Friday Fave

I love this picture of Athena as a kitten. She’s sitting on my lap as I try to balance my netbook on it.  It was taken on the second day I adopted her. She felt right at home from the start. 

My cat saved me

My cat saved my life and I saved hers.

You see, before I adopted my cat Athena, I would smile on photos but my eyes would look dead. The smile just wouldn’t reach my eyes, no matter what. But I can see now how much that’s changed, because when I’m posing with my precious baby, it’s clear for everyone to see how much my soul shines through my eyes with love and happiness.

To cut a long story short, I was once a very depressed soul. Nothing seemed to go right for me and the more I dwelled in negative thought, the more I sank into the depth of morbid despair.

I wrote about all this in my memoir The Cat Years: How My Cat Soulmates Saved Me.

The point of this post is that I wanted to write about how owning a pet can make such a vast improvement to your every day well-being. Pets, especially cats with their master-healing purrs and calming auras, do have the effect of quickly dispersing any dark cloud that clings to you and refuses to budge. It may not be a cure for depression, though for some it may be. But life certainly does look brighter when another being looks to you for their care. And even better when you look into the eyes of a beloved pet and see the unconditional love beaming through their eyes from the depths of their very soul.

Having Athena changed me from being someone who just could not face the day, dreading every waking hour, to longing to get up and take care of my baby (or serve my master, if you want to look at it that way). I had no choice really, because cats do make wonderful alarms so I couldn’t get back to sleep even if I wanted to.

I also went from wanting to stay up late every night, afraid of going to bed because I knew I’d be too stressed to sleep, to going to bed early just so I could enjoy Athena’s mellow purring presence at my side (or at my feet).

 I didn’t even have to try. Sleeping on her mum’s bed every night became Athena’s choice, her habit. From the very first night that I’d adopted her as a 10-week-old kitten, she has slept on my bed every night. I like her there. I feel safe. She protects me from spiders and any mice (my phobias). And I know she feels safe and protected with me too. In fact, we are inseparable. She follows me around the house like my shadow and she can’t bear to be away from me. The same goes for me. I went away for a week recently and I nearly died from the longing to get back to my baby girl.

I’d never left her at a cattery before and I knew she would be having a hard time being away from me. We can’t live without each other. Our souls are linked. Forever. It may sound weird to some people, maybe even wrong to love something so much, but there it is and I can do nothing about it. Athena rescued me. I rescued her. We saved each other.

There is just something magical about cats, isn’t there? They really do seem to have this connection with the mystical and psychic, one half in this world, the other in the next. It’s this that I feel truly bonds me with cats. I feel so close to them. A certain kinship.

In fact, I feel like a cat. And the wisdom in those beautiful eyes of theirs, I can really tune into it. They really do know it all and probably look at us poor humans and think, ‘if only they knew what I know’.

I could go on and on, but that would make a very long post and I’m not writing a book here. But I have, so don’t forget to check it out.

And now it’s your turn. How does your pet make you feel better? Is life better with a pet? Did your pet rescue you?

I recently shared my story about my depression and how my cat has helped me at the Blurt Foundation

Wordless Wednesday: Athena in deep thought

Why Does My Cat Only Eat Dry Food?

My cat Athena will only eat dry food. I’ve tried giving her wet (or canned)  food but she dismisses it with her paw and acts like she’s digging in her litter tray. In other words, she’s saying it’s crap.

It wasn’t always this way. As a starving rescue kitten of 10 weeks old she would devour everything I would put in front of her, (well, wet food for kittens).

All was well until I decided she needed some variety in her diet and I plonked down in front of her a bowl of dry food. Well, she enjoyed it very much. Just loved to munch on it. After that, there was no going back to wet food for her. It was her decision and she was sticking to it.

And that’s how it’s been for almost two years.

 


Is dry food healthy?
Most commercial dry cat foods contain many additives, artificial colours and preservatives, and your cat will not be getting the proper nutrients if this is all she eats. I avoid giving my cat the usual commercial brands and prefer to go for natural premium cat foods (made in England, where I live) instead. So far this is the only brand I’ve found that she likes. I tried her on another and she wasn’t too keen.

Cats, being carnivores, must have meat in their diets as they need the amino acid taurine in order to keep strong and healthy. And taurine, essential for cardiac health, is found primarily in the muscle meat of animals. Premium or/and natural foods will contain more protein and natural additives (natural preservatives like Vitamin E) and avoid the use of artificial colors and flavours. Premium foods also feature high quality carbohydrate sources like rice, which a cat will find easier to digest than other grains.

If you are feeding your cat only dry food please remember to keep a bowl of water out for them because it’s so easy for animals to become dehydrated. I try not to be too concerned about Athena in that respect because she loves her water,

Benefits of dry food. 

  • Crunching away on dry is good for the teeth as it helps keep tartar down.
  • It can be easier to store.
  • Can be left in cat’s bowl all day without smelling or going off.
  • Doesn’t smell as much as wet food.

Benefits of wet food 

  • Better for overweight cats as it has fewer calories than dry
  • It is better for cats with urinary issues as it keeps them keep more hydrated.
  • Better for cats suffering from constipation because it contains more moisture.

I would prefer it if my cat enjoyed eating wet food, but I’ve tried everything to get her to eat it. I’ve also tried giving her some boiled chicken just to get her interested in meat, but she won’t have any of it. I’ve tried mixing dry with wet too. I don’t know why she doesn’t like wet. I can only guess that she hates the smell or just doesn’t like getting her whiskers dirty!

I’d love to know about your cats and what you are feeding them. Please feel free to comment below.

Click here for more advice on feeding cats

A video of Athena as a kitten greedily tucking into wet food. Please note that I don’t usually feed her on the kitchen worktop, it’s just that she jumped onto it and dived right into the bowl!

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