Friday, 18 September 2009

Also BARFy

Lamb Variety also a hit. This is disconcertingly easy and painless so far! Probably because she's such a young kitten she'll eat most things I put in front of her, it's just older cats that struggle with diet changes.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

BARF - more than just a sound effect

Today was day one of the raw diet. I have to admit I was more excited than anyone has any right to be over cat food.

Allow me to elaborate. Over the course of the last few weeks in the lead up to Kitten Day I have been researching cat food amoung many other things. It is an interesting subject to in a certain frame of mind and a little shocking. Did you know that Whiskas dry cat food is a whopping 4% meat? Read the packet. It is, for the most part, meat flavoured cereal. Although they add lots of lotions and potions and powders to it to make it complete this is still not a natural diet for a cat as they are obligate carnivores and as a result much of this food is not digested. So off I went in search of something better!

Enter stage left, Biologically Appropriate Real Food, more commonly known as BARF. Now, it's obvious the marketing peeps had no input in THAT one. I mean, come on. Barf? Hardly appetizing. Anyhow, I digress. The central concept of this philosophy is that a cat's diet should resemble their natural wild diet as closely as possible. This appeals to the biologist in me. On the basis that I have been investigating raw feeding.

Food4-cats makes this amazingly easy. You see, you cannot just feed a cat mince from a supermarket and expect that to be okay. Oh no, that would be too easy! See, that's just muscle meat, and in the wild she would be the bones, skin, fur, organs, and all these things have a value. Bones for calcium. Offal for taurine. Skin for oils and vitamins. This website however provides carefully balanced packs of whole ground animals including the right balance of meat to organs to bone and skin meaning you just scoop it out the packet with all (well, quite a bit of) the ease of a tinned food. Just defrost a few days worth then warm a little in the microwave.

So today we tried it. First attempt, may I say, 30 seconds in a microwave is too long. I tried the beef variety first and it turned into a badly cooked hamburger.  Second attempt, 10 seconds. Success! Slightly warm, body temperature, perfect. So down the mince goes onto the floor. And is immediately gobbled. Or at least half of it is. Another lesson - feed a little less.

So much to my joy it seems Lily like raw food! Or the raw beef at least. Chicken, pork (not sure about that one on health grounds) rabbit, wild rabbit and beef & kidney left to go and I can't help bouncing just a little.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

The disproportionate value of stuff

I am a materialistic person. Not in a grabby way I feel, but things and stuff make me happy. They do not have to be big or expensive, they do not have the be plasma televisions or sports cars or big diamonds, but purchases of nice good quality things please me, for a long time after their purchase as well, every time they are picked up or used or even dusted, I enjoy them, lining my nest with them like some courting bird.

Since buying my house I have not had much money spare. Bits here and there spent on projects and things, but I work a modest job and it does not leave huge sums sloshing about. As a result the majority of my household things were begged, borrowed, old, or bought from Ikea, and the idea was to systematically replace them with nice things one by one as presents or as and when I could afford a little treat.

In my kitchen is (or, not to ruin the plot, was) a shelf on which I kept the few 'replaced with nice things' items in my kitchen, a modest enough assortment of some hand made water glasses with little glass watermelon slices in and matching jug, two bone china mugs and a set of six etched wine glasses my Mum and her husband gave me for Christmas.

Friday while I was at work this shelf crashed from the wall. My nicest things in their little display spot where I could smile at them when I went past reduced to a couple of kilos of shattered glass (which of course had to be meticulously cleared up from all over the kitchen and hallway).

It is only stuff. Things. I feel like it says something unpleasant about me that I was not simply disappointed but really very in-tears upset. It is not so much a silver lining as a 'that could have been worse' but I am frantically glad this happened now instead of in three weeks time when my kitten would have been home alone - it looked like a bomb in a glass factory, if she had been in the kitchen when it fell she would have been horrifically injured, possibly killed, and even walking through that room after it fell she would probably have been badly hurt from the huge amount of glass on the floor. That would have been something to be in tears over. But indeed, here I am, a materialistic little person drinking out of her chipped Ikea mugs with snobbish distain and crying over broken trinkets.