A Small Town Gal


Cat Treats for Socks

socks-cat 

It was the last week of August when it happened. I was adopted by a gray tabby with four white paws. I don't know where he came from, he just happened to be there as I walked out the back door. He was a half grown kitten with the personality full of joy and love. He's such a charmer that he won the hearts and minds of both of my Jack Russell dogs. Now there's not a moment that goes by when you see me walking two dogs on a leash and a kitten right beside them.

I don't mind Socks being there and I don't mind feeding him cat food. I did have one problem. As much as I enjoy making homemade dog treats for Jake and Buddy, the recipe books that I have on hand for homemade treats were just for dogs. Not one single recipe for cat treats.

Well, I guess the internet and google saved the day for me. I found plenty of cat recipes online, some of which that included cat nip. Let's face it, as a dog owner, cat nip isn't something that I keep on hand in my pantry.

Finally, I found the following recipe that saved the day. Although it does call for a jar of chicken and brown rice baby food, you can substitute something meaty, including canned wet cat food. I used some chicken and rice that I had left over from lunch. I hope  that the cat lovers out there find this internet find handy. I has the Socks seal of approval!

Chewy Cat Treat

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 14 oz jar chicken and brown rice baby food, may substitute with something meaty, including canned cat food
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2T water
  • 1c brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c. of rice, your choice of brown or white

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Make sure your rack is in the middle of oven. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix first four ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Then add rice and rice flour, stir. When you're done, the mix should be thick but spreadable.
  3. Spread your mix onto prepared baking sheet, 1/3 of an inch thick. Bake 12-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool and slice into bite size pieces. Return to oven for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool  completely. Store in airtight container in your refrigerator.

This is a wonderful recipe that Sock really loves. The creator of this recipe is a genius!

Homemade Dog Treats

Mel BooneI often joke that my two terriers never miss a meal. Well, truth be told, they never miss a treat either.

I'm a person that when I go to buy treats for myself, I look at the ingredients and sometimes scratch my head trying to pronounce some of them. Then I wonder, "Am I going to have this same problem when I buy treats for Jake and Buddy"

Then, horror struck. Their favorite treat, pig ears, were taken off the shelves at Wal-Mart because of salmonella. So now what?

Well, I now going through my little storage spot at home to find my dog treat recipes. I now make my own dog treats. Outside of not having a dehydrator at home to make jerky for them, the treats that I have baked in the oven have been a big hit.

beagle with dog treat
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Homemade Liver and Oat Dog Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 c oats
  • 1/4 c wheat germ
  • 1/4 c non-fat dry milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1/2 c pureed beef or chicken liver

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine oats, wheat germ and non-fat dry milk with egg, safflower oil and pureed beef or chicken liver.

3. Mix well until the consistency of cookie dough. At this point, take a teaspoon and drop batter one inch apart onto a baking sheet. (Make sure the baking sheet is covered with non-stick foil or greased if you prefer.)

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies feel firm when you touch them.

5. Once they are cooled, store them in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.

Honestly, I don't know how long these will keep in the refrigerator. Of course, I've got two dogs so the cookies are gone in a few days. Hope your dogs love them as much as mine do!

Old Time Threshing

Mel BooneI don't think much about modern equipment. I mean, I'm pretty much surrounded by modern stuff all day, every day. Given enough time, what I use today will be replaced with something more modern.

At times I stop and think about how far we've all come. At some point, what is old was at one time the modern thing to use. I don't always think of that, especially when the item in question was new long before I was ever born.

At one time, farmers used horses to pull their wagons and farm equipment. Those same team of horses even powered the threshing machines. High tech at that time, it must have been far better that walking the fields and using hand tools and any other equipment at the time to thresh the wheat before the invention of a horse powered machine.

threshing with horses
Threshing with horses at the Western Illinois Old Threshers, Hamilton, IL. Photo by Mel Boone

Before long, those stationary threshing machines were being powered by a different type of horse power, the tractor. What a job to do with such a grand machine! I'm sure there a a few of the farmers out there that still remember horses pulling wagons of wheat to and from the thresher while the tractor or steam engine was supplying power the the  thresher.

No longer is the day of the threshing crews. No longer the horse, steam engine or tractor need to run the threshing machine. The combine has taken it's place along with it's air conditioned cab and GPS. Farming has come a long way.

My Handbag: It's Too Big

Mel BooneI'm admitting a sad fact today. I carry purse that is probably way too big and I think that I really do carry everything but the kitchen sink in it. Then again, maybe I do have the kitchen sink in it, if you count the bottle of Purell and eyeglass cleaner as sink worthy material.

I don't dare board an airplane with it. The purse may or may not qualify as check baggage. I'm afraid to set it on the scale to see how much the junk inside it weighs. I'm sure whatever that number is, it would scare a couple years off my life.

I should clean it out. You know, discard the junk that I just don't need to be carrying around with me and regulate what's left to a much smaller purse.  Of course I've been saying that for the last two months. As it stands, procrastination is sometimes my best friend and right now it keeps telling me to "just do it tomorrow."

large purse hanging from chair wall hook
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I even have a paperback book in it. I carry it with me for the times when my step dad starts his long-winded Chatty Cathy routine with another person that is just as long winded. The book comes in handy providing 1) I can find it in my purse when I need it; and 2) my stepdad ends the conversation before I get done reading the book.

And so it goes with my life.

An Old Relic in the Modern World

Mel BooneOne thing about technology is that it keeps getting more modern every time you turn around. For every new gadget, there is a more modern one to take its place before you have time to blink. When I was a child, if you wanted to call someone, you used a landline phone. Then as a young adult, everyone just had to have a cordless phone  to talk on. Now, smartphones like the ones from Apple, Samsung, LG are all the rage. Even Google has a smart phone, right?

Our cars are no exception. We've gone from Stanley Steamer cars and Henry Ford's  "Tin Lizzies" to cars and SUV's that have touch screen control panels on the dash. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was hearing about Bluetooth and OnStar for the first time. I wonder what modern technology will be like should I live to be twice the age that I am now.

vintage car outside of shop
Photo by Mel Boone

With all the modern technology that we have now, I stood at a local auction site a few weeks ago and stood in awe as to what was there. What looked to be one of Henry Ford's "Tin Lizzies" has survived to see the 21st century. I don't know what year  it was made, but I'm guessing late teens or early twenties of the previous century. I wonder who bought it and where it is now. Whoever has it now, I hope he or she takes good care of the old car.

There's no luxury in that old car. Those who remember them when they were new may be few and far between now. I guess the old adage is true, they really don't make them like they used to.

Flowers in Bloom

Mel BooneIt's now May. Spring is here and flowers are blooming. I am so thrilled!

After such a long winter and now a wet spring, I find myself sad from watching all the flooding that is going on. So I try to take some comfort in going for walks with Jake and Buddy.  This is s the time of year when I find myself spending more time outside anyways and I try to enjoy every possible moment.

I love May. The flowers are starting to come up and bloom. Seeing the flowers grow and the birds singing really does put a smile on my face. It also brings back memories of both sets of grandparent and the various flowers and vegetables that they grew in their gardens. Ahh, to be a kid again, I wish I could go back in time!

Time travel isn't possible except in my own mind. So I keep replaying those memories and enjoying the beautiful flowers that I see dotting the landscape on my daily walks.

orange flowers blooming
Photo by Mel Boone

A Soft Spot For Strays

Mel BooneIf there's anything that I will be quick to admit to, the fact that I have a soft spot for stray animals will be the one that I will admit to first.  That's just the way I am. I can't help it.

There's not many stray dogs in the neighborhood, but there's always a stray cat or two that comes though every once in a while. It seems like there has always been a stray around where I live at some point for the 20 plus years where I currently live at. I've gotten to where I keep dry cat food on had all the time.

One stray cat show up, stays for a while and then leaves, not to be seen again. Before long, another one show up for a little while. It's like they've adopted a system that hobos used to have. An obscure mark left in an obscure place that means,"Nice lady lives here. Stop here for free cat food. Beware of the two terriers."

Some stray cats over the years have stayed for months on end. They literally became part of the family to the point that I had straw bedding in a pet carrier by the back door for one. A few more made the shed home making the seat and hood on my Massey Ferguson a bed along with the seat o the golf cart. I didn't mind. I figured if they were here then they were leaving any neighbors alone that were less than cat friendly. I was happy to see three of the cats laying by a neighbors back door several times. They had been feeding them too. I've even had two stray cats that got along with Jake and Buddy. Garfield and Buddy to daily walks with them. Another stray, Slick, enjoyed going for short rides in the van. When he got restless, I knew it was time to head back home.

stray cats on porch
Photo by Mel Boone

As it goes, the stray will leave and not come back. Once in a while, one will get hit by a car and somehow make it to my shed to die. It is unavoidable when you live next to a highway. I shed a tear for them, then grab a shovel and bury them in the back yard. I regret not making them a house cats, but I'm just doing good to live in a house where the owner lets me have the two dogs, no house cats permitted.

And so it goes. I guess I will forever be known as the crazy stray cat lady in the neighborhood.







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