A splendid read – My husband and I have enjoyed Starting Over by Bob Brown. This heartwarming fictional story made me laugh and cry at the same time. I’m saving it to read again and share with others. I’ve enjoyed other stories, but this is one of the best.
Editor’s note: We’re glad you enjoyed it, Barbara. You can find the conclusion on Page 42.
Cat chow – I’m owned by Mr. Grey, a cat with attitude. He weighs 8 to 10 pounds, depending on how much of him he allows on a scale.
We live a distance from major shopping areas, so it’s cheapest and easiest to cook for him. I wonder if I add enough vitamins A, D and E to his meals, though. I add a few drops per amount cooked. I also add corn meal and sometimes rice. For protein, I use chicken, turkey, and puréed meat and vegetables.
Catherine F. Gaeb
Editor’s note: As K.C. Compton noted in her Editor’s Notebook (“Preparing pet meals goes fairly smoothly,” February), she’s had some success with her culinary experiments for her pets. Please find a few links to Web sites with recipes for cats here. We also received the letter that follows in response to the column; we hope it provides some food for thought.
Feline diet – Like humans, dogs are omnivores. If you can create healthy meals for a family, you can create them for a dog. It’s no surprise Compton’s dogs love casseroles; they probably would enjoy a side salad of greens and cottage cheese, too!
Cats are true carnivores, however; they can’t manufacture essential nutrients such as arachidonic acid or taurine.
Arachidonic acid affects coat, skin and ability to reproduce, while a lack of sufficient taurine can lead to blindness and heart failure. Nutritionally complete commercial cat food is supplemented with taurine. It’s prevalent in raw meat, but is easily destroyed by grinding or cooking.
Cats have no need for carbohydrates, and they can’t obtain nutrients from plants. Humans and dogs can obtain vitamin A from a carrot, but cats need to get it from animal sources.
Many commercial cat foods contain grains, vegetables and fruits – but only because they are less expensive than meat and appeal to the caregiver. Compton noted her cat needed to be “sold on the nutritional wonders of brown rice.” In fact, for cats there are none.
Cats also need calcium and other minerals found in the bones of their prey. Cooked bone becomes sharp and brittle, so pet food manufacturers typically use supplements.
Ackman is president and co-founder of the organization Feline Outreach, located online at www.FelineOutreach.org.
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