Author Archives: Charles Huss

The End of Kibble . . . and Then Not


Several months ago Chris went to the vet for a sensitive spot on his back (see here). It was only the second time he visited a vet for a medical issue since we adopted him in late 2009, the first was after we adopted Floki and he picked up Floki’s eye infection. I don’t remember them weighing Chris that time so that means the last time he was weighed was late 2010 when we brought him to Florida and needed proof of vaccinations for the Condo Nazis. (Yes, I am one of those wacadoodles who believe yearly vaccinations for indoor cats do more harm than good).

Anyway, if memory serves me, Chris weighed nine pounds at the time. When the vet tech weighed him recently he topped the scales at a just under 18 pounds. He has doubled in weight. I knew he was getting fat but to see actual proof really hit home.

Chris and Floki

I know why he is fat. He is a kibble addict. If he was human we would call him a carb addict. That label is even worse for cats because their digestive system is made for a diet high in protein and fat. I have tried to get them off kibble for years. In fact, I was buying raw cat food back in 2010. I was hoping to phase out kibble but it never worked out as planned. Back then we had other carb addicted cats like Tigger and Abbey.

After abbey and Tigger both died at age eight, I was more determined than ever to get our cats to eat healthily and knew the kibble had to go so I gradually decreased how much I gave them. My wife resisted my efforts at first, telling me I was mean to let their food bowl go empty but eventually she came around.

The main problem preventing me from eliminating dry food altogether is Chris. When I feed them their wet food twice a day Chris only eats a very small amount and then walks away. I always have to follow him around with his food in a vain attempt to get him to eat it. Eventually, one of the other cats finishes his bowl and takes over Chris’s bowl. This happens even though the dry food bowl has been empty for hours and Chris is almost certainly hungry. So, like a sucker, I think he is going to starve himself so I put dry food in his bowl.

Recently, Rose suggested that I replace his dry food with Stella and Chewy’s. That is a dry food too but it is freeze-dried raw and not the same. Sure, the dry part is not ideal (it is technically supposed to be mixed with water), but it is better for them than kibble. I didn’t do this before because I often listen to complaints about how much I spend on cat food and replacing kibble with freeze-dried raw would add to that but she seemed okay with it so on January 2, to start the new year off right, I bought an 18-ounce bag of Stella and Chewy’s just as the last of our dry food was running out.

stella and chewey's cat food

All of our cats love it, which is good and bad. The problem is they eat it as fast as I can put it out which means the food bowls are always empty. That means I have to watch and/or listen to poor, pathetic Chris all day long. He either sits in front of the food bowls and cries, or if I walk into the kitchen, he follows me in and opens the cabinet where we keep the food and looks at me as if to say, “Here is the food, Daddy. It’s time to put it in my bowl.” If I do nothing, then the crying starts. It’s like I’m raising a two-year old child.

It wasn’t very long before the Stella and Chewy’s was running low and it was time to spend another $38. That came up too quick for Rose and she said it was too expensive and she wanted me to buy dry food again. So, as of Friday, they are back to eating kibble but I am going to try to keep it to a minimum and I am still going to give them Stella and Chewy’s too, perhaps I will do half and half. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you have.

 

 

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Photo Friday: The Princess of the Blue Toilet


I was looking through old printed photos and found one of our cat Princess from around 2001. She was looking into our blue toilet that we had back then. We had the bathroom renovated shortly after that and I completely forgot about that ugly thing until I saw the photo.

Cat looking in toilet

New Vet, New Hope


This post was from December of 2015. That was back when Puck’s problems did not involve ruining our floors. It turned out his skin condition was caused by fleas, even though fleas were not present on him at his examination.

Bad Cat Chris

Puck’s grooming problems have not gotten any better since his vet visit visit a few months ago. I hesitated bringing him back to the vet because I did not want to subject him to more drugs that would not help the problem.

I did some research and even though holistic vets are rare in this area, I did find a veterinary practice that understands natural medicine. It is called the Animal and Bird Medical Center in Palm Harbor, Florida. They were pretty highly rated and my only concern was comments about how expensive they are but I figured that a little extra money would be worth it if I could find the root of Puck’ problem.

I made an appointment for 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. As usual, I put the carrier out early so the cats would get used to it being there. Of course, everyone has to smell it or…

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Bolt Laser Light Toy


For Christmas, our boys got a Petsafe Bolt Laser Light toy from their Aunt Felice. This device projects a laser light onto the floor and moves it randomly for fifteen minutes before it automatically shuts off. It is made for humans as much as cats because now we can go about our business while the cats try to capture the elusive red dot.

Bolt Laser Toy for cats

I turned it on in the bedroom on Christmas Day and Chris immediately proved that he can still get that hefty body of his moving.

Since then we turn it on about once a day and they have not grown tired of it. Chris, however, is smarter than the average cat. He figured out a long time ago that Rose and I were controlling the red dot and now he has figured out it is coming from the Bolt device. If you watch the end of the following video you will see what I mean.

Despite Chris discovering “the man behind the curtain,” he still enjoys the cat toy along with the rest of our feline family.

What do you think? Do you have something like this?

The Kitten Whisperer


Here is a nice story from a couple of years ago for Throwback Thursday.

Bad Cat Chris

We went to my sister-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving this year. Felice works at a vet and has taken in several “unadoptable” cats with her husband, Jeff. She has also become an expert at bringing newborn kittens back from the brink of death. Felice saved one of our cats, Puck (see here), as well as Miss Luis (see here). Her ability to be such a great surrogate mother to so many tiny kittens makes me think of her as “The Kitten Whisperer.”

While she was raising Miss Luis, she was given two more little kittens to bottle feed (see here) and recently she was asked to help two more kittens. Here are some pictures and a video of the newest kittens, which, I believe, are about five weeks old. Enjoy.

KittensKittenKittensKittensKittenKittenKittenKitten

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A look Back at 2017


2017 is gone but not forgotten. Many are happy to see it go but we have some good memories.

Floki was with us for six months in January and felt right at home getting on top of our china cabinet.

In February Frankie showed everyone his Houdini trick on escaping a cat harness.cat escaping harness

 

Puck was at the vet in March. I think this is when he started peeing outside the box, which he is still doing.
Puck at Vet

In April we had someone marking their territory on our cars.

cat Chris smelling tire cat Frankie smelling tire

In May we had a visit from a tabby mother and her two Siamese kittens.

feral tabby cat and Siamese kitten

They were still around in June.

stray cat stray cat and kitten stray kitten

Also in June, Puck was back at the vet.

Puck was not happy to be there and wouldn't come out of his carrier.

In July we got our Jackson Galaxy bed that Chris and Floki love . . .

cats and clamshell bed

and a water fountain that nobody used.

pet water fountain

We got Kitty-Kick-Stix in August.

kitty kick stix

September we evacuated for Hurricane Irma . . . twice.

 

 

Bad Cat Chris in car

We got new furniture in October that Puck peed on before we could use it.

In November we visited Aunt Felice’s cats (and Aunt Felice).

December we got another piece of furniture that Frankie scratched and Puck pooped on.

It also got cold in December and everyone decided to conserve body heat.

cats on bed

Some states for 2017 include:

Most viewed post – Are Ginger Cats Friendlier

This post was from 2013 and is still popular with 2907 views last year.

Views in order of country of origin:

United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Austrailia, Switzerland, India and The Philippines round off the top eight.

Most views in one day: 731

Happy Valentine’s Day

My wife is irritated that I am not helping to prepare for New Year’s Eve so I will end here and wish everyone a very happy 2018.

Maybe Some Cats Shouldn’t be “Rescued”


Here is a post from a couple of years ago about our “wild” cat Frankie. He hasn’t changed much since then but I know he is happy that he has a home.

Bad Cat Chris

If you have ever looked for a cat to adopt on Petfinder or the website of your local shelter, you may have noticed that a fair amount of them have been ear-tipped. If you don’t know what that is, when a stray or feral cat is captured and fixed, the vet will remove the tip of one ear or put a notch in one ear to show that the cat has already been fixed.

Ear “tipping” or “notching” is usually done for the Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) programs but sometimes a well-meaning person will trap a cat that is friendly to humans and not release it but put it up for adoption. I believe that is what happened to Frankie, although we know nothing about his history. We do know he has a notch in his ear indicating he was probably captured as a feral, perhaps at a young age.

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