Saturday, November 04, 2006

undocumented happiness

A bland and colorless missive is being beamed to you today from the desk of this writer. My apologies - the battery charger is non-functioning, and so the camera is powerless to capture pictures of any of the bright and happy things I wanted to share with you today:
  • the amazing sock yarn that came in the mail from epicurus
  • the vase of marigolds and lavender in a cherry red vase on my kitchen windowsill
  • jackie's ever-more-orange fur
  • the pile of rubble in the back of red betty
  • the hat I'm making for HWWLLB's brother
  • a secret-squirrel package for someone far away
All these colors and more could be yours... if I just had some batteries for this camera. Oh well, you can use your imaginations.

The sock yarn is amazing. It fades to color, so it's intense salmon orangey-pink at one end, and almost white at the other end. A slow fade, perfectly packaged in sock-sized balls, two just alike. I can't wait to use it! But it is in line behind some other projects, and I think all the October sock-knitting wore on my wrists a little - I must knit much tighter when using tiny needles. So at the moment I'm taking a break from the wildflower socks to work on the aforementioned hat, which on size 9 needles feels like knitting with broomsticks, but my wrists sure do feel better!

The other thing is Jackie's fur. It is changing color. Jackie got this mysterious sickness back at the beginning of October, where she seemed to have a urinary tract infection, and was also wiping her poopy butt all over everything. It wasn't pleasant. The vet came and gave her antibiotics, and it miraculously went away immediately. Then as soon as the antibiotics were finished, it all started up again. So he came back with stronger antibiotics, and shazam, all gone. Then, as soon as the drugs were gone, the sickness came back. It made no sense at all.

It took me a few days to realize that it wasn't the antibiotics fixing Jackie's problems at all - it was her food. She had been eating dry food for the last year since coming in from her life on the streets to the bosom of our home. But to give her the pills, I had to mash them up and put them in canned food. Over the course of the last year, she has become morbidly obese (up to 14 pounds from a scrawny little starving 4-pounder last year at this time!). Her weight problem was pretty amazing, considering that we really don't feed her very much at all, and as she got fatter we kept cutting her rations, with nothing to show for it but a cranky, tubby cat.

Okay, so then I read some articles about cat nutrition, obesity and urinary problems on the web. As it turns out, urinary and digestive symptoms and obesity can be side-effects of a grain-heavy dry food diet. Most commercial cat foods contain corn, soy and wheat products for bulk, but none of these ingredients belong in a cat's diet (being as how they are pure carnivores), and are quite hard for them to digest, though many cats adapt to it well. But some cats just become obese, while others puke incessantly and become scrawny. Many have urinary and digestive troubles. Dry food is also a lot lower in moisture than canned food, and cats tend to get most of their fluids from their food. Dehydration is a big factor in urinary tract illness.

So the solution presented itself: Jackie is now eating canned food that is pure meat - no corn, no soy and no wheat. Just lots of chicken, organ meats and chicken fat (yum). All her horrible urinary and digestive symptoms are gone, and she looks so much better. She is steadily losing weight, little by little, though if you saw her, I'm sure you would still think she looks pretty chubby. But her hair - it's turning from dusty tan to bright orange! She has always been an "orange" tabby cat, just without much color. Now she looks like the color of a carrot. It is really amazing.

Simon, on the other hand, does quite well on dry food, though he is pretty tubby, too. I kept him on dry food because he drinks plenty of water (I've never seen Jackie at the water dish), but the kind I'm buying now is pure meat (no grains). He too is losing a little weight, and his hair is darker, glossier and silkier to the touch than it was before.

So my pets are off junk food and looking fabulous... wish I could say as much for myself. In fact, we were just discussing getting some beer and Indian buffet for dinner. Sorry I won't be able to take a picture of it, though. I'm sure you can use your imagination.

3 comments:

  1. glad to hear you so easily fixed the kitty problem! we are what we eat... I love that yarn, and know what ya mean, I knit socks on 1's for the first time, and needed a break! I knit up a hat in one evening on some 10.5s and it was a great time!

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  2. what an interesting
    story...
    spot rarely drinks
    and
    isn't tubby
    but is on the
    special
    wellness food
    {costs a fortune}
    should i
    change to wet food?
    i know she gets
    ultra cranky
    when i give
    her cheap food-
    figured
    we had
    just
    raised
    a gourmet cat.
    ;)

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  3. Great research! All meat for kitties---natch. My cat has always been a picky eater and a real barfer, too, if I don't give him 'sensitive stomach' kitty food ($$$). Now he's 17 and is supposed to be on a 'low protein' diet? Yikes....poor old guy. I'm now giving him whatever he wants. It's not like he eats much anymore...give the guy a thrill while he's still with me. (I'm thinking of bying him a live mouse to eat for Thanksgiving....is that terrible of me? It could be his last mousie, after all...)

    ReplyDelete