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2014-06-23 1:42 a.m.
Cat of the Future

In preparation for our future new cat, I was reading things tonight on the Natural Cat Care Blog. I reponded to the How Long Can A Cat Live? post, and felt the urge to repost it here:

I've had 2 indoor-outdoor cats live to be 19+ years old. Miss Juliette, a long haired harlequin calico, had me as her guardian for all but the first 8 weeks of her life. I did not spade Juliette before she had a litter of kittens. Their dad was 4 year old 'Little One' (my other 19+ cat, manx, from a tough Potrero Hill, SF gang-cat feral mother) conceived during her first heat. She had 3 kittens in a basket as I watched. Little One was a maternally oriented Tom who shared kitten care with her. It was beautiful! I had a list of 10 wanting one of those kittens...

As an aside, know I kept the cats INSIDE at night. They were allowed outdoors during the day. I did not use a litter box other than a box of garden soil on the patio for the kittens. If a health issue occurred I'd do a temporary indoor box as needed. I fed them a combo of wet and dry Nutro Max Natural and meat leftovers. They especially loved nibbles of Maguro or Hamachi sashimi from the sushi place. Both Juliette and especially Little One supplemented their diets with captured rodents and insects regularly.

I used Advantage for flea control when it became available for cats. I bathed Juliette every 2 weeks for several years before Advantage. Little One slept in my studio in an outbuilding before moving inside. The vacuum was used regularly for flea control. I was delighted when Advantage was available for cats - before then Miss Juliette was treated for tapeworms twice. In California there wasn't ever enough winter cold to wipe out fleas.

About age 17 Little One began to decline - he had autoimmune issues and a skin cancer successfully removed from his cute pink nose. We got a new manx kitten, IggI, which brought him him back to full power! Little One adopted IggI. He groomed, nurtured, slept with and taught him everything including hunting and consuming prey.

When Little One's body wore out he could still jump up on the counter to eat sashimi - but the connective tissue in his jaw was gone. The vet came to our house to put him down as I held him in my arms. I kept him in his basket overnight. The other pets checked him out and I buried him in the morning.

Something odd happened several years later with the Nutro Max food but I didn't connect it to Miss Juliette vomiting. We had been to the vet several times but things didn't improve until the day there was no Nutro at the store and the salesgirl gave us samples of other food. Within 3 days Juliette was not sick anymore! IggI ate more rodents and wet food than she did at the time and wasn't having tummy problems.

I wrote Nutro a letter about my experience - but heard nothing back. I was so disappointed! For years their chow was awesome, then something changed. So did I. I started buying Orijen.

During Juliette's last 2 years she developed kidney issues - which most likely were caused by the melamine found in Nutro's kibble. I injected subQ fluids her last year. Strange but true it was easy and she loved it! A month short of 20 she died at home. She's buried by Little One.

IggI is 13 this year and mighty as can be! I anticipate him thriving longer than the other two. I'll be bringing a new kitten aboard this year too. It will be great for him to have another cat to play with - aside from the dog!