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Posts Tagged ‘Cat’

A while ago, I started making homemade cat food for my cat. It took her a while to really like it (she doesn’t do well with change) but now she hangs around the kitchen when she knows I’m making it to be sure she gets a scoop of it when it’s freshly made. She absolutely loves this stuff.

I got the inspiration from Beth Terry’s My Plastic Free Life blog post about her own homemade cat food, and decided to give it a try for myself. I was not only looking to reduce our waste in terms of cans, but I wanted to give our cat a healthy food that wasn’t made from corn and grain products and processed junk. When we adopted her, they recommended a balance of wet and dry food for her, and we were having trouble finding a wet food she could eat. Up to this point, Maddie would get sick if she ate anything processed we tried. She would scarf it down at first, then get sick. And then she wouldn’t eat any more of that kind. Ever. After going through several brands/kinds/flavors of wet food, this was the last thing I could try.

So I went to the BalanceIT website, put in all of Madeline’s info, chose my base ingredients (I chose chicken and white potatoes) and got a recipe and vitamin supplement from them.

I have tweaked the recipe a bit, and did the math so I can make about 2 weeks worth of food at a time.  She still gets dry food as well, so this wet food I make is really just a bit of a supplement to that. I divide it into jars, with about 3 days worth per jar. They freeze ok, but keep in the fridge for only about 3-5 days. So when the fridge jar is empty, we replace it with another one from the freezer. She gets a little bowl of it every morning. Apparently, it’s good enough to make it worth begging for, starting at about 4am.

Recently, my sister was thinking about trying it out for her cat, so I shared my recipe with her, just to see if her cat would like it before she made the investment. I gave her a bit of the supplement powder, she made a big batch from my tweaked recipe, and her cat absolutely wouldn’t touch it. Quinn apparently is a dry food kind of kitty.

The next time my sister came to visit, she brought her batch of cat food with her, so it wouldn’t go to waste. I was just about out of Maddie’s current batch, so it was perfect timing. The next morning, after her ritualistic begging for several hours, Maddie was served Sister’s food. And she wouldn’t touch it. She kept begging, acting like we were hiding her good food away somewhere else.

As the days went by, she grew more and more desperate for her old food (even though this stuff was the same!) and more adamant that we had some of the good stuff and were keeping it from her. I dare say we threw a good portion of it out because she just wouldn’t eat it. Even though it was the same food, from the same recipe.

Now, I know people who say it’s important to buy veggies from a farmer’s market, where you can get to know the people who grow your food. I think this might be how my cat is now: she won’t eat her food unless she knows the cook and is present to monitor the cooking process. I can’t think of any other reason.

So today was the day. Sister’s batch has run out and I started making a fresh batch for for Maddie. She was just about the happiest cat ever. She licked out the tuna can and the chicken container (quality control for freshness), and sat in the kitchen monitoring the potatoes as they boiled. She oversaw me adding the oil and vitamin supplement, mashing the potatoes, and stirring the meat in. And she sat by her bowl waiting for that fresh, hot scoop. When it was served, she dove in. Success.

And after a nice hot meal of her favorite food, a very happy Maddie went to take a nap.

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Ok, I think I’ve got my little towel cat finished. I re-did the bad stitching that connected the head and body, added button eyes, and stitched the nose, mouth, and whiskers. I also readjusted one of Sootie’s old collars I had made so it fits. Now it looks more like a stuffed animal than a chunk of towel shaped kind of like a cat.

 

My finished Sootie tribute

 

Looks much better, I might say.

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Those of you who know me know that my beloved cat of 16 years left us last night (actually, early this morning, but it was dark and time for sleeping, thus night time). I’ve been heartbroken over her illness and her departure. And after laying her to rest (in the most eco-friendly way we could), I needed to use my sewing skills to make a tribute to my little grey cat, Sootie.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of her:

My cat Sootie. Isn't she adorable?

I knew I would need a little cat to take to bed with me, so in my grief, I went to the nearest toy store looking for a little grey cat with bright green eyes that would work. Then I snapped out of it and realized that even if I was able to find exactly what I was looking for, I would know deep down that it would mean more if I could make one, even if it’s not store-quality. And that’s the best option for our environment as well. No extra chemicals, no unnecessary consumption, and no taking advantage of underpaid workers. So when I got home, I hopped online and came across this pattern for a terrycloth cat:

I cut up an old towel that reminded me Sootie, tore up an old pillow for the stuffing, and found some unused buttons for her eyes. And while I was stuffing her, I added a little clipping of Sootie’s fur, so there’s a part of her there too. It’s not finished yet, but here’s a picture of what I have so far. I think this is all I have time for before bedtime.

My own version of the "towel cat." Not perfect, but full of love...

I’ll add another picture after I put on her eyes, stitch the nose, mouth and whiskers, and maybe add a collar or something to cover up my shoddy (but love-filled!) stitching of where the head meets the body.

It’s not perfect, but I have found it was a tangible way to channel my grieving into something much more meaningful and much better than buying something. Rest in peace, my dearest Sootie.

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