How I Lost 12.5 Pounds & Regained My Soul

Naked, as in truth, and uncensored, I share my daily quest to survive as a woman and artist, while dealing with the complications of a full life, meddling in politics, loving my children to excess, totally permanently married and on a never-ending diet. While my soul is in constant need of repair and redemption, I struggle to do the right thing. In the meantime, let's all double the love. (Love, not sex, you fool). All posts are copyrighted material.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Felis catus domesticus... and some kitty factoids...

Good morning, my dangerous little omnivores~

Yes, our species, like bears and dogs, loves to eat just about everything. We eat meat, fish, fruits, roots, leafs and vegetables, and have the ability to taste sweetness - hence all the Berenstain Bear children's books and honey stories. It is all real. Well, kind of, sort of, you know.:)

We are not like cats, however, who have a physical anomaly that prevents them from tasting sweetness. Which, by the way, is a very good thing, as they can die from eating chocolate. Of course, anti-freeze is somehow very appealing - and incredibly toxic to kitties as it is to humans and all other living beings - but I've blogged recently about how it resembles pure glycerins, so it is not the sweetness of the taste.

Anyway, even the big cats will not eat their fruits as they are major carnivores. Yes, we've all seen a cat or two eating grass out in the backyard, but scientists assume that is to smooth their digestive tract and possibly supplement their diets with trace minerals and vitamins.

It is a good idea not to start out kitten-hood by spoiling your baby with special foods, as cats are one of the few animals that can actually develop a preference for specific foods. If the vomeronasal or Jacobson's organ becomes accustomed to only that food, the cat may actually allow itself to starve. Although rare, at a certain point this becomes irreversible. They develop hepatic lipidosis, as this reinforces the starvation, and the cat can die within 48 hours.

Yes, yes, yes, we've all had fussy cats, but my point is don't overdo it to 'pamper' them. Ignore all that Madison Avenue hype and keep their diets meat-based and varied.

Most cats, even if fussy, will eventually be tempted to eat of course. And if they are indoor/outdoor cats, they will certainly hunt, kill and perhaps end up eating birds, mice, rats, rabbits, cockroaches, scorpions and other critters foolish enough to enter the cat's domain.

Now some people find cats, particularly feral cats, murderously toxic to songbirds, and they are right. Cats kill more songbirds than most of the natural causes of death combined. As a matter of fact, Australia has enacted some laws that require cat owners in some areas to have closed 'runs' for their kitties and in others the cats must wear bells to warn the birds.

We have 'belled' our male cat, but I am beginning to sense that he has learned how to hunt without moving it, so a second bell may be required to slow him down. That will of course prevent him from vermin patrol, but we do have three other cats who can substitute for him.

Cats are very sensitive to toxic poisoning, too, so it is a good idea to know that they should never be given Tylenol (Acetominophen) or Panadol, chocolate, onions or garlic. As cats eat mostly meat, stick with their natural diet and you should be okay. Also, insecticides, weed killers and mothballs can kill them. Your neighbor may actually have poisoned his own cat inadvertently if s/he is a big chemical user.

Then there are the cleaning products, like phenol (including Pine-sol and Lysol) which should never be used around their litter boxes or their beds. If you must disinfect using one of these products, wash the boxes later with soap and hot water and rinse as thoroughly as possible.

Although many people manage not to kill their cats with their hygienic practices, it is easy to leave small amounts of toxic residue. Cat livers are not the de-tox machines human and dog livers seem to be so their natural physiology and tastes have developed to compensate.

Oh, and if you are wondering why your kitty loves to bring you dead bodies?

Cats adopt us into their social hierarchy. They actually put us at or near the top, as we seem to always have plenty of food available to feed them. The reason they are not concerned about our long 'absences' is that they assume we are out hunting. In a way I guess they are right.

The 'gifts' are assumed to be loving attempts to let the Matriarch (us) know that they've not only matured enough to successfully hunt, but they are well enough socialized to share their kill with the pride.

Personally? I don't think I'll ever look at their generosity in quite the same way again. I'll post a few more cat pictures, just so you can see how cute mine are,now that you know I'm a responsible owner.:)

Clark County Diva

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