Tag Archives: cats

The best supplement for pets – and humans

In my last post, I promised I’d write about a supplement we use for our girls on a daily basis.  Not only do they LOVE it, and ask for it, it is really a top notch addition to their wellness and health needs – Chlorella and Spirulina. These are both algae and incredibly beneficial for humans and animals alike.We take both ourselves with our daily supplements.  And our girls get them in the morning and at night, waiting for vitaminsat the same time when we’re taking our daily supplements.  They love them!  Plus it is a crunchy treat which can’t be bad for their teeth and gums, and the chlorophyll helps with any breath issues that they may have. Chlorella benefits the entire body by supporting healthy hormonal function, good cardiovascular health, helps to negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and aids in the detoxification of our bodies. Chlorella contains a high concentration of chlorophyll.  While we should all eat more leafy green vegetables for good health, we know that getting  five servings a day can be a challenge. Chlorella offers the same nutritional benefits of these veggies. A 1 ounce / 3 TBS serving of Chlorella (tablets or powder) generally contains (based on Chlorellahuman RDA’s, which are always questionable in my book): 16 g of protein, 287% of the RDA of Vitamin A, 71% of RDA of Vitamin B2, 33% of the RDA of B3, 202% of the RDA of Iron, 22% RDA of Magnesium, 133% RDA of Zinc.  It also contains a goodly amount of B1, B6 and phosphorus. It is more nutrient dense than kale, spinach or broccoli. It’s a prime immune system booster. In a world where our drinking water is contaminated with heavy metals, where our air is polluted and in certain parts of the world, is contaminated with radiation, Chlorella will rid your body of metal contamination, radiation and is helpful for the recovery of those who have undergone chemotherapy. While Chlorella is also helpful in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, it can assist with weight loss. Spirulina has many of the same benefits, plus others.Spirulina  It has been essential in fighting world hunger and is a weapon in fighting arsenic poisoning.  As an immune system booster, it is key in fighting auto-immune disorders as well as yeast and candida. It is a  helpful tool to normalize cholesterol naturally, without the side effects of statin drugs. Spirulina balances blood pressure and reduces stroke and cancer risk. Concerns: As with most products, you wouldn’t want to take Chlorella or Spirulina if you have an allergy to the product.  The most important thing is finding a very CLEAN version of each. With radioactive contamination in Japan in an area that was once a major producer, steering clear of products from that area is important.  China, of course, is always an area of concern for any product since quality control is not a priority there. Thus as with any product, it is critically important that you research the source of ALL of your foods and supplements. First – go organic! Next, it should be 100% Chlorella with no fillers.  The best source for Chlorella these days is Taiwan. The product we use for ourselves is  organic, gluten-free, non-gmo.  We’ve been using Health Ranger Select. The Spirulina we buy is from Hawaii and non-GMO, though not listed as certified organic.  We’ve been using Health Ranger Spirulina Select . And for our girls, we do give them a slightly different version than ours. It is of course, organic, non-GMO, 100% pure and from Taiwan.  Chlorella Spirulina ComboI found that they were sometimes resistant to the larger Spirulina tablet size, so the product we use is 50% of each in each tablet.  The product is Sunlit Chlorella Spirulina.  I started them out with a couple of tablets in the morning and a couple at night.  They totally snarf it down!  With no side effects, I’ve upped it now to about 6 in the morning and 6 at night.  I’ve researched and have found no problems with a dose this size for cats. It is actually quite the treat for them.  I can shake the bag and they’ll come from the furthest corner of the house and sit patiently, waiting for their ‘vitamins’. It’s also a great way to get one out of a place that I don’t want them to be in such as in a closet.   Ahh, the life of a cat! More waiting Sleeping, playing, waiting – always waiting for the next big thing.  And my goal is to be sure their lives are long, healthy and that they spend a lot of time waiting for and doing their favorite ‘big things’.   I credit the following websites for some of the statistical information in today’s post: http://draxe.com/7-proven-chlorella-benefits-side-effects/ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx  

 

And here’s an update with additional information from a well-researched site:  https://behealthy.today/chlorella-benefits-side-effects/

Yesterday’s project

It was a rainy day so I thought it was perfect for a new project.  Our home is two stories and until recently, the only litter box in it’s ‘litter box hider’ has been upstairs.  We decided that sometimes the girls are playing hard and have a bit of a problem getting to the litter box upstairs in time when they’ve been distracted, so we bought another piece of furniture for the downstairs.  We’d tried putting a box in the half-bath downstairs but it was way too messy – and it really upset Sophie, the bird, to have the bathroom door open by her cage. So we decided we needed the additional hider.  Oh, my, what a project!

I’ve put together a lot of this type of furniture in the past.  It’s fiberboard underneath it all so it weighs a ton.  NewLitterHiderWe just have to hope there are no Wilma-style floods in our future.  I bought this on Amazon for under $200 and it actually looks quite nice.  It did, however, take a sweaty hour and a half to put it together by myself.  The photo to the left is from the listing.    It came in a big, flat, rectangular box.  The UPS guy kindly brought it in the door for me.  That’s when the fun started!

Of course, no project in our home happens without a LOT Of help, as you can see in the photo to the right.  Inspection  They had to inspect the packaging, inspect the pieces and every screw and hardware item.   While it is heavy and bulky, the parts did eventually go together – but not without wrenching my already – mangled back.  A few things didn’t work such as the plastic ‘caps’ to go over the holes where the screws are on the inside.  They just fell off.  Still and yet, it wasn’t that big a deal until I got to the seemingly simple job of attaching the doors.

The instructions stated that there were pre-drilled holes for the screws.  There were actually little dents.  It was difficult to screw the screws into the uber-hard particleboard furniture base, and the first one, predictably, ended up stripped.  :::sigh::: It took as long to do those four hinges as it did to put the rest of it together.

Anyway, the finished product looks great!  The girls have inspected and seem to like it. InteriorInspection It actually looks far nicer that it did in the photo in the listing.

I had purchased a new high-side litter box for this as well and also am using the the new “blue-sand litter”  (See previous post here: http://www.sukismiller.com/cats/danger-to-your-cat-corn-again/ ) Yes, it’s a lot for our girls to take in.  Too many new things at once especially when you consider that their world is very small and very controlled and of course, limited to our home.

You never can tell.  We could end up having a chat with the ‘cat whisperer’ if the girls are not comfortable with it all in a few days.

Results

 

 

 

Danger to your cat – CORN AGAIN!

We had DRAMA today at our house!   I have decided to test a new litter.  The girls don’t care for change of any sort, thus changing to a different litter has been rather interesting.

A little background:  We’ve used a product called Nature’s Miracle “Just for Cats” corn cob litter.  Recently, I had read a number of articles about aflatoxin contamination with this and other corn-based litters.  In an article here, it appears the company really never would take responsibility, declaring the litter to be fine as long as it doesn’t come in contact with moisture.  Seriously?  What do these people think happens in a litter box?   So it was time to do some research.

We’re trying something called UltraPet Litter Pearls Micro Crystals. Litter It looks like blue sand thus with our girls blue eyes, they look GOOD in it!  🙂  It is promoted as “low tracking, fragrance free, superior odor control, cat safe & cat preferred, inhibits bacterial growth, non-allergenic and low dust*, less to dispose. Change monthly, and 70% less landfill contribution”.  It is made with ‘all natural materials: sand, oxygen and water. No minerals, no chemicals and no crystalline silicate’. SO, we’ll see how it goes.

We use a piece of furniture that was made for the actual litter box – a litter box hider. It looks like an old-fashioned cedar chest but not cedar.  I vacuumed it well, got rid of all of the corn dust, sprayed with vinegar and water, wiped it down and air dried.   Then I took the litter box to the shower and totally disinfected, dried, then put in the new litter.  I have to say, it was dusty!!! But the girls seem to love it.  Well, I should clarify:  They seem to think it’s a new place to hang out. They’ve been lounging in the ‘foyer’ of the hider.  There has been some usage though. In the box

The way this works:  the sand totally absorbs the urine thus there’s nothing to scoop. I swear, it just disappears!  The poop is all you scoop. You need to gradually add more periodically to refresh, then eventually you need to do a total litter change.  Demonstration Video

I’d like to hear about everyone’s experiences with various litters.  Please feel free to post below.

Cats Love to Meditate

You need not meditate alone.  My cats love to meditate with me.  My older, recently transitioned cats Mei Mei and Maggie really enjoyed meditating with me, even though it was not a daily event then.

SleepingCatBuddhaOur fur-girls are age 6 months and 2 yrs 3 months.   I’d actually assumed that they would be too rambunctious to enjoy it but they’ve surprised me.  What is especially surprising is that Mhysa, the 6 month old, is the one that loves it most.  She has become adamant that she be with me when I meditate.  Mei Li still comes and goes and is taking it all in.

With her current issue involving the ovarian remnant from the veterinarian’s surgical mistake, I have concentrated very strongly on Mhysa’s healing in my daily meditations.  She appears to understand and even digs in deeply by my side, trying to touch both my body and my upturned left palm.

If you share your life and home with these amazing creatures, you probably know how intuitive they are.  They can easily access your meditations and understand what you’re doing. But did you know that you can also communicate to them using pictures, without saying a word?  I’ve been doing it for years.  Yes, I talk to them all day long anyway, but they can grasp the pictures you send very easily and they understand.  It is, of course, important to send positive, loving pictures, or just factual pictures.  Please don’t freak them out with negative pictures or scenarios!

Before we moved over a year and a half ago, I’d been sending our girls pictures of the new home.  When they arrived, with boxes everywhere, they were very cool, calm and matter of fact since they knew what to expect.

Another instance involves long-distance communication:  Our kitten, Mhysa, came from California but we couldn’t bring her home with us because she was too young.  So she flew by herself on what ended up being a relatively short, easy flight with only one change in equipment.  You would expect her to be freaked out, right?  I mean, she was only 12 1/2 weeks old at that point.  For many weeks, I’d been sending her pictures of her new home in my meditations, I’d sent her pictures of her new sisters (at that time, Maggie was still with us).  I’d sent her images of us, of the sounds of the house and of the many kitty beds and her dining area.  And then, when I knew she was on the way to the airport, I started ‘sending’ her a gentle, calming heartbeat soundtrack that I’d found on iTunes, to keep her company with all of the frightening noises, sights and smells that go with travel. I listened when meditating and sent the energy to her.  If only I had such a calming influence when I travel!!!   I hate flying these days!  It isn’t what it used to be.

When she arrived at our local airport, we expected a frightened little girl.  Instead, we found a calm little one, very happy to see us.  When we got home and opened her carrier, she marched right out, looked around as if to say “Yes!  This is what I expected.”  She immediately made herself at home.

36 years ago, in 1979, I’d seen an animal communicator on late night TV, who explained the visualization process for communicating with our pets.  I was lying in bed with my then-4 yr old sleeping toy poodle, Brigitte.  She loved more than anything to ‘go out’ to play in our fenced yard.  All I had to do was just mouth the words “do you want to go out?” and she would be beside herself.  This was long past her last ‘out’ trip at that time.  I just concentrated on seeing us get up, walk down the hall, through the foyer, the dining room, the kitchen to the back door and opening it.  I only had to do it once.  She lept up out of a sound sleep, and went racing down the hall in a frenzy to go out.

There are many ways to communicate with our furry and feathered family members, and this is but one option.  We work with an animal communicator if we feel that there are conflicts between them, if there are behavioral issues, if there are health issues or if someone just can’t seem to follow the rules.  It’s wonderful to have that resource available for us, because after all, this IS our family.

I will write more on that subject soon, along with contact information should anyone wish to find out more about it themselves.  Should you have a need now or need a referral, please feel free to comment below and ask any questions you might have.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend including your cats, dogs, birds and other pets in your meditation rituals.  They feel it, they understand it, and they love it.  We all benefit.

More Info: Ovarian Remnant Syndrome in Cats

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I have more information to share.  This issue is far more common than known, based on my experience.

BabyMhysaFor instance, in my last four kitty girls, two have suffered from these surgical ‘errors’ as vets prefer to call it.  I’m afraid I could come up with far stronger terminology.  When my babies are hurt, I become a very protective monster.

Thanks to being put off by vets who either did not know what they were doing, or who didn’t want to accept their own failures, my 20 year old Maggie who left us in May lived an entire life of anxiety and stress from the ovarian remnant(s) left behind in a sloppy surgery.  Even the vet who DID the surgery (and who charged me $1,500 in tests) claimed to be clueless as to why she had such problems.  The vets just tend to chalk it up to a ‘goofy’ cat or to some sort of feline anxiety disorder.   I’ve only come to the realization of what my sweet Maggie went through all those 20 years when I began to research the symptoms of my new kitten, Mhysa.  I suddenly realized that Maggie had struggled with this her entire life.  I’m not about to let Mhysa do the same.

Now, I have run into what appears to be more issues with vets, just trying to determine when to test Mhysa for estrogen levels.  I asked a local vet tech and she said she thought perhaps anytime would be fine and she said she’d have the vet call me.  I’ve not heard from him as of yet.  But since I am on natural bioidentical hormones myself, I know my high and low days in my cycle for estrogen.  We test once a year to be sure everything is in line on those days.  We don’t test on ‘baseline’ days.   So there is no reason to believe a cat would NOT have a similar cycle.

I found what appeared to be a very knowledgeable blog post by a veterinarian in Manhattan (NYC). He confirmed what my instincts told me were true – we would need to test when Mhysa was in the throes of estrus (a heat episode) to be sure of her estrogen levels.  After a few days of that, this vet states that the levels drop to baseline quickly, sometimes in as few as 48 hours.  http://catexpert.blogspot.com/2015/01/feline-ovarian-remnant-syndrome.html

SO, now the trick is getting the vet here for the blood draw on one of those few days, and then, another tech has told me that it is best to do the surgery when she’s in heat so they can more easily find the swollen ‘active’ ovarian tissue.   :::sigh:::  The vet we used for her spay, who said he’d ‘make it right’, is not in town so that means a hasty, long-distance trek and of course, the usual ‘fasting’ routine before the surgery.   Then, we can just hope this doesn’t happen on days when he is not there, since he only does surgery one or two days a week.

This is yet another reason it drives me crazy to live in a place where wellness services for humans and for pets are almost non-existent and where up-to-date health care is very rare. This is why we use a wellness, integrated health practitioner 6 hours away.  I’m more and more concerned about the wellness of my family when it relies on others.

Please, pet owners, be aware of this!  It appears these surgical errors are even more common in dogs.  Please, please, don’t let the veterinarian blow you off if your female pets are exhibiting symptoms of estrus when they’ve already been spayed.  This is really important to their lives, their overall wellness and their mental well-being.  AND it can be important for your HOME since often animals that are in heat mark their territories.  You can’t blame it on a ‘bad dog’ or ‘bad cat’ when it’s hormonal and they can’t help it.

 

A tribute to my transitioned pets.

I joined social media for the purpose of networking to encourage others on their weight loss and wellness journeys.  One of the unexpected joys of my Facebook membership, though, has been to see how many of my friends are of like mind when it comes to animals and our pets. Truth be told, someone who doesn’t feel the same way about their furry or feathered family members as I do would probably not qualify for membership in my ‘friends’ club anyway.  But I really have enjoyed the photos and stories of not only my friends’ pets but of their interest and activism in other animal rights issues.

These wonderful stories, photos and links have made my days lighter and brighter and I thank my friends for this.  Our girls make our world brighter as well, and I shared a few pictures a few days ago.  Their habits and craziness never cease to amaze and entertain.

I’d recently lost two of my beloved long-term girls.  Mei Mei transitioned in August, 2013 and was my 20 year old Siamese.  MeiMeiShe’d been with me since she was a tiny kitten and was my best friend, little girl, sister and confidant for 20 years.  She was there for me when no one else was  –  through divorce, struggles and she actually picked my husband out for me!  How did she do that?  When I was in my ‘dating period’, anytime someone would come to pick me up, I learned to quickly take a peak at the fluffy white rug in the bathroom before I walked out the door.  If Mei Mei didn’t like him, she’d leave a special gift on the rug to let me know.  I collected a number of gifts over the years, until she met Mark, who is now my husband.  She immediately fell for him and made it clear that she wanted HIM in our home.  I’ve always said that pets are the best judges of character and it appears she did well.

My other long-term baby was Maggie who transitioned in May of this year at the age of 20.  She was a Conch kitty that came originally from Friends of Animals.  MaggieDownComfortorShe picked me out when I went to the now defunct pet store at Overseas Market for some treats for the parrots.  She was an affectionate girl, but ridden with anxieties.  We called her our paw-wringer (similar to a human hand-wringer.)  She was gentle and loving and totally OCD.  There was never a dull moment with Maggie.  She was busy trying to take care of everyone, to the point she just made herself crazy.  We miss her with all our hearts.

There was also another Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot prior to Sophie, named Keoke.  Keoke was a mommies’ girl. Like Sophie, she was hand-fed from a very young age.  Here she is with Mei Mei and clearly Mei is not happy about being so close to ‘that bird’. Keoke hadKeoke And Mei Mei been through the bad relationships with me but all it did was make her even more protective of me.  Sadly, she died suddenly of a blood clot to her brain at age 14 in 2004.

There have been many others over the years. All but two have been girls but we inherited one sweet boy when we moved into the last house we were in.  He was quite the old guy and lived with us for 9 years.  From the information we had from neighbors and the owner of the house, he lived to be about 26 years old.  His name was Tiger and we called him ‘The Tige’.  He had a raspy voice and he seemed to very much be the ‘Captain Tony of the Cat World.’ Tiger 2005 He lived a good life with us, though.  He was absolutely fascinated by the refrigerator.  If he heard the door open, no matter where he was, he’d run to the kitchen and just sit there, gazing in lovingly. In the end, when he had no teeth, he was eating the best we could offer –  ground buffalo, roasted chicken pate’ and crab meat pate’, all hand-made by ME.  He was quite happy, it seemed, right up to the end.  He had weekly fluids to keep him going as his body was failing him and then one day, he decided it was time to go.

They give us so much and love us unconditionally.  And we do all we can to give back and to make their lives as perfect as possible.  I don’t think we humans are ever able to really let go of them.  Their love is always with us.

For this reason, I support many animal rights groups and rescue groups.  It’s not just our domestic family members that need us.  All of the animals on the planet need help right now and it’s up to us to try to do all we can to save them, their habitat and to protect them from deadly dangers such as dentists and ob-gyn’s with weapons and who wish to spend their money to murder beautiful endangered animals who are simply living their lives and raising their young peacefully.

Wellness for your pets. They deserve the best!

I credit much of my success in weight loss and in my wellness to the loving atmosphere in my home. Yes, the meditation is key. Yes, excellent nutrition is a requirement. But the mental and emotional world surrounding us can have a profound affect on us all. And our home is a spa for us all.  The love we have for our pets and that they have for us nourishes our spirit daily.

I’m an advocate for all animals, big and small. I feel that they deserve the best we can give. This of course, translates to working with animal rights groups, rescue organizations and wildlife organizations. But it really must start at home.

Having never had children, my fur and feather babies ARE my children. They get the best of everything. We are very particular about healthy nutrition and this of course, goes for our pets.

I’d never even consider buying kibble for our cats nor would I consider feeding our Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot a fattening, unbalanced seed diet. We try to keep their diets as close as possible to what nature intended. Here’s a rundown of the diet for our gang

Harrisons Bird FoodsOur Amazon has been eating an organic food since she was a hand-fed chick. This food was developed by a vet, Dr. Gregory Harrison.   I feed this about 10 months out of the year.  When she comes into her ‘season’ and gets, um, shall we say ‘frisky’, it is clear that her body is demanding more of her so we feed the higher protein version for those two months.  She’s now 11 and very healthy and active. We supplement with fresh food as well. She loves nuts but they can make her fat, so now we do freeze dried organic peas as her treat and she’s crazy about them.  Another treat?  I give her the seeds from organic oranges, lemons and limes that I use when cooking.   I order this directly from Harrison’s in Tennessee.  Harrison’s Bird Food  I highly recommend them, though.

Our cats are young – 2 years, 2 months and 5 1/2 months old.  They have eaten raw since they were babies.   It is difficult to do here in this town because we have very few quality choices for high quality raw pet foods, and the local stores, while nice, don’t keep things in stock for ready access.  So, most everything they eat is ordered in.   There are three ways to go raw:  (1) make it yourself  (2) frozen and (3) freeze-dried.   Freeze dried cat foodTo make it yourself, you really need the highest quality organic ingredients and the problem with that is that we have no real quality source for organic meats here.  I did buy an organic chicken a few weeks back that was NOT out of date, that was rotted when I opened it.  Nasty!   Thus, I go with option 2 or 3.  Most of the time, it’s the freeze dried.  They do love it, though.  There are added vitamins and taurine but not much else – just raw meat that is sourced from outside the US.  I try to buy NOTHING that is sourced in the US if it is not organic, thus much of this comes from New Zealand.  I actually had a problem trying to snap this picture because the girls thought it was lunch time – AGAIN.  I order this from an on-line Florida company called http://www.Chewy.com. They generally arrive in 2 or 3 days and shipping is free with an order over $50.00.   You toss these with a small amount of warmed, purified water to reconstitute.  Be sure to do this, though.  Dehydration will do a great deal of harm to a cat’s kidneys.

The last option is far more expensive.   The frozen raw is harder to come by and even Raw Advantage Frozen chicken neck crumblesharder to find in organic.  As you can see, I was unable to get a good picture without, um, supervision.  Not only do you have to ship it in, but it needs to come in an expedited manner and frozen.  Raw Advantage Organic Chicken Neck Crumbles .  Since freezer space is at a premium, these are used more often as treats.

Raw chicken ‘meaty bones’ are good for cats.  Just never, ever, ever give them cooked bones!  This gives them the same sensation they have when chomping down on a meaty mouse, though my babies have never had such a thing.

And finally, let’s not forget the highlight of the evening:  TREATS.  Again, it is hard to find something that is not ‘manufactured’ with artificial and harmful ingredients.   Our girls go crazy for these!   They’re nothing but freeze dried single-ingredient chunks.  The salmon is Alaskan wild Freeze Dried Treatssalmon so I feel fairly comfortable with that.  NEVER, EVER give your pets or your family farmed fish!   The chicken, well…they love it but the fact that it is stamped “Made in the USA” makes me really nervous.  We all know what goes with US meat production.  I’m always looking for an alternative.  I’m able to buy these from Amazon most of the time.

Now, a word of warning about the pet foods you generally see in the supermarket or on TV.  RUN!  If you simply Google “Pet Food Recalls”, you’ll be astounded by how many there are.  And very few companies are immune from this.  Some of the worst are sold in vets offices:  Hills Science Diet and the Prescription diets as well as the highly-touted. Royal Canin sold by breeders and vets?  Not good.  Kibble is also known as kitty crack.  They spray this with something that makes cats crave this, much like they get children hooked on bad breakfast cereals.  This can destroy your babies’ kidneys and shorten their lives.  Pet food dealers will often tout ‘human grade ingredients’ but with GMO’s and other poisons, that isn’t saying a lot.

Finally, here are a few shots of my girls.  Sophie.  And then there are Mhysa and Mei Li…Nice?  Or not so nice?  The seemingly nice ‘hug’ is generally the prelude to a bit of a fight.   😉Sophie Mei Li and Mhysa