Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Changing a Cat's Food

Changing a cats food can be tough. Many cats are very picky, finicky eaters. Some do not like it when you change their kibble, even if it is the same brand but a different shape of kibble, it can throw your cat into a revolt. Luckily Bella and Sophie are pretty laid back about their food. Bella for obvious reasons you may have noticed, has no problem eating whatever is set before her. She belongs to the clean bowl club and eats every meal within 5.2 seconds of receiving it. Sophie is a bit picky, she is a nibbler. She can eat 1/4 of a serving and comfortably walk away, no worries that it might not be there later. When she feels a little twinge in her tummy she goes back for a little more. Why are they so different? Bella was a stray before she ended up at the humane society. She would have spent time hunting for food and I would bet there were days she was forced to go without when she couldn't find anything to pounce on.

Sophie was rescued from a man who found her all alone when she was about 4 weeks old. He brought her to the humane society where she was fostered with a worker who had a cat with kittens. This mama cat graciously took her in for the next 4 weeks until I could adopt her. Sophie has never been without food, why would she think there was anything to worry about. Belle thinks I don't know where my next meal is coming from so I'm eating this one as fast as I can. Despite 7 years of never missing a meal while living with me she still thinks there is some risk that I will suddenly not feed her.

Now I really don't know if this is what they think, it is what I think is one possible explanation for the way they are. It has made feeding over the years tricky as Bella gulps her food down and then moves over to Sophie's bowl to finish off what she has left. Which is why they used to and sometimes still do eat in their crates.

Since Bella is on the heavy side I really wanted to get some weight off of her. She wasn't feeling well, not moving much as some joint issues were starting to show. So they are in the process of going raw. Cats are obligate carnivours so there is no reason to feed them kibble at all. We have dabbled in raw feeding before. Small chunks of chicken breast cut up. Bella liked it but Sophie wouldn't go near her bowl.

We are now following this process. First, I got them off their kibble completely and they were eating canned 100%. Then I found a great little Pet Store that specializes in whole foods for pets. They sell straight raw ground with bones or raw ground with supplements so it is a complete meal. They also have cooked with veggies etc. There is rabbit, duck, cornesh game hen, chicken and much more to choose from.

Apparently, rabbit is one of the favorite foods of many cats. So we are starting with that. Once they are on the rabbit completely then we will introduce a second protein source. I want to get them eating about three different protein sources so that I can rotate. That way if one species isn't available I can just switch it out for something else.

We started with their normal rations of canned for the day with 1 tsp of rabbit mixed into each meal. We are on week two and they both love it. This week we are adding 2 tsps of rabbit and cutting their old food out by about the same amount.

All is going great. Best of all, Bella is looking so much better already. She is moving around a lot more, she has lost a little weight, she is climbing on more things more often. Her fur is soft and silky and the biggest change I noticed is her eyes look so bright and clear. I never noticed before how they looked, but obviously there has been a change, all in about a month and half since we started the switch to canned only and now raw.

The only drawback is Reese gets very jeolous when the cats get the "good food" and she gets the nasty dry crap. Actually I have started topping her food off this week with some raw chicken, don't want her left out. Plus I think it will be great for her too.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

and I wouldn't try to see it all in a day either. Rome, Italy has many famous landmarks to visit. The colosseum the Forum,
The Circus where the chariot races were held.
Vatican City where St. Peter's Basillica is located. The Vittorio Emanuele Monument where the tomb of the unknown soldier is buried. It is commonly called the Wedding Cake. It is also on the Piazza Venezia where four major streets pass through. This is the Piazza that you see Tiffany bopping through and it was around here that she gets her famous short do cut in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. Other places to visit include the seven hills of Rome: the Capitaline, Aventine, Palatine, Esquiline, Caelian, Quirinal, Viminal. The famous Keyhole of Rome that you can look through and get a picture perfect frame of the dome of St. Peter's Basillica, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Museums to visit include the Borghese Gallery and the Museo Nazionale Romano. And of course there are many great places to get a cappicino and some tasty italian ice.

Check back for more travelog posts to include visits to destinations in Italy like Pompeii, Florence and Venice. Other European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Austria and Paris. Then we'll move on to Africa, Wales, England and Ireland and back to the US for Alaska by sea.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Do you know these Acronyms

FUBAR: Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition
SNAFU: Situation Normal, All Fouled Up
MCSE: Minesweeper Consultant and Solitaire Expert
MBA: Mediocre But Arrogant
PhD: Piled High and Deep
IBM: I Blame Microsoft
WWW: World Wide Wait
ATM: Another Technical Mistake
DOS: Defunct Operating System
BASIC: Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control
ISDN: It Still Does Nothing
LISP: Lots of Infuriating and Silly Parentheses
DEC: Do Expect Cuts
CA: Constant Acquisitions
PnP: Plug 'n' Pray
PC: Pretty Cheap
CD_ROM: Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months
OS/2: Obsolete Soon, Too.
SCSI: System Can't See It
FORTRAN: Fortunately Our Readers Take Refreshers At Nightschool.
PCMCIA: People Can't Memorize Computer Industrial Acronyms
Macintosh: Most Applications Crush; If Not, The Operating System Hangs
APPLE: Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity
MICRO$OFT: Mac Imitation from a Corrupt Roguish Organization Selling Only Faulty Technology
WINDOWS: Wholly Inadequate Needless Damned Outrageous Waste of Space
RTFM: Replace The Fan Motor

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grass Is Good

Here is a video of Bella and Sophie enjoying their home grown "Field of Greens"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Stop - Athens, Greece

Since my travels have been curtailed during this downturn in the economy, I have decided to do some Armchair traveling by way of photos and journals from past travels. Each of the next few weeks I will revisit one of the destinations of a past journey and share some highlights with you.

The Parthenon atop the Acropolis is one of the most famous ruins in Athens and all of the world I suppose. It is a marvel to see as it rises above the city on a large hill, a small mt if you wanted to call it that. From the hotel I lived in you could look out across the city and see the Acropolis. It was lighted at night and quite a sight.

The round "wheel" shaped rocks above are actually what the Greeks used to build the columns like those seen on the Parthenon. The wheels would be stacked on top of each other to create the columns, all with man made tools and energy, such a massive feat with no modern moving equipment.

The theatre's that were built were the work of an acoustic genius. If standing at the bottom on the "stage" and you spoke in your normal voice used to talk with someone standing next to you, the conversation could be heard at the top of the theatre.

The above is a view of the Aegean sea from Sounion the home of Poseidon and his temple which resides there as well. Poseidon was the ruler of the sea. The Greeks on both sides of the Aegean were seaman and so Poseidon the God of the Sea was very important to them. I watched the sunset at Sounion and fell in love with the sea there. It is a beautiful place and not too far from Athens so a "must go" if you are in Athens.
On the Island of Crete I found this little guy.

Of course I had to have a picture of him. I find it funny that he looks an awful lot like a mix of retriever and border collie or spaniel. At any rate he is cute!

Above is a view of the harbor on the Island of Crete in the town of Chania.

The Corinth Canal which seperates mainland Greece from the Peloponessus. It is 4 miles long, 80 feet wide and 26 feet deep - it can only fit one ship through at a time. FYI if you suffer from Vertigo, stay in the vehicle when passing by.
Recommended Reading: The Odyssey, The Iliad, Mythology by Edith Hamilton, any of the Greek Tragedies. Let's Go Greece, Berlitz Pocket Guide Greece and of course I would be a miss if I didn't mention Rick Steves Athens and the Peloponnese
Films: Zorba the Greek, Captain Corelli's Mandolin