Friday, November 17, 2017

Jack by the Fire

My new house doesn't have a fireplace so I am spoiling Jack by running the fireplace whenever I can.
I think he appreciates it.

I am hoping to get one installed pretty quickly, but we have a number of other projects we need to get to, including replacing some windows that are askew and a set of French Doors that need to be rehung... both things Jack cares very little about.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Treat Time with #chewyinfluencer

This month's offering from the Influencer Program offered some cat treats. I have been wanting to restock my treat cabinet so I would have a bunch for the move, so not only did I choose to blog about two different types of treats but I bought two additional packages as well. Someone was well pleased.

Fleurp was very eager to be the star of this blog post. She is always up for trying new treats.

For this post, we are going to talk about VitalEssentials Vital Essentials Chicken Hearts Freeze-Dried Cat Treats. It comes in a 0.8 oz bag which contains eight hearts.

Fleurp was so enamored by hers that she took it and ran off as soon as Skippy showed up. I offered him one and he was quite interested in it, but he was unsure as to how to go about eating it. I ended up cutting it up into smaller bits

I wish he would have chewed on the whole heart like Fleurp did, but he is so timid and willing to give up his treat to whichever cat shows up and tells him to give it up that I wasn't going to push it. I wanted him to have some and enjoy it, which he did.

I like that these treats are a single ingredient product. I like that they aren't highly processed and aren't full of inappropriate ingredients. The downside is that they are gross to handle (not nearly as gross as freeze-dried minnows) and they are a little large for some cats. I totally recommend you give freeze-dried hearts a try.

Thank you, Chewy for the opportunity to review this product. The other Vital Essentials treat review will be coming soon, along with a discussion of how the calming product we got from Chewy last month helped with the move - which if all goes well should be happening on Monday. My husband is going to the house today and will plug it in so it has a chance to disperse the product into the room by the time we get there.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Doing the right thing is often not the easy thing

If this is the only post you read of my blog, know this was not easy for me in the least.

I am moving. I am not only moving, but I am moving two hours away and I am moving into a slightly smaller house so I am having to downsize somewhat. We are getting rid of some of our furniture and as many decorative items as I can bear to part with.

I am also making a plan to move our six cats and make it as comfortable for them as we can. I have a quilt at the new house soaking up the scent there so they can at least get used to that before we go, I have a 'go bag' being planned with some food and treats and quite a few items from home that will make them feel comfortable in the isolation room while they are there.

And then there is The Crimson Tide

I could not fathom the idea of bringing TCT (aka Spot) with the cats, and I couldn't face the idea of taking him up first, setting him up coming home, then bringing up the cats, mostly because the cats have to be packed up and out of the house before the movers come. I could bring the cats and then the fish, but that would be six hours on the road and one incredibly long day and it would mean the cats would be at the new house alone for over four hours.

So I thought about bringing him up on another day but then who would feed him? I also wondered where I would put him as we are not going to have both bureaus in the bedroom (downsizing) and with the cat's love of sitting on top of the tank I couldn't think of another good place to put it. I knew that the best thing for Spot was to find him a new home.

It broke my heart to think of doing it, because when I make a commitment to an animal I intend to care for that animal for their entire life but in this case, the kind thing to do would be to find someone closer to care for him. I know Spot isn't bonded to me, he doesn't care who puts his food in his water, so letting him go would not harm his quality of life (as long as I found someone who wanted him).

When Kathleen, who adopted Maxwell and Ducky (aka Faraday) from me a few years ago, posted she just bought a betta fish I lamented that I had wished she had said something (when really I was lamenting not having said something sooner) and she found someone who was willing to take Spot for me. I was both elated and sad.

This weekend Spot went to his new home.

I took the decorations out of the tank and lowered the water to make transport easier. Fortunately, his new home is just a couple of miles down the road so transport was pretty quick. I packed everything up and brought some warmed water for refilling the tank so he would have the water he is used to to help him adjust to the transport before changing the water (we are on a well, so all water is slightly different)

We brought him home in the beginning of November in 2015 (wow, I thought he was a year and a half, but he is two years) so it was hard to see the spot empty that night.

A few days later I am still thinking I forgot to feed him. I know he is doing well. I asked for an update the next morning and I was told he was doing well and I was given a few photos

I am still sad that he is no longer here but I know, I mean it *I know*, this was in his best interest. I accept that there are instances where you have made a commitment to an animal and in doing what is best for that animal you have to keep an open mind that sometimes letting go of your idea of what or how it should be is what is in their best interest. Be it a cat that can not adjust to the home that it is in or a dog that needs more exercise than the circumstances they are in can allow. There are many things you can try for those situations, so rehoming isn't the first choice, but it should be on the table that if the animal can't adjust that you do what the animal needs and find a place that will give the animal what it needs. I know there are people who disagree with this and who scream loudly at the idea of an animal leaving their 'forever' home before their life ends, but I think they are too close-minded to realize that sometimes, in some instances, they can be doing more harm than good.

Thank you, Kathleen, for once again finding a great home for an animal in my care (she has found homes for quite a few of my foster kittens in the years since I met her) and thank you, Melanie, for taking on Spot and these awesome photos.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

In defense of dry food from a raw food feeder

I hate that I feel the need to write this post. I hate dry cat food. I think it is harmful to cats and I really really wish that it would be taken off the market and go away.


I know that it exists and exists for a reason. I know that a lot of cats eat it and eat it exclusively and a lot of cats refuse to be transitioned off of it. I know that dry food is cheap. I know that a lot of owners have a hard time buying their own food and still find it in their hearts to buy cat food instead of kicking the cat out of the house. I know that dry food is convenient. I know that it is easy to put down a big bowl of dry food that will feed a cat for a couple of days if they have to run out of town overnight or if they have erratic schedules or they just want the convenience of their cats having access to food.

I know there is a demand for dry food. I accept that. While there is a chance that a cat will live a shorter life because: dry food increases the risk of diabeteskidney disease, and cystitis; the cat will have a life because it is eating now and there is no knowing which cats will have problems. (Yes, I fully accept the fact that cats can live long lives on dry food, just as I accept the fact that George Burns lived to 100 drinking and smoking cigars regularly)


I recently recommended to someone in a raw feeding group that they feed their new kitten a few meals of dry food so that their kitten would recognize that dry food is food.  In the group, I was slapped down for such a "reckless suggestion" because many people who are raw feeders think that dry food is the devil, that it is toxic, and that it is killing cats - and I don't necessarily disagree.


We do not live in a vacuum. Even the most prepared among us can run into situations beyond our control. What if there is a situation where you have to evacuate your home like a hurricane or a fire. The argument was that you can always find 'something' to feed your cat that isn't dry but I think that is a very narrow view of what can happen in an emergency situation. Then there is the possibility that the cat escapes from the home and is picked up by ACO and is brought to a shelter. There are reasons a cat might be subject to eating dry food no matter how prepared you think you are. If the cat does not recognize the food as food, the cat could very well end up in a medical crisis.

I am not saying that I want everyone to feed their cats dry food, far from it. I am saying that I believe that every cat should be introduced to as many different types and flavors of food as possible when they are young. They are designed to be open to learning which foods are food as kittens and once that window closes convincing a cat something is food is very hard and you want your cat to be as open to new foods as possible so they don't end up with digestive upset or worse not eating at all if the worst were to happen. My own cats, who were fed a wide variety of foods as foster kittens, transitioned to raw food without a blink of an eye while my older cat who didn't was much harder to transition.

I also do not believe that a few random meals of dry food will harm your cat long term any more than I believe that bingeing on sweets occasionally or going to McDonald's is going to ruin my long term health.

And if you choose to feed your cat dry food, for whatever reason, I hope you don't think I am ever bashing you or looking down on you. You love your cat, you feed your cat. I'm good with that. If you ever want to talk about changing what you feed, I will talk to you about it all day long and help you in any way I can. If you don't, that's fine too. Just show me photos of your kitties (or if you are local, just show me your kitties) and tell me how wonderful they are.
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