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Elisa's 1st stop motion animation movie.
Click image to watch.
An Unexpected Friend Silent Movie

Vol. 2, No. 13                           

Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: Ah, Sweet Romance
Assist Feeding: Bert: Scrunchy Alert!
Kitty Potpourri: What's My Name?
Best Cat Food: Blue Buffalo
Caring for Cats: Proactive Plan: Step-9



Feline Nutrition
Ah, Sweet Romance.
by Garry White

Easter.flowers.pretty cards.Love is in the air! And you're wondering, "The man's job is to talk about nutrition; how on earth is he going to tie Easter and romance into nutritional concerns?" You just watch me: I learned from the best.several Ex's who probably have patents on the fine art of convoluted connectivity.

Anyway, all this romance flying around brings to mind a few things that are worthy of discussion. First would be some basic warnings that we'll call reminders: Unless Hubby or Boyfriend is a cheapskate and bought you a package of Lifesavers for Easter, you probably got chocolates. Remember that chocolate contains Theobromine and caffeine; both of which are toxic to cats. And, if the cheapy-choc's happen to have nutty centers, another risk could be present: Almonds, which cats love but it's not reciprocal; and Macadamia Nuts, which is a comparatively mild toxin, but still we should keep them away from inquisitive noses.

Flowers.did you get flowers for Easter? If so, check out this link (http://funkstownvet.com/toxicity.html#plant) to see if your lovely gift is dangerous to Fluffy.

But the heart of this article deals with the romance angle. Most of you probably have your indoor kitties spayed and neutered, but certainly not all, and it's the latter audience in the spotlight. Keep in mind that mating isn't girlfriends and boyfriends and relationships to a cat; it's pure animal instinct, and the drive to satisfy it is many times stronger than anything else; even food. Those of you with un-neutered males or un-spayed females already know they'll go days.sometimes as much as two weeks. focusing on things other than food. They become thin, anorexic, worn-down, ratty looking.all in the name of love. Problem is: Since this is natural behavior in "un-fixed" cats, we tend to imagine that nature must be taking care of nutritional issues as well. After all, they do get over it eventually; they start eating again and all is normal, right? Well, not really. The anorexia they suffer during these "heat cycles" (not eating, poor nutrition) can and does affect several organs, especially the liver; and depending on severity and duration, the damage is often not reversible. Clinicians say it's akin to heat-stroke with humans: We get over it with treatment, but from then on we're far more susceptible to heat-stroke. We'll see a faded appetite with female kitties during these times, but generally they fare better than males, who will run themselves to shreds in the pursuit of the girlies. (Gee, that sounds familiar.)

So if your kitty -male or female-still has all the goodies he/she was born with, it's imperative that you make an extra effort to help them maintain good nutrition during the heat-cycle; perhaps with calorie supplements, or maybe even periodic syringe feeding. Same as always; we do whatever it takes, right?



Assist Feeding
Bert: Scrunchy Alert!
by Kathy Fatheree

Last week... We learned that Bert had advanced to 106cc feedings 3x per day. What FABULOUS step forward in Bert's treatment of his Feline Hepatic Lipidosis.

Bert Update
We went in to see Dr. Smith today and Bert has gained an entire pound!! He's doing so fantastic. Everyone in the office came in to say hello to him and they call commented on how great he looked. His fur is nice and shiny again and his eyes are shiny and bright. He is alert and friendly. Dr. Smith said that Bert is exactly where hoped he would be by this point! He said that he doesn't expect it to be too long before Bert attempts food on his own.

When we brought Bert home from the appointment this evening instead of going to sleep on the bed like he normally does he came out and walked around our apartment!!! It's been literally a month since he left our bedroom! The last time we brought him out into the living room to sit with us he vomited. He got so worked up he made himself sick. Well today we took him out of the kennel and he rubbed all over Mitch's legs and so Mitch walked out into the hall to see if Bert would follow and he did!! Mitch sat down in the hall and pet him for a bit and Bert must have gotten curious because he walked into the bathroom and sniffed around and from there he explored the entire apartment! His tail was straight up in the air and he was just taking his time!

Tonight when Mitch was getting ready for bed I called Bert into the hallway with me and when he came out I threw him a hair scrunchy of mine (his all time favorite toy) and he actually played for a good 10 minutes with it! I mean good play too, he flopped over and was throwing it up in the air and biting it and flicking his tail. Mitch came and sat in the doorway of our bedroom and I was in the hall and Bert was just rubbing all over us. He would grab his rubber band and throw it and pounce on it, he would try and hide it under my legs and then dig for it! I burst into tears! I am so overjoyed at his progress! He's doing FANTASTIC! Just looking at him you can see how much better he feels!

When we were feeding him a few days ago he started pouncing on the watch we use to time his feedings! He was so feisty and in such a good mood, he was trying to play with the watchband. It was so wonderful to watch. It's been so long since he's showed any interest in anything but sleeping under covers. Within the last week he's been getting up and sleeping on top of the covers. I open up the windows in our room and he just sits on the bed and enjoys the warm breeze. He'll sit for an hour watching the birds outside the window. Every single day he's getting better. I can't remember the last time he played. It was before Thanksgiving. Probably before Halloween!

His tube site looks fantastic, Dr. Smith was very please with how it's healed. He said that he didn't feel the need to do any blood tests this week. He thinks that it's obvious that Bert is doing great. His jaundice is almost completely gone (he's got nice pink ears again) and the weight gain are just two signs that prove he's doing better. We've got an appointment in two weeks to take him in for his blood work.



Kitty Potpourri
What's My Name?
by Dan Malenski

Did you ever wonder how some of the names chosen for our furry companions came about? The subject of this week's article was triggered by my memory of a road near Kingston, Rhode Island named Jingle Valley Road, and I always wondered about its origin. No, I still do not know how this road was named, but we are going to look into some of the names that folks had given to their feline companions and tell you how they came about. I have my assistant in research, Melissa, to thank for extracting this information from some old Catnip© newsletters, and Amanda suggests that you look at each name first and take a moment or two to determine if you are able to guess how the names came about prior to reading the text.

Jinglewhiskers
While a young woman was growing up, she was not allowed to have a cat because her mother was deathly afraid of them, but came to love cats through her father who helped her collect cat pictures and save them. During this time, she read about a French girl who had a cat she named "Moustache", which is French for the word "whiskers" in addition to that of a man's moustache. She thought of the day when she would be able to have a cat of her own and planned to honor her cat's whiskers, just as in the story she read.

Years later, as a younger mother, she finally was able to get a cat of her own, and went to the local shelter with her son. A perky little gray and white tabby kitten caught their eye that reminded her of a light in a dark forest. The kitten was wearing a collar with a single jingle bell on it, and she adopted and named the kitten on the spot. Yes, you guessed it; the name chosen was "Jinglewhiskers"! Her son is now grown and has two cats of his own, but Jinglewhiskers shares a special place in their hearts as their first cat.

Wacker
This scrawny tuxedo cat started life as a feral cat and was first spotted stalking pigeons outside of an emergency medical services (EMS) garage in Jersey City, NJ. The stray then started getting regular meals of junk food from the garage staff and soon developed quite a belly. The staff, suspecting that the stray was pregnant, and knowing that it was not safe in such an environment, appointed one of the staff, EMS technician Josie Hintz, to be her guardian.

Josie, who didn't need much convincing, captured the cat one day and whisked her off to her veterinarian where this potential "Mom" was found to be an older neutered male, with a belly apparently extended by junk food from the medical center cafeteria. Aside from his big belly, an examination found only a slight cataract on one of his eyes.

Josie's only dilemma now was to choose a name for this older gentlemen, and she decided upon the name of "Wacker", being that he had taken up residence outside the EMS garage and would not leave. The word "wacker", in New Jersey EMT vernacular, is used to describe an extremely enthusiastic EMT volunteer, and it appeared to best describe this old gentleman. Wacker now resides full time with Josie, and gets along very well with her and her younger cats after training her to make her lap available on command. The photograph in this paragraph is not actually one of him, but one that shows what he likely looks like when preparing to go out on the town. He continues to work hard in keeping his food dish empty in order to maintain his belly that was responsible for his finding a forever home!

 



Best Cat Food
Blue Buffalo
by Garry White

Each week we are having our own cat food reviews to determine what we, or should I say, our kitties think is the best cat food.

Brand Name: Blue Buffalo
Product: Adult Spa Select
Type: Dry

Our Rating:
Kitty Rating:

Kitty Comments:
"Out-on-the-lone Praire-e-e-e-e."
Yep, we surely reckon this is the best cat food.

Our Comments:
"YIKES! Knock it off, Wilbur.the neighbors will think I'm abusing you!" Wilbur sings even worse than I do, and that's quite a feat. I guess this Blue Buffalo Spa Select food brings out the Cowboy in him. But he's clearly a happy Cowboy, and so am I. This is our second go-around with Blue Buffalo, and my guys have gone bonkers over both products. Given their obsession with it, I went after the basics with a vengeance.looking for problems; analyzing every ingredient and nutrient like a mad scientist, and I came up blank. Try as I might, I could not find anything wrong with this food. What I found instead is that the care and conscious thought these folks put into every single ingredient is mind-boggling; definitely a cut above what we're used to. Like you, I'm pretty careful about what I feed my two chaps, but this Blue Buffalo Spa Select will become a mainstay of their diet from now on, period; they love it, and I'm more than convinced that it's a top-notch, high quality food. Periodically I feed them one of the better store-brands, but when compared ingredient-by-ingredient with the Blue Buffalo, it's about as close as Wilbur's singing and the Boston Symphony. Give this one a try; nutritionally it's as safe and complete as we could hope for, and it's a good bet that your kitty will probably love it. I can't be held responsible if they start singing Cowboy songs, though.

Manufacturer Says:
"Hey Garry, don't be so hard on Wilbur! I'm glad he's enjoying our New Spa Select formulas as much as our man Floyd. Maybe the two boys can get together and take their singing act on the road!

Howdy everyone, my name is Billy Bishop, and I'm glad to meet everyone one out there. My family and friends who work here at Blue Buffalo pride ourselves on making the best tasting, healthiest cat foods that we possibly can.

BLUE Spa Select is a cut above other foods because we combine the superior nutrition of human quality ingredients (real chicken, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits), with the extra protection of our exclusive LifeSource™ Bits (a blend of essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants). And when cats get the best nutrition and the best protection around, they sing, dance, and play all day long.

Take it from Wilbur and Floyd. New BLUE Spa Select, Feline Spa Cuisine will be a hit with your cat as well. For more information or if you have any questions, please check out our website or give us a call."

Thanks.

Website: http://www.bluebuff.com

Phone: 1-800-919-2833



Caring for Cats
Proactive Plan: Step-9
by Garry White

Understanding blood-test values (continued)

I failed to mention this last week: The numbers to the right of the abbreviated term (GLOB 1.5 - 5.7) for example, are the normal ranges for most cats.

[GLOB] 1.5-5.7
Globulin.

Albumin and Globulin measure the amount and type of protein in your blood. They are a general index of overall health and nutrition. Globulin is the "antibody" protein important for fighting disease.

[GLU] 70-150
Glucose:

This is a measure of the sugar level in your blood. High values are associated with eating before the test, and diabetes.

[Hb] 9.5-15.0
Hemoglobin

Hb is the standard abbreviation for hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein pigment in the blood, specifically in the red blood cells. Low Hgb suggests an anemia. High Hgb can occur due to lung disease, living at high altitude, or excessive bone marrow production of blood cells.

[Hct] 24-45
Hematocrit

The hematocrit is the percentage of the blood volume occupied by red blood cells. In most labs the Hgb is actually measured, while the Hct is computed using the RBC measurement and the MCV measurement.

[HDL]
Cholesterol

High Density Lipoprotein - The "good" cholesterol.

[K+] 3.7-5.8
Potassium

is controlled very carefully by the kidneys. It is important for the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles, particularly the heart. Any value outside the expected range, high or low, requires medical evaluation.

[LDL]
Cholesterol

Low Density Lipoprotein - The "bad" cholesterol.

[MCH] 16-24
Mean Cell Hemoglobin

The average amount of hemoglobin in the average red cell. The MCH is a calculated value derived from the measurement of hemoglobin and the red cell count. (The hemoglobin value is the amount of hemoglobin in a volume of blood while the red cell count is the number of red blood cells in a volume of blood.)

[MCHC] 28-40
Mean Cell Hemoglobin Concentration

The average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of blood. The MCHC is a calculated value derived from the measurement of hemoglobin and the hematocrit. (The hemoglobin value is the amount of hemoglobin in a volume of blood while the hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red cells to the volume of whole blood.)

[MCV] 35.5-55.0
Mean Cell Volume

The average volume of a red blood cell. This is a calculated value derived from the hematocrit and the red cell count. The hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red cells to the volume of whole blood while the red cell count is the number of red blood cells in a volume of blood. You may also see this referred to as: Mean Corpuscular Volume

[NA+] 142-164
Sodium

Is also regulated by the kidneys and adrenal glands. There are numerous causes of high and low sodium levels, but the most common causes of low sodium are diuretic usage, diabetes drugs like chlorpropamide, and excessive water intake in patients with heart or liver disease.

[PCV] 24-45
Packed Cell Volume.

Tests for the percentage of the blood volume occupied by red blood cells. Essentially the same results as the Hct test.

[PHOS] 3.4-5.8
Phosphorus

Is largely stored in the bone. It is regulated by the kidneys, and high levels may be due to kidney disease. When low levels are seen with high calcium levels it suggests parathyroid disease, however there are other causes.

NOTE: There are a few items left to cover, but we ran out of allotted article space.we'll finish this up next week, folks.

 

 

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Copyright © 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.