Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fat Cat

Last week I was back home in the Netherlands for a short week of mainly family visits.

I stayed with my niece and her family. They live on a nice, fairly quiet street, with a lot of cat owners. Every now and then I would meet one of these felines, walking from or back to their house. What struck me was the number of obese cats, not just in their street, but also in other streets. These are cats that are allowed to go out, so at least they’re not stuck inside all day. So how do these cats get so fat? Overeating? Wrong food? Or is it just a suburban cat thing? But that doesn’t seem right as I also saw normal, healthy looking cats. I would love to chat with their humans to find out. I’m just curious. I do know that some people have the notion that it is “gezellig” – a Dutch word that is hard to describe, but cosy comes close – to have a fat cat lying in the windowsill. Personally I think that a combination of wrong food (mostly dry food with a lot of fillers) and a constant supply of it could be the reason for these cats getting so fat. There’s no need for a constant supply of food. Feed at regular times a few times a day. If you can’t be there yourself, get a timed pet feeder. You can get them for up to 5 feeds. Weigh the food so they don’t get more than they need for their body weight (So you need to know the weight of your cat to start.)

Our two started looking for food in between mealtimes, but they’re outside a lot and it is getting colder. They’ve filled out but they are still lean, mean, killing machines. They are so active, always chasing flies, leaves, toys, each other and catching mice, rats and shrews. Somebody commented on the fact that we don’t let the two out at night. He said: “that’s the time they want to hunt”. He’s absolutely right but that’s the compromise in our house: inside at night. We don’t have a cat door and don’t want to leave the window open at night for them to go in and out and maybe bring prey back with them. Other cats could come in and go for their food as well. Then there are also foxes around and I don’t want them to get into a scrap with a fox. From about 6.30 am until 6 pm they normally can come and go as they please. They then go for naps and get some playtime in between as well. No constant supply of dry food. Dry food (grain free) is given as a snack every now and then and for the rest they get their regular meals of wet food. That and plenty of exercise will keep them in good shape.

I really feel for those obese cats. It’s not nice for them to have to carry all that weight around and it could cause all sorts of health problems in the long run. Cat owners: wake up. Don’t let your cats get fat. If you really care for your pets, you watch their weight. It can also save you a lot of money on vet bills.

 Picture through Google image search.
Thanks to the original uploader.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Talk about cats: ah....we love 'em.

Some guy on Newstalk, an Irish radio station, said that he left Facebook because he couldn’t deal with all the cat pictures and stories anymore. The feckin’ eejit. First of all you have a certain amount of control over what you see on Facebook. You don’t have to look at every update from every friend if you don’t want to. You also have control over what shows up on your timeline. Anyway: good riddance. I don’t want him as a friend anyway.
My better half and myself talk about our cats on Facebook too. See it as revenge for all the baby stories we’ve had to listen to.
No, we don’t have kids. We don’t want them. We have cats. Don’t misunderstand me: I like kids. I just don’t need any myself to live a full and happy life. I have freaked out a few young mothers by stating that I love babies but that I couldn’t eat a whole one. I just got fed up with all the baby talk. So I do understand that people get fed up with cat talk as well.
The kitty pictures on Facebook? Cute, but I don’t really look at them that much. I enjoy my own cats, and trust me: never a dull moment.
They’re also happy with what we give them. They don’t demand designer stuff. They are just as content with a cardboard box as they are with a specialised cat item. They don’t turn into stroppy teenagers who want to play loud music that I don’t like. In fact: they don’t even like loud music.
They even carry their weight in the sense that they bring in food for us.
Much appreciated. (When they look away we quickly get rid of the dead bodies of mice, shrews and rats. We don’t want to look ungrateful or anything but rodents are not really our favourite type of grub).
The only thing I don’t really like about my cats is their farts. Ok: Charlie farts, Tina breaks wind, ‘cause she’s a lady. But she certainly doesn’t smell like a lady when she does. Bloody Hell!! The two of them could be used to scare that Assad character out of Syria and the Taliban into becoming peace-loving Buddhists: chemical warfare and then some. I nearly passed out one time when Charlie……Ah, there I go again: talking lovingly about my cats. That’s why I started this blog, so I wouldn’t annoy too many people on Facebook. I’m nice that way. Although I do share the updates on Facebook, just so people who do like the cat stories know that there’s a new one out and maybe giving the finger just a teeny-weeny bit to all the cat haters on Facebook……..Up yours!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homer's odyssey by Gwen Cooper.

It was sitting on my virtual bookshelf for a long time but I finally got around to read Homer’s odyssey by Gwen Cooper.
I’m not really a person for real life stories. I read the odd biography and some historical accounts, but most of the time I read fiction. Every now and then I make an exception and this time I’m glad I did.
Homer’s Odyssey is the story of how a blind cat named Homer ends up in the author’s household and how they get on after that. The author has already two cats and is trying to get her life together. Adopting a blind kitten while she already had enough on her plate didn’t seem like a smart decision.
With this book you actually get two stories in one.
It’s as much a book about the author as about her cats. Because you start to identify with the author, who is a likeable person in my opinion, it makes it easier to get stuck into the story. The book reads like fiction and is well written. It has a nice flow to it, which makes it a very pleasant read.
The author tells about her experiences with Homer, how her other cats react to this cat that doesn’t always behave like cats normally do and how other people react to Homer.
The book is very moving in places; it has funny moments and is written in a way that you almost feel you’re there with her and taking part in her life.
Homer’s odyssey shows that you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. When cats are blind, it doesn’t mean they can’t lead a full and happy life. When you look at Homer through human eyes you could say that Homer’s will to live and his courage are inspiring. At the same time the author realises that you can’t project like that and that Homer is just a normal cat doing normal cat stuff and doesn’t even realise that he is missing one of his senses.
Even so, Homer is an example to her and his determination helps her to change her life around. I don’t know if everything she writes is a true account of how things went but the book breathes sincerity. The author wants to share parts of her life and that of her extended feline family to give out a message of courage and hope.
Even when things are not always going the way you want them to go, keep your spirits up and, every now and then, be impulsive. Sometimes you just have to take a plunge without being able to see what lies ahead.

I really enjoyed reading Homer’s Odyssey and can recommend it to everyone with an interest in a good, uplifting story. You don’t have to be a cat person to enjoy this book.