Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: Nothing is for Free
Assist Feeding: Making Plans for Bert’s PEG Tube Removal
Kitty Potpourri: Our Feline Companions: The Best Medicine – Part II
Best Cat Food: California Roll
Caring for Cats: Quips
This has been an extremely chaotic week, so I’ll keep it short.
An old saying declares: “There’s some good in all bad”, and another old saying supports the theory. “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” Good point, but the theory can also be reversed: There’s no free lunch! There’s usually a catch to something wonderful.
As you know, I support holistic foods nowadays, because of the quality of ingredients; the special care that goes into selection and preparation. But perhaps I should say “The care that seems to go into these foods.” Are we merely being led down a different path? I’ve been asked more than once why I feel these new-wave holistic manufacturers aren’t like all the others; out for the almighty dollar. And for once, it’s a question I can answer! I cannot say with certainty that every holistic manufacturer is pure of heart, but the general theme of offering pure, natural foods is contagious among that group. Perhaps some of them (or even most of them) are simply catching a ride on the hottest rain going to town, but I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is getting quality food in front of my cats. If someone is making a profit on that, then good for them; it means they’ll still be in business next year, and still offering that great food for my kitties! So in answer to the question whether or not we’re being bamboozled by a new bunch of slicksters, my answer is no; we’re not. They could be lying about their ingredients and processes, but I doubt it; the risk of exposure is too big. I believe in them, but with a wary eye. Also on the negative scale is the fact that we have to be more thoughtful and aware in dealing with holistic foods; most of them have only natural preservatives, which, sadly, aren’t as efficient as chemicals. So there really is no free lunch, after all, but I think holistic is the better gamble, by far. And I’ll go so far as to make a prediction (if you promise to remember that you saw it here first).I’m betting that we’ll see the “Big Boys” jumping on this wagon before too long, and one day we’ll see these pure, natural foods on the supermarket shelves!
Bert and his parents have been on a long and at times challenging journey with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis. It all started when Bert was given the antibiotic Clavamox to treat his kitty acne. While Clavamox is a good antibiotic, many kitties react negatively and like in Bert’s case, develop a food aversion and actually stop eating because they feel so sick from the drug. Bert has always been a grazer and when his parents realized how little he was really eating, a week had already gone by. Bert had developed feline anorexia. Bert’s owners started to assist feed Bert, but his FHL developed quickly, perhaps because Bert was rather um… pleasantly plump shall we say at cuddly 17.5 pounds. A PEG tube was surgically implanted and our Newsletter has been following each step of Bert’s journey.
NOW… Bert has been eating for about 2 weeks and Dr. Smith feels that it is almost time to remove Bert’s tube! What an exciting time!
Bert’s Mom reports…
Bert is back to his old self. When Bert first started eating on his own almost 2 weeks ago, we left the food down all day. He would paw a piece of food to the floor and eat it piece by piece. He was really having to work hard at it so we tried making a gravy of sorts and adding water to it to soften it up but the only one thrilled with that was Martha! Since the ‘gravy’ wasn’t working I ran to the super market and bought some kitten chow for him. That did the trick! Much smaller pieces and softer on his teeth and gums, too. He got right down in there and munched away. Soon thereafter he starting to eat the 9 Lives again… eating full bites. I’m was so thrilled with him I hugged him until he grunted! What was equally exciting was that he started drinking water, too! We changed Martha and Bert’s two water bowls and put them down and here comes Mr. Bert like nothing had ever been different! He sat down in front of the first bowl and drank for five minutes, stretched, walked over the 2nd bowl and did the same thing!! I could not believe my eyes! It’s like someone just flipped a switch! He’s out and about every single day, out on the patio, sleeping on the couch, sleeping on the floor in the living room. He’s been chasing Martha and Ernie around like a maniac. It’s so absolutely unbelievable and wonderful at the same time!! I swear I want to go outside and yell it at the top of my lungs!! Bert’s Eating! Bert’s Eating! I’m so proud of him! He’s been through so much and through it all he’s been a love bug. He’s never been aggressive or angry. He’s never peed in the house. He even wears his shirt with absolutely NO issues. If it comes off when he’s sleeping I’ll call him over to put it back on and he just trots right on over, knowing full well that he has to put his ‘shirt’ back on. I love that cat so much I think my heart is going to burst!
Be sure to check in next week for…
BERT’S TUBE REMOVAL!!!
This week, we conclude our two part series featuring how our feline companions enhance the quality of lives of people in different environments. We are going to tell you all about how cats are involved in the field of eldercare in many long-term care facilities. Many do know that such facilities allow visits by animals, but assume that only d*gs play a significant role. Well, if you think that, then think again and read this article carefully!
William Thomas, M.D. is a physician who had studied the emotional problems that people suffer in long-term care facilities for the past ten years. As a result of his studies, he developed a management concept called “The Eden Alternative”, a concept which addresses the three plagues of institutional care, that is: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. There are 260 nursing homes throughout the United State that had adopted The Eden Alternative, many of which house a host of animals to comfort their residents, such as cats, d*gs, parrots, finches, parakeets, and doves. We are going to focus on cats because they give far much care to their “patients” than they require from the facility and do not require supervision (like d*gs) and are free to visit and watch over and love whomever they wish.
The cats adopted by the Eden Alternative Facilities come from a variety of sources. Many come from shelters; others from breeders and residents, but all are examined by a veterinarian and tested to insure that they will be comfortable in a nursing home environment. The cats live in the nursing homes where they can share their love with the residents and there are an abundance of nursing home residents who are available to give them love and affection also.
Duchess is a personable Siamese who roams the halls of Fairview Manor and greets the residents with an affection purr, stopping often for hugs and scratches. She shares her home with two other cats, a Golden Retriever, and a host of birds. At the Westminster-Thurber Retirement Community in Columbus, Ohio, a cat named Stormy lives exclusively in a secured dementia wing and wanders from room to room visiting the residents and lends a homey feel to the atmosphere. She is considered part of the family and gives comfort to the residents and something to focus on. She also is a world-class lap cat and one need not observe her on a resident’s lap for more than a few seconds to know that she provides the best medicine of all.
The staffs at any of the Eden Alternative Homes are able to tell a countless number of stories of how the cats and other animals bring so much love and joy into the lives of the elders who reside there. Many residents are cat-lovers and one always is able to see a cat curled up on their beds or in their laps. Other residents, who are not able to speak, point to the cats and smile, and like to watch them.
Comforting the residents is not the only job for Eden Alternative cats, as they also make for a better atmosphere for the staff, many of which find that the cats are experts at relieving stress. The staffs in Eden Alternative Homes don’t appear to rush as much as they will frequently pause in the area where the cats are playing or sleeping, which has the effect of releasing their stress and any built-up tensions. Cats just seem to know where their talents are needed and do it well, but didn’t we know that all along!
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.
Brand Name: Merrick Pet Care
Product: California Roll
“Mmmm…all this great seafood! This is the best cat food! Maybe I’ll move to California and become a surfer!”
“Wilbur dear; I think you’d be wise to limit your aquatic forays to the leaky kitchen-sink faucet.” I can understand his passion, though; this is another great Merrick food that smelled delicious the moment I opened the can! As usual, Merrick went all the way with this one.top-of-the-line human-grade ingredients, and something special that made my guys flip out! It’s noteworthy that this food (as with so many of the holistic foods nowadays) includes a good array of vegetables, and I get some heat for that occasionally: “Hey, cats are obligate carnivores; they should eat only meat!” Theoretically that’s true; cats of the wild don’t eat vegetables. But we’ve long since determined that certain nutrients and amino acids derived only from vegetables can (and does) improve a cat’s health, and extend longevity. So I don’t cringe when I see veggies on the ingredient list; I look them up to see what benefits are being realized. The outlook on “ideal diet” has changed radically in the past few years alone, and we can probably assume the vegetables are here to stay. That being the case, I look for a manufacturer that takes special care in selection and source, and Merrick covers that bet every time!
*** If you decide to tackle the little cat-grass project, be sure you don’t leave it out for them to nibble at-will. Remember that grass offers something cats use to help balance the upper digestive system.either to add a particular enzyme for digestion, or to help them upchuck things that aren’t being digested.
*** Never try to out-think your cat! Most you know by now that goofy Wilbur has been an energetic ball of challenge for poor, old Clarkie boy. They seem to get along okay.most of the time.but if you can imagine Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson, you’ve got a clear picture of my gang. “You’re okay, Wilbur, but stay outta my face!” Well, that’s what I know, and it turns out I don’t know anything! Wilbur, you see, generally teases Clark at the food bowl; he doesn’t want the food, he wants to play with Clark.and generally he gets swatted for it. But yesterday I was floored.Clark was washing Wilbur’s head while he ate!
*** I’ve read several articles recently about controversy over “too many shots” (vaccinations), and it seems that the pet-care industry is not only aware, but concerned that too many vets are using this “scare” to generate income. The real downside to excessive shots is that ever-growing statistics are now linking directly the onset of serious cat illnesses soon after these so-called “necessary” vaccinations. My guys get the rabies shots and that’s it. They’re indoor-only, and anything else offers far more risk than benefit.
*** My guys are using a new “natural” cat litter these days; it’s purely ground cedar and hardwood.almost like sawdust, and it has NO chemicals of any kind. When Clark’s Hyperthyroid was acting up, he was eating litter, and we had the clumping, scoopable kind. I did a little research on the composition of that stuff, and immediately went on the hunt for an alternative.that’s when I found this. It’s unbelievably cheaper, and it seems to work every bit as well as the scoopable kind. Those interested, let me know directly and I’ll give you the name of it.
Take care; see you next week!
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.