Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

I saw a sign similar to this while out shopping the other day and didn't buy it as they wanted way WAY too much money for it.  I showed the original to my friend Rene and she created this for me (sans the hat which was my touch) isn't it adorable??  I also think it perfect for my foster room as I love fostering feral and frightened kitties..

Verona and Issac Arnold checking out the hat
Issac Arnold
A kitty should always choose a costume
 which is in direct contrast to her own personality.
OK, I'm done now

No stress this year.  I didn't pull out any of the costumes, but just tried the hat on all of the kitties.. these were the best shots.. Not everyone was willing to participate.. and I'm not one to push it if the kitties say no.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday.. remember, keep those kitties indoors!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The life and times of Smedley's Behind (and an update)

Well let me get the update right out of the way since I am so far behind on that one.. Cubbie, Koshka AND Snow have all been adopted!!   I do not know of Cubbie and Koshka went together or not but a staff member came up to me to tell me about how AWESOME Snow's adoption was.  She said it was with a "cat lady" who saw Snow for what she was, and even though Snow hissed at her, she knew that it was a match and wanted to take her home.  She is so going to LOVE Snow.. and there are other cats in the house, which I think Snow will really enjoy once she relaxes a little.  Purrs to all of them for long happy lives.

Now.. on to Smed's behind..

Do we HAFTA talk about my butt again?? 
Why yes, darlin, we do..

So as we left it, at the end of last week I got Smed in to see a vet due to his really inflamed behind.. I was told to try a high fiber diet, but I had a feeling that a low plant based ingredient diet was more likely going to help him, so I put him and his cohorts on raw food.. they took to it like we all take to that first warm spring day.. they easily put away as much as my seven full grown cats eat, if not double, at each meal.. Their stools became well formed, dry and Smed's rear end no longer leaked and it started to heal up..

Click to make bigger..
I figured not everyone wants to look at his anus
After four days things were so dramatically improved that I figured I'd try putting them on the lowest inflammatory canned cat food I know of.. I feed it to diabetics because it is low in plant matter and does not contain carrageenan (which every other can in that kitten room had in it) and they ate eight three ounce cans.. I went down the next morning and offered it to them again and this time I only got three cans down, and they weren't all that interested.  When I went to the litter box I found out why.. the diarrhea was back. :(  I was hopeful that it was just a one time temporary thing and if I kept them on the food it would settle down, but no, it is pretty obvious they need some more time to heal up.  I see this all the time in kittens, I rush to get them back on regular food when using raw to clear up diarrhea.  If I had just waited a little longer I'm sure it would have worked out.. so they are back on raw for a few more days / week and we'll try it again and I'm sure this time will be the charm.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Tea" with the girls brought to you by Merrick and

So once again has sent us an offering to blog about.  I am loving getting gifts and having a built in blog post idea, but as of late the offerings have been something I'm not really comfortable feeding my cats.

Yes, there are always the kittens, but I feel a little odd sharing foods that I wouldn't feed my own cats on my blog. I had to abstain from last month's offerings, and nearly did from this month as well - but more on that at the end of the post.

Around the same time I was contacted by about the Merrick Purrfect Bistro I had won a gift box from Merrick to promote their Purrfect Bistro line of foods.

Which made it so nice and easy to do such a fun post..

I have to say I adore this little package they sent out, the whole 'Bistro" theme, with Bamboo plates and a bamboo spork to dish out the food with.. Muffin so very much needed a new collar (It is what all the fashionable kitties are wearing to the Bistro) as she took her old one off a few weeks ago and REFUSES to tell me where she put it.  More than a few kudos points go to them for packaging that up and mailing it to me with out tape!!  Love that, and love them for doing it..

The downside.. Jack can not eat chunked or shredded foods due to the higher plant based ingredients in them in order to make them maintain that shape. So many kitties have urinary issues from being fed foods that include a lot of plants in them.  It is also hard on their pancreas and kidneys as well. It is very very hard for science to find a direct link from 'feed plant get urinary issues' because you can not replicate that in the general population at large, and often issues do not pop up until years down the road, but cats that do have issues have a far easier time of it if you eliminate plant based ingredients from their diet. Merrick does have a few flavors in 'pate' form, which is the preferred form of food when I feed canned food (which isn't very often) due to it often having far fewer plants in it, but they use carrageenan as an ingredient.  Carrageenan is a derivative of red seaweed which is intended to keep things from separating as well as give the product a richer mouth feel.  It is used a lot in human foods to make low fat products have the mouth feel of higher fat products.  The problem is that carrageenan is know to irritate the lining of the stomach and colon.  I will not eat anything that has this as an ingredient, and I am certainly not going to feed it to my pets for more than occasional treat (which is what happened above) and it is also why I didn't feel comfortable feeding it to the fosters at this point (seeing as they are having issues with irritated colons at the moment)

I want to love Merrick foods, I really do.  They have a great tag line and their supposed philosophy of real food is something I want to get behind..

but with ingredient lists like this it will not make it into our regular rotation.  But Muffin and Fleurp were very very thankful for the snack!

Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Liver, Deboned Chicken, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Dried Potato, Cranberries, Ground Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Salmon Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate(*), Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Taurine, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Thyme, Sage, Rosemary

(*) this was added by me in the ingredient list.  I like to randomly spend time looking up items in a list of ingredients to see why it was put there.  This one is FASCINATING.. I look up "Cobalt Glucoheptonate" and I see how it is beneficial to ruminant animals (cows, goats, sheep, aka animals with four stomachs that chew cud - cud being plants originally) and could not find much else.  I search for that term plus cat and all I see are ingredient lists for Merrick and a few vegan based cat foods. So then I search for Colbalt feline nutrition and I come across this book, Canine and Feline Nutrition, on google books that says:
Cobalt is a constituent of vitamin B 12.  Currently no fuction for cobalt in he body has been identified.  Additional cobalt does not appear to be required by dogs and cats when their diet contains adequate amounts of vitamin B 12.
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products so I do not understand why this supplement is in this food.  I am sure they have a very good reason, I just can't figure it out.

When you get right down to it almost everything can make you paranoid when it comes to food (both for yourself and for your pets) and there are many many cats who are living very long healthy lives on this and other foods I do not deem safe for my cats.  You need to make the decision for you and your cats. If you like the idea of regionally sourced ingredients more than the possible inflammatory effect of some of the ingredients then this is a great food option for you.

(food items were provided by and opinions are, pretty obviously, my own)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Looking for a home for Issac Arnold and Smedley

There are times when you do rescue that you need something to help you continue to go on.  You see the puppy with a badly mangled leg you just need to save... The old dog surrendered because it has cancer. the kitten that is barely alive and you know that the reasonable course of action is to euthanize, but you persist anyway knowing that if you just give up you couldn't live with yourself..

Well this is one of those times. I need to find a home for Issac Arnold and Smedley. Issac Arnold is a little too special to me, and Smedley is a little too special to Issac Arnold. Not only because he started out life like this

but as of late he has been showing some really characteristics that STRONGLY remind me of my Em.  It started with a notch on his ear that seemed to develop out of nowhere.  Followed up by a tendency for him to walk around with his tail straight up in the air but the tip flopped over in Em's ever present question mark tail; to his/her near constant need to lick me. I had to employ 'piggy protectors' and always wear slippers or socks when I enter the kitten room or he will lick my toes. He also likes to lick my fingers, my cheek, and anything else he can get near. He LOVES being held, he loves having his belly rubbed.. and he loves getting kisses.

I never want to adopt a kitty because it reminds me of a kitty I once owned.. I don't think it would be fair to him, and I really do not want to be a nine cat household.. I do not want to stress out The Crew: and I fear they are living with mild stress now due to the numbers in the house.. this may or may  not be true, but we have very mild indicators that it might be.

I need him to go into a home who will send me periodic updates.  I need him to go to a home of a cat person.

I am guessing this post will be fruitless and he will end up going back to the shelter in a couple of weeks, but I needed to try.  Issac Arnold and Smedley are in Maine.  I don't doubt we can't work out some sort of transport to just about anywhere, so try not to just write it off that they are 'too far away'.. save for if you are not in the US... not quite sure how that would work out unless you are willing to come here ;)  I am willing to work with you if timing is an issue.  They should be ready for adoption the first or second week in November if all goes well..

I feel a little bad that I don't feel this way about Mishka and Verona as they are two incredibly awesome kittens who are loving and cute and cuddly and total purr boxes..

Issac Arnold is really really sweet, gentle, loving, and loves to have his belly rubbed. He loves to wrestle and snuggle up with Smedley.  He likes playing a LOT.. he growls at his toys and chirps at them when they are out of reach.  He is a licker.. and loves to lick toes and fingers and arms.. He is also a very compact little boy, small for his weight.

Smedley is also very very sweet, gentle and loving.  He is a bit more of a mischief maker than Issac Arnold. He also LOVES playing with hair. He loves climbing up on the back of the couch and laying across my neck and wrestling with my hair.

If it helps, both Smedley (shown below) and Issac Arnold have belly buttons..

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Altoona Mirror Pet Expo pictures Pt 2

The Nardecchia Spay Neuter Fund was there with kittens.  At least one of these kittens I know got adopted that day.. even if they didn't start out the day looking all that thrilled to be there..
The Central Pennsylvania Humane Society
I totally LOVE this idea!!
They also brought kitties
I ended up actually meeting this guy later on in the show.  
Mending Hearts Animal Rescue
Metzger Animal Hospital doing face painting
Another outfit change for Coco
Fresh Pet and Petco
The Freshpet van was tricked out with dogs, and gave out huge dog food samples.
This was the only cat, and they only gave out high value coupons if you had a cat, not free ones
That Guy with the Birds

It was a wonderful gathering of rescues and pet information. I didn't get good photos of everything which I do regret. They also had demonstrations with agility dogs and dog training which is always interesting to watch.  Personally I would have like to have seen more pet product companies there as well.  Freshpet and Petco was there which was nice, but neither one of them were offering things for kitties. Guess I'm just a little bias on that sort of thing (a little?? ha ha ha).
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