Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 2, No. 28
Mini-Clinic/Nutrition Lab: Size 6
by Garry White
Perhaps you think that's a bit small for a cat clinic and a laboratory, but you're wrong once again. (The other time was when you were so sure I wouldn't sip cheap Scotch under any circumstances). Well, you've probably figured out that I'm talking about a shoebox, and you're correct; I am. A shoebox offers plenty of room to hold the things we often need (and can never find) in a crisis, and things that will take the pain and frenzy out of trying to decipher those dizzying computations required for untangling the nutrient/nutritional values of various cat foods. So jumping right into this, let's identify what goes into the shoebox:
· A pair of tweezers
· Small scissors
· Small tube of First Aid antiseptic cream (It's one of the few that contain no toxicity elements for cats)
· Several foil packs of those little Wet-Wipes for Cats thingies
· Small pen-size flashlight
Notice the cat clinic inventory is rather small, but these items will take care of most minor catastrophes, and beyond that we're off to the 24 hour vet.
Print the following and toss it into the box:
Also print the following and toss it into the box, but let's discuss it first. Our example will be a 5-ounce can of food that is 75% moisture. We know by now that the two processes for calculating and measuring food nutrient values are:
With these steps, you can calculate any nutrient for any food; you're a genius!
You may want to toss a few other things in that box, but the goal is to have crucial things available when we need them.
An Overnight Vet Clinic Stay
by Kathy Fatheree
On a continuing note after telling you the faithful story of Isky last week, I want to take a moment to talk about cats, the stress before surgery and one thing we might be able to do to relieve some of that stress for our loved one.
Isky had been hospitalized for several days prior to his surgery. Looking back on the event, I don't think that the clinic was assist feeding him. I have a strong feeling that they put food and water in his cage and that was it. I don't even know to what extent they were watching him. Additionally, the veterinary clinic was undergoing renovations with workmen coming and going, hammers hammering and electric saws screaming. When I went to visit this little cat, I was horrified at the trauma that the renovation noise was causing to all of the animals in the clinic. Isky was scheduled for his surgery the next day so after my visit I went home for a sleepless night of worry.
Fast forward several years... Isky was long gone after that unsuccessful surgery... I had moved to a different city and had a new veterinarian. My new veterinarian has an exam room that has been converted to a room where a sick cat can be quarantined, meaning that they have separate ventilation systems than the rest of the vet clinic AND the rooms are equipped with a human sleeping pallet where the owner can spend the night with the cat. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! This is so amazing to me. Absolutely amazing. The veterinarian who was 'caring' for Isky did not have a room for me to stay with Isky, but what if I had ask to bring a cot to the clinic and spend the night in front of his cage? Would that have reduced his stress level a little and perhaps allowed him to survive the surgery? Perhaps.
Sick cats do not handle stress very well... especially when they are hungry but cannot eat, are around other dogs and cats that they are fearful of, and when they are thrust in an environment with people coming and going with noises they are unfamiliar with.
If your sick cat has to be hospitalized, find out if you can spend the night with your cat to relieve some of the stress. Your veterinarian may say that your cat needs to be by his or herself so that he or she can rest, but I think I just might need to disagree in many cases. Every case is different though so take charge, think about your sick cat and think of solutions that will help your cat. I think that it's just a little too scary for sick cat to be away from home and loved ones to face all those unfamiliar noises and smells alone. I think kitty just might have trouble getting a good night's rest and would feel much better if you were there. YOU may not get a good nights rest, but if it helps your sick cat get well faster, I think it's worth it!
You never know when your cat might have to spend the night in the hospital prior to a surgery, so be proactive and call your vet to find out if they have a room you and your cat can stay in together. Find out how many nights your sick cat may be hospitalized and make plans to be there. Don't worry if they laugh and think you're crazy... just let them know that there ARE premier veterinary clinics out there that DO have such rooms. If your veterinarian does not, ask if you can bring a cot to sleep in one of the exam rooms overnight with your kitty. Bring a litter box, a blanket to put on the floor for your cat in case he or she does not want to sleep on the cot with you (at least you will be close by), your cat carrier, cat toys, familiar smelling favorite things, etc. Remember that if your cat is going to have surgery the next morning, food and water are prohibited. If staying in an exam room, insist on paying for this privileged and this may encourage your clinic to offer this service to other families in need.
If the clinic will not allow you to spend the night, ask if you can at least spend an hour or so in an exam room alone with your kitty. Bring a blanket and a pillow or two so that you and your kitty can curl up on the floor together.
The human touch... and even the presence of a loved one is often underestimated in the ability to speed healing. Be with your cat every minute that you can during a stressful event and hopefully it will be enough to make the difference.
"Blizzard", the Cat in the Sun
by Dan Malenski
The title of this article implies a cat basking in the sunshine, but this is not the case because "The Sun" is the name of a local weekly newspaper located in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, and Blizzard is their office cat who has responsibilities of his own with the newspaper. This article is a history of The Sun's employment of cats over the years and Blizzard's arrival at the newspaper. Information for this article was gleaned from a trade journal of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and an article from Cat Fancy© magazine.
The home of The Sun resides in an inconspicuous building just a few blocks from Main Street in Hummelstown, which had been part of the community for 131 years and had an office cat since the year 1935.Bill Jackson, the current owner and editor, purchased the newspaper from Rich Hartwell in 1970, at which time a resident cat with the name of Grayco lived there and liked to supervise the wrapping of the newspaper. After Grayco became an Angel, a silver tabby named Grayco II walked in the door one day and plopped in Jackson's 'in' basket and never left.
Being that there always was a resident cat at the facility for so long, many local folks would periodically stop in and ask to see the current resident cat. Children from local schools and organizations touring the facility would enjoy seeing and petting the resident cat.
When Tigger, the office cat at the time, became lost and no one responded to a newspaper ad, which ran for several months, Blizzard made his debut. Blizzard showed up at the front door of a woman who ran a kennel during a bad winter storm, and being that she knew of the newspaper's tradition of keeping a cat on the premises, approached Bill Jackson and asked him if he had found Tigger. When he responded that he had not, she went back to her car and returned with a furry white cat in her arms, and this is how Blizzard found her foreverhome at the newspaper. Blizzard's temperament fit in very well with the newspaper, being able to withstand the hustle and bustle of a busy facility, and a horde of anxious children touring the facility all wanting to pet her simultaneously.
Jackson was aware of the tradition of keeping a cat on the premises in a newspaper and was pleased to carry on that tradition. The tradition apparently had started for practical reasons because, as Jackson puts it, "newspapers are printed on paper. Mice eat paper. Cats eat mice". However, Blizzard has additional duties and is always happy to fulfill them.
Other than keeping the facility free of mice, which she does very well, she does wonder for staff morale by helping to relieve tension and is a great conversation starter and good listener, according to Jackson. Our Amanda comments that we could have told you that all along-do you remember our article that described the duties of cats of many nursing homes across the United States and the good job they are doing comforting the residents and the staff?
Each week we are having our own cat food reviews to determine what we, or should I say, our kitties think is the best cat food.
Name: Halo Pet Foods
Kitty Comments: "Very tasty!
Are we back on the job now?
Can we go on strike for a raise?"
Are we back on the job now?
Can we go on strike for a raise?"
Our Comments: "You've been watching too much TV, Wilbur!"
"You've been watching too much TV, Wilbur!"
Halo claims their foods are homemade recipes, and one could hardly challenge that. It's also quite novel that they first test their foods not on cats but on humans! "Well, why not", the owner of Halo asked me, "everything is made in a USDA kitchen!"
Give it a whirl, folks; if your gang likes it, you have a big winner on your hands!
Caring for Cat
Now Where Did I Put That Line!
by Garry White
"Hmmm? You lost a line, Garry?"
"Yes. It's the one that separates optimism from pessimism; it's not a very big line, and I seem to have misplaced it again."
I think most of us suffer from this condition occasionally; perhaps we should paint the line a bright, neon-red so it's more visible. But we do it; most of us cross back and forth over this line frequently. Some, to be sure, have firm, immovable roots on one side or the other, and that's not good. This group lives in a cloud of fantasy and feels that everything is wonderful, while their counterparts are certain beyond doubt that everything is bad. But for most of us, our flip-flopping back and forth across that line is dictated by circumstance, and that's as it should be. When the numbers are all in and tallied, the goods and bads we face in just about any situation are probably about equal. So we need to be flexible in our thinking, don't we? If we take a firm mental stand on one side, then we are depriving ourselves of whatever might be on the other side, positive or negative. If I'm convinced everything is wonderful, then I'm not alert to potential disasters because in my mind they don't exist. If I'm convinced that everything is Doomsville, then I'll never know if a good product comes my way, because in my mind such things don't exist. So I'm a waffle; are you?
But unfortunately, some of us do stay on one side or the other of that fence, as evidenced in a scenario I encountered recently. As we know, I discuss food and nutritional issues from every possible angle, and while I cannot allow my views to become slanted toward any single brand or product, I do have preferences... same as everyone does. Well, anyone who follows me from article-to-article knows by now that I'm quite fond of the new EVO food put out by Innova. Mind you, there are other good foods out there and we discuss them regularly, but I like everything about this EVO food and it's the regular diet for my own guys now. Anyway, the company was kind enough to afford me a serious peek under the hood, and the ingredient makeup is absolutely remarkable! Innova also allowed me to view some of their corporate "feedback letters," and of course most of them (even from veterinary universities!) was disgustingly positive. But alas, there were a few who just had to find something wrong with this food, or try to.
Ingredients are ideal, so we can't use that; the mix is perfect; feedback response is overwhelmingly positive. Darn it, there must be something! Hey, I got it: bioavailability! Yes, that's it; proving bioavailability is a very long-term process, and this is a new food, so therefore we must wait years and years before claiming EVO is a good food. GIVE - ME - A - BREAK! Yes, of course we want to be careful and know (best we can, anyway) that the ship we're about to toss our anchor onto isn't a leaky one. But don't we have plenty of probable proof here? For starters, Innova isn't a backyard operation; they've been producing healthy foods for years, and there's no reason we should think they're being shoddy in the manufacture of EVO. Others enjoy that status as well, but Innova is on the radar screen for the moment. And what about the majority of excited feedback responses from some very highly qualified sources?
I ask: What is gained by trying one's best to subvert something so obviously and unanimously positive? We're not dealing with lawyer and judge-speak, where every possible scenario must be considered, just in case. We're talking about a good food for our kitties, one with some serious reputation backing it, and that's what we have. Again the caution: There are other good foods available, but Innova is the Example Du Jour. So if the VET TECH who most prominently bespoke of having "serious doubts about EVO" is reading this, I have a different question for you: Do you really think a world full of very excited pet-lovers and professionals, who find EVO a delightful new breakthrough, are really gonna pay much attention to your sour attitude? For myself, you brought a chuckle and a passing thought; "Ahh, one of those.."
Typos? Please email me at Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com
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.