Monday, December 12, 2011

I dunno where the time goes...

My new job is great... I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my office, the co-workers, my boss... and I'm busy most of the time and it's really cut down on my internets...  

Not like I hated, my last job and I liked my boss... and this job just "clicks" with me for some reason.  Hopefully this feeling stays.  It's been almost a year since beginning and I'm still having fun so that is a good sign me thinks.

My last story was about cats in the closet.

Well, this is a cat story too.  Our giant 25lb male black cat, Mojo, went missing.  This was Furry Husband's cat...HIS cat.  Mojo liked to jump out at me and play but he LOVED and PURRED and CUDDLED with Furry Husband while having nothing to do with me.  He was a very, very cool cat.  We let him out in the day and brought him in at night.  A couple times he didn't want to come in at night... and played the stay away game.  He was always on the porch in the morning.

The last time he played the stay away game... we tried to get him in before bed... shortly after getting into bed... even got up in the middle of the night to call for him.  We could see him but he wouldn't come and would run away if we tried to nab him.  The next morning he was gone. 

We talked to all our neighbors and looked for him for months. 

Furry Husband wanted another cat he could call his own and he was looking around on Petfinder.... he found a female tortoiseshell kitten in a shelter in Greeley.  One day I came home and there was a new addition to our house.  He named her Katona (cat + anniversary) since he brought her home on our wedding anniversary.

We set up our big wire dog crate so she and the residing ani-mules could all meet and greet with minimal safety issues and Furry Husband would take her out to cuddle every day.  After a couple weeks we started letting her out for short periods of time.

She started pooping on our couch.  Pooping behind the t.v. stand.  Pooping in the bedroom.   And not just cat turds but runny, liquid diarrhea....nasty, gooey, stanky, stanky poo.   Disgusting.

We called the vet and ran a fecal... even tho' the shelter said she was wormed.  Our vet found her infested with round worms.  Nice since the dogs helped clean up her errant stanky magma poo and we didn't know if she had used the litter boxes some of the time so our existing cats may have stepped in, cleaned their paws and ingested round worms...

And so we started EVERYONE in the house on round worm rotation.  Fun!

We've always "found" kittens or cats in rural areas and they weren't in high confinement cages full of other animals coming and going, passing parasites back and forth.  Good to remember next time there is a shelter animal....

The next fecal showed the round worms dying and gone... however, there was still this horrible diarrhea.  Fountains of it.

Vet ran coccidia and giardia... nope.  Nothing. 

We began changing foods... nothing worked.  We were having discussions about putting her down because she obviously didn't feel good... and living her life in a cage was no life.... people told us we should let her loose outside to be a "barn cat" however we didn't like that idea given what happened with Mojo and she was so little...

And so I turned to the internet.  I Googled kitten with diarrhea or kitten not using litter box... found a website discussing IBS in cats.  How they are true carnivores and some cats have severe reactions to dry foods.  This is the link if you are interested, 

Surprisingly, some of the grocery store brand cat foods are healthier than "fancy" foods like Science Diet or Nutro etc.... I went to the grocery store and found 2 types of Fancy Feast cat food where the first 4 ingredients were meat, broth and organs, no grains listed. 

It didn't work.

The article went on to discuss feeding "raw".  Cats exist on birds, mice - other live critters....the organs and bones of their catches meet all their nutritional needs.   The article had recipes for how to make your own cat food... including buying a grinder and where to get whole, skinned, rabbit carcasses with all the much a cat typically should eat of the "raw" food etc. etc. etc.


Then I saw that damn show on Animal Planet called, "My Cat from Hell".  And these people were living with HORRIBLE cats!  One couple had this cat they adopted from the shelter and in the night the cat attacked the husband... serious, deep, bites and lacerations up and down the guy's spine... he had to go to the emergency room and needed stitches.   And these people were working with a guy to help solve their problem with their cat.

Here, we had this sweet, loving, kitten that purred all day long and there was obviously something wrong with her.  So if the people in the above show could work with and overcome the violent tendencies in their  beasties... it seemed like the least we could do, was try some other food options.

I stopped at the feed store and picked up some RadCat raw cat food.  There were no sweet potatoes or peas or brown rice in it to dilute the pure carnivore feast... it was meat and organs with some added vitamins/minerals.  Yum.

And it worked.

Katona had turds for the first time in probably 8 weeks since all this went down.  We let her system adjust and settle down and we tried another grain free kibble.  Instant diarrhea.

Alrighty then.  Raw it is.  Raw bought from the feed store is expensive tho'.  Making our own would be cheaper.  Grinding our own cheaper still but I'm not ready to go there....

Pricing out whole rabbit was sorta spendy when you factored in all of our cats.  I was considering getting them all on a raw diet since research shows feeding raw dramatically reduces kidney problems and other health problems.  Maybe if we feed this way, we'll spend less in vet bills as they age?  That was my line of thinking anyway.  I put raw out for our other cats and all but one LOVED it.  They cleaned it UP.

I found another place referenced in the article and was introduced into a whole 'nother world of animal feeding.  I guess I figured that people with reptiles got mice from the pet store... never gave "live" or "raw" feeding any more thought.

Wow - there is a whole culture out there of raw and live feeding for pets.   You can get a sack of 25 frozen white mice... and there was a testimonial on the site about how this person warms a mouse a day for her cat and throws it in the bathtub for him to demolish.  


You can get whole, frozen guinea pigs... small, medium and jumbo.   (YOU could, I don't think I could....)
Rabbit... turkey... day old chicks... whole ground mouse goes for $6.99/lb.  MMMM.   Try that in your next taco salad!

Besides whole frozen critters, they also sell parts.  I guess frozen, skinned rabbit heads are great fun for your dog!  Or maybe for a small dog, just the rabbit feet....

I ended up ordering whole, ground chicken.  The whole chicken.... minus the a giant tube-like package like you might see at Sam's Club for ground beef...only it's whole ground chicken.  We added B and E vitamins... taurine... fish oil... egg yolks.... whatever the recipe listed, mixed it up and portioned it in 6oz tupperware containers.   A 5lb tube of chix with the vitamins/minerals lasts about 3 weeks for this kitten.

It's easy to make - takes literally 15 or 20 min. for a 3 week supply

Yeah.  It's weird.  I know.  I guess I just think when you bring an animal home, YOU are responsible for that life.  And yes, we did discuss putting her down and came very close before I found this relatively easy solution.  Others may have chosen to kill her - and that is fine as long as it's done humanely.  However, I guess it wasn't something we wanted to do until we tried other options.  Giving her back to the shelter wasn't an option to me as we'd just be unloading this problem on someone else... not a responsible way of dealing with it. 

Now the kitten runs happily around the house, hasn't had any accidents... is happy and purring and friendly.  She goes into her cage to eat her raw diet.  I put the grain free kibble and some Fancy Feast out at the same time for the other cats (decided it was too spendy to feed all of our cats raw)... Katona stays in her cage for 30 min while everyone eats... I pick up all food and the kitten is released to resume living "normal" life in our house.

The only bad thing?

She's friggin' picked ME.   She isn't Furry Husband's cat.  She seeks ME out.... I didn't need another cat....


Furry is trying to win her over... but ... you know cats....

Fingers crossed!


Funder said...

Glad the not-so-new job still suits you!

That's really interesting about feeding your cat raw. I feed Cersei raw - I've fed all my dogs raw for over 10 years, maybe 12 or 13. But cats are harder, as you know!

What's your actual monthly cost for one cat? (We only have two, so it probably wouldn't break the bank.) Right now they get some absurdly pricey grain-free kibble. They get egg yolks daily (when the hens are laying) and occasionally a dribble of heavy cream. The shorthair is super shiny and healthy, and the longhair... has a lot of pretty hair, but he varies between "kinda thin" and "way too thin."

Do you feed the kitten once a day or twice a day? Sorry for all the questions! I've always free-fed dry kibble and when the bowl is empty they scream for more, that's just how it works. ;)

Shanster said...

I know - that is always how it's worked at our house. Free choice kibble and when they start waking you up at 3am, you fill their bowl!

The link said cats eat between 4 and 6 oz of the raw so we feed 3x a day and roughly 2oz each feeding - said kittens ate tons being growing machines so we give her the full 6oz. Feeding 3x a day gives the other cats plenty of opportunity to eat so they don't wake us up all night.

$11.45 plus shipping for 5lbs whole ground chix at Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow. The vitamins we add were pricey initially but will last for several batches - we got them discounted thru

We've only made 2 batches so far...if we didn't have 5 cats (roughly 2lbs of raw a day) I'd feed raw... one or two doesn't seem like it's that much but it adds up quickly.

I hear there are raw groups on Yahoo groups and people pool their orders so shipping is way less! Haven't looked into that yet but will for the next shipment... (I ordered 30lbs at one time to last a while)

Funder said...

Cool, thanks!

DebH said...

Holy batliver!! and it doesn't surprise me in the least that you would go the extra mile to find a fix! Once I bond, imprint or adopt, I'm all for trying my hardest at making it work. That is very interesting on the cat food though, as you always hear about the trouble related to certain manufactured dry foods. That is positive info on feeding any animal though. Makes sense and a little like your caveman diet. So many people have wheat/gluten allergies..why not animals. I'm so happy you found a fix and I am equally HAPPY your back to blogging. I was seriously starting to worry! I get pretty imaginative in my old age. You can not leave me to my imagination either....I might just seriously send out the army looking for you! LOL...well I do have connections. He's even on the SWAT team and you would of crapped if they showed up at your door. ps...
MERRY Christmas! (HUGE HUG)