Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Oh and please pray for Socks from "Alasandra, The Cats and a Dog"
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
On a brighter note though, I finally got my under-tank heater for Gex and I also am setting up a 10 gallon reef tank, which is currently cycling. The contents of the 5 gallon (live-rock, polyps, mushroom coral, and all the equipment and sand) will go into the 10 once it is stable. I'll post pictures once there is something to post pictures of (right now it is pretty boring looking because all that is in the tank is sand, water, equipment, and 4 rocks) which will hopefully be soon. I am going to use (I have to order them) 2 Finnex 26watt power-compact screw in (regular socket) bulbs for the lighting.
For my saltwater tanks, I don't use protein skimmers at all because I think the natural method works better: you don't have to dose lots of elements back to the water daily (skimming removes them so you have to add them back), you don't remove the food that the corals eat, and there is less expense. My method involves doing monthly water changes of about 50% (to keep nitrates down), feeding Kent Marine Micro-Vert every day, feeding whatever fish are in the tank a very small amount of good quality food (usually frozen) doing filter maintenance every couple of weeks, and finally, realizing the limits of whatever tank it is (I don't even try to keep SPS corals because I know they are demanding in their water quality needs).
Smokey and Sunny have been extremely cuddly lately and have been (for the most part) sweet. Smokey has learned how to UNZIP stuff lately and has managed to do this twice! I had her in her carrier the other day and I turned around and there she was so I went upstairs (expecting a torn up carrier) and found out that she had unzipped it and gotten out! If I have to take her to the vet or anywhere else for whatever reason, I'll have to make sure she can't do that!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Here are some pictures from a wildlife refuge!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Wellness Chicken Recipe
Chicken, Chicken liver, turkey, chicken broth, carrots, natural chicken flavor, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, cranberries
Crude protein: Not less than 10%
Crude fat: Not less than 5%
Crude fiber: Not more than 1%
Moisture: Not more than 78%
Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul
Chicken, chicken liver, salmon, turkey, duck, chicken broth, whole grain brown rice, white rice, oatmeal, potatoes,
Crude protein: Not less than 10%
Crude fat: Not less than 5%
Crude fiber: Not more than 1%
Moisture: Not more than 78%
Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, water, dried egg whites, potato starch, ground brown rice, spinach, flaxseed, sodium phosphate
Crude protein: Not less than 10%
Crude fat: Not less than 5.5%
Crude Fiber: Not more than 1%
Moisture: Not more than 78%
The top ingredient is Chicken in all three, which is a good healthy muscle meat. Wellness and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul (from here on called Chicken Soup) have chicken liver as the second ingredient which is also healthy and provides several very important vitamins and adds flavor for the food while Blue Buffalo has chicken broth which is not quite as good as chicken liver (chicken liver provides more vitamins) but still a nice addition. Third we have Turkey in Wellness, which is another sound inclusion because it is another high quality muscle meat. In Chicken Soup we have salmon which is also a great meat to include and provides fish oil with it (great for the skin and coat). In Blue Buffalo we have chicken liver (YAY, they include it here) which is good (as explained above). Fourth in Wellness is chicken broth, which is a good inclusion. In Chicken Soup we have turkey, which is a good muscle meat. In Blue Buffalo we have water, which I don’t have an issue with although it seems a little high on the list. In the fifth spot Wellness has carrots, which are a good source of vitamins, and is NOT a high cause of allergies in pets. In Chicken Soup we have duck, which is a good source of protein and is a great muscle meat that is a little different. In Blue Buffalo we have dried egg whites, which are a great source of protein. Sixth in Wellness we have natural chicken flavor which is a good flavoring to add because it is not artificial. In Chicken Soup we have chicken broth, which is a good inclusion. In Blue Buffalo we have potato starch, which is a good ingredient because it is not usually a cause of allergies and is healthy. Seventh in Wellness we have sweet potatoes, which are a good healthy ingredient to include because they supply vitamins. In Chicken Soup we have whole grain brown rice, which is a good form of rice to include because it is the best part of the grain. In Blue buffalo we have ground brown rice, which is good for the same reason that the whole grain was. Eighth in Wellness we have squash which is good to include because it provides vitamins. In Chicken Soup we have white rice, which is not a high allergy cause and provides vitamins. In Blue Buffalo we have spinach, which is good and provides vitamins. Ninth in Wellness we have zucchini, which is a good ingredient and provides vitamins. In Chicken Soup we have oatmeal, which is a good ingredient and provides more vitamins. In Blue Buffalo we have flaxseed, which is also a good ingredient and provides a great fat source. Tenth in Wellness is cranberries which are a great source of antioxidants. In Chicken Soup we have potatoes, which are another good inclusion because they provide starch and vitamins. Blue Buffalo has sodium phosphate, which is a good inclusion, and I have no issues with.
Now I will go over the guaranteed analysis for the foods. Crude protein in all foods is 10% minimum. That is a fairly high protein content and it comes from a good source so no issues there. The Crude fat is 5% minimum in Wellness and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul, and 5.5% minimum in Blue Buffalo. Not much difference there and it is also high quality fat so that is fine. Crude fiber in ALL the foods is 1% maximum which is good. Moisture is 78% maximum which is good because you don’t want TOO much water but do want a fair amount.
So, the answer to what food is better is: It is up to you because they are all good. I would choose Wellness or Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul but Blue Buffalo is also very good. They all provide solid nutrition for your cat.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (or Canola or Olive)
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Tuna Oil, Chicken broth, or Beef Bouillon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients into a dough. Dust hands with flour and form small, 1/2 inch thick, round biscuits. Set on greased cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes or until biscuits are slightly browned. Cool before serving.
Savory Cheese Treats!
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup cornmeal
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine cheeses and yogurt. Add flour and cornmeal. If needed, add a small amount of water to create a nice dough. Knead dough into a ball and roll to 1/4 inch. Cut into one inch sized pieces and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool before serving
8oz can of tuna in oil
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups flour
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a cookie sheet. Mix ingredients just until combined, and on a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into small squares, place squares on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool before serving.
Wishing everyone a safe, wonderful day!
Friday, May 21, 2010
The first thing you should do is look at the label on the bag, can or pouch. What are the top ingredients? Are there by-products? Is BHA/BHT present (NOT a good preservative to have in the food)? Is corn or wheat in the food (if so, where on the list?)? Here are two example cat foods of similar price and their first ten ingredients.
Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul Adult Formula
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Cracked pearled barley, Chicken fat, Ocean fish meal, White rice, Potatoes, Oatmeal, Millet, Natural chicken flavor
Purina ONE Chicken & Rice Formula
Chicken, Brewers rice, Corn gluten meal, Poultry by-product meal, Wheat flour, Animal fat, Whole grain corn, Fish meal, Soy protein isolate, Animal liver flavor
So, which one looks better? Well, let's compare. The top ingredient in both is chicken, which is good to see because it is a muscle meat. In the Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, the next ingredient is chicken meal (the dried form of chicken) which is GREAT to see because it also is a muscle meat. In Purina ONE the next ingredient is brewers rice which is NOT so great to see because it is one of the lowest quality forms of rice. In Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, the third ingredient is cracked pearled barley which is a great grain choice because it is a whole grain that is also a slow burning carbohydrate source and is high in protein. Purina ONE has corn gluten meal which is known to cause allergies in many animals and is of little nutritional value. Forth in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul is chicken fat which is a great form of fat for the food. Fourth in Purina ONE we have poultry by-product meal which is not a good form of meat (if they wanted us to know what meat it was they would have listed it as chicken by-product meal or turkey by-product meal, etc). Fifth in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul is ocean fish meal which is dried fish and is good to see because it is a high quality meat that is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Fifth in Purina ONE is wheat flour which is another cause of pet allergies and is also of little nutritional value. Sixth in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul we have white rice which is a sound inclusion because it is one of the better types of rice to put in cat food because it is a good carbohydrate source and is high in protein. Sixth in Purina ONE we have animal fat: um, where do I start with this one? Well, "animal" is not very descriptive and if it were beef, or chicken fat they would say it was. It is MUCH better to see a specific animal listed so you know the source. Seventh in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul we have potatoes which are a great form of starch and is great to see because they are a highly digestible carbohydrate source that is not likely to cause allergies. Seventh in Purina ONE we have whole grain corn which is again, NOT good to see (for the same reason as the corn gluten meal). Eighth in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul we have oatmeal which is another great grain to include because it is a whole grain. Eighth in Purina ONE we have fish meal which is not bad. Ninth in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul we have millet which is another great grain choice and is a sound inclusion because it is high in protein. In Purina ONE we have soy protein isolate which is bad because cats don't need soy (it is a cause of allergies in cats). Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul uses natural chicken flavor for their kibble and Purina ONE uses animal liver flavor. I would prefer to see a specific type of animal listed instead of just "animal".
As I said before, these foods are very similar in price and there is a HUGE difference in quality so just read the label on any food(s) you are considering! Now, Purina ONE is NOT a BAD food (there are MUCH worse), you can just do better!
Now look on the "Guaranteed Analysis". What percentages of crude protein, crude fat, and crude fiber are in the food? A lot of people think that the higher the percentage of crude protein, the better the food but that is not always true. While a higher percentage of crude protein is good to see most of the time, it depends on where the protein comes from. If it comes from soy, by-products, etc then it is not a high quality protein and therefore, not as good as a food that is lower in protein but has a high quality source such as chicken, fish, duck, or turkey (or a meal of any of these) and barley, rice, millet, potatoes, etc. So for instance, a food that has 34% crude protein that has by-products, soy and corn is not as good as a food that has 30% crude protein that has chicken, fish, and barley. Crude fiber in most cat foods is between 1%-5% which is fine (this number can vary but for the most part, they all have similar amounts). The crude fat in cat food is usually somewhere between 12%-20% but can be more depending on the food. The moisture content will vary depending on whether you feed dry, or wet (I have given dry food examples). The dry food moisture level is usually about 10%-12% and the moisture content in canned food is usually about 78%. I recommend feeding a combination of wet and dry foods because cats tend to not drink enough water and can get dehydrated, but all wet or all dry is also OK. If you feed all wet, make sure to keep the teeth clean. If you feed dry, also make sure to keep the teeth clean and also make sure your cat gets enough water.
Now I know that there have been a lot of pet food recalls lately and it can be hard to pick a brand to stick with because we don't want a brand that has been recalled but from what I have read and seen, there are VERY few brands that have not ever been recalled at some point so just stick with brands that have a good reputation and keep up with what is safe and what is not.
Every cat deserves the best food possible!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Have a good (cool) day!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
What a GREAT day!
Just an update: As some of you know, Sunny broke her leg in November and she was in a cast for 3 weeks. She has been out of the cast for a while but still favors the other leg when sitting down (when she walks, you can't tell she ever broke her leg). But she has basically made a full recovery!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Today was a great day! Spring is officially here! Smokey and Sunny have been having fun chasing toys and looking at the birds that are outside the windows. Smokey has decided that my mushroom chair is HERS and has taken to relaxing in it lately. I am trying to get Sunny to gain some weight because she is slightly underweight. On a side note, I am about to switch them BOTH from Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula to Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul. Fiona has enjoyed the nice weather (warm weather). Lewis and Clark are quite hyper most of the time now and are not sleeping much. Gex has come out of the winter sleeping that she goes into and is now active (for her) more often. The 47 gallon tank is now cycled and ready for more fish. It is getting some good algae growth. The 20 gallon tank is doing well and has gotten beautiful lately. The nano-reef is GREAT and has gotten lots of coralline algae growth, scroll algae growth, and lots of apstasia anemones. I went to a local wildlife refuge on Saturday and got some good pictures! What a GREAT few days...
Friday, March 5, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
What a GREAT Wednesday! Smokey and Sunny seem to like the new place for the kitty tree (by the window) and are on it a lot more than they were before! Fiona enjoyed the time spent out of her cage, and the tomatoes and hay that she got today! Lewis and Clark (my two male gerbils) enjoyed the time spent with them working on gerbil agility outside the cage and the time spent inside the cage cuddling with, playing with, and grooming each other. Gex is nocturnal but always loves being held outside the cage on my arm and got to enjoy that activity today. The marine community tank is doing well but does need a large water change. The freshwater tank is also doing well and is still cycling. All is not well with the nano-reef however. A few months ago I replaced a Coralife 50/50 bulb with a different CFL. I just discovered that it is not the right spectrum (was not posted on the box so I had to look it up) for the corals I am keeping, so my cabbage leather coral is not doing well (I really hope is doesn’t die). The mushrooms are doing OK as are the polyps but not doing as well as they could/should be. I plan to replace the bulb with a new Coralife 50/50 bulb on Friday and hope I don’t loose anything before then. I moved the live rock around and placed the corals in high spots in the hopes that it will save them
before I get the bulb.
Since it has been cold outside, I have been reading some books. I am reading a book called Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World and hope I will like it. I have heard it is sad but really good so we’ll see. I finished Carl Hiaasen’s Sick Puppy and will read his book called Lucky You when I am done with Dewey.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I don’t really know what happened because I was only 1 and ½ weeks old, but here is what I remember. I found myself being dropped off and abandoned in some shrubs outside someone’s house that was close to a busy street. I was scared and cried for help, but no one knew I was there. I was hungry, cold, and lonely. One night went by and I was now starving. I finally cried loud enough, and the owner of the house heard me crying and felt sorry for me but is allergic to cats and could not take me in. The next day, she told someone that she knew about me, and that person came over to see about me! When I heard her get out and walk around, I crawled out of the shrubs where I had been hiding and came to her. When she saw me she realized that I was very young and needed help, so she took me in her arms and cradled me. She got in the car and we went somewhere where she got some yummy kitten milk for me! She fed me from a bottle when we got home and gave me a heated blanket to sleep on. She had to wake me up and feed me every 4 hours. Most kittens won’t eat from a bottle because it doesn’t feel the same as their mother, but I was HUNGRY and did! I was not the only cat around the house. There was another cat named Smokey. She did not like me at first, but she is my buddy now! I LOVE my foster mother and my new “sister” Smokey!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Meet Gex, my African Fat-Tailed Gecko. She was captive bred and raised. She is very sweet and calm and is content to sit on a hand, shoulder, or arm. She has been used as an education animal for children at the Hummingbird Migration Celebration in 2009. She is a "White Stripe" phase and is about 4 years old. In this photo she has just shed her skin so she is very pretty.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What a beautiful Wednesday! Smokey is enjoying sitting by the window and Sunny is curled up on the bed. Fiona enjoyed being out of her cage and eating (well, she IS a guinea PIG!) some carrots. My two gerbils have practiced their agility course and are chasing each other around and playing with each other. My African Fat-Tailed Gecko is going to shed in the next day or so and has enjoyed being out of the cage and resting on me. Now for the aquariums. The nano reef is doing well. I did tank maintenance yesterday and moved some of the corals around to get better light/water flow to some of them. The marine community is also doing quite well and the fish are very healthy. The royal gramma is very shy and will hide if I get too close to the tank or make sudden movements. The clownfish, however, is anything BUT shy. It will swim around my hand and nibble when I am doing work in the tank. The new tank that is 47 gallons will house angelfish, black skirt tetras and/or penguin tetras, platys and/or swordtails, rainbow fish, zebra danios, and corydora catfish. It is currently cycling and just had driftwood added yesterday. Hopefully it will be ready for fish soon!