one and open it randomly. I was first. "Pick a long word and just tell me the first letter," he requests. "It's 'J,'" I answer. "Is there an 'A' in the word?" "Yep." He ponders a few seconds and proclaims, "It's jackhammer." I felt like I'd been hit with one. Chris chose a word beginning with 'C' from a travel book. "The next letter is either an 'O' or 'R,'" Kreskin states. When Chris says 'O,' Kreskin announces, "It's corkscrew." We were totally flabbergasted. Amazing, simply amazing."

 

 

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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.