April Fools Fun!

Let’s have some silly fun on April Fools Day! The first prank comes from cat loving – and very handsome – George Vezilic. In his own words: “ I am a blogger, photographer and cat enthusiast, owner of lifewithcatman.com. Writing about cats and taking photographs of them is something that I am most passionate about. My biggest goal is to show the world what divine creatures the cats are and make them feel appreciated.”

April Fools Prank For your Cat – Create a Maze From Cardboard Boxes, by George Vezilic

Here’s a prank that your cat will actually love because it involves one of their favorite things (besides you of course) and you’ll have fun setting it up! Sequester the cats in another room while you set up your prank Get 10 to 20 cardboard boxes and set them up haphazardly or in a pattern in your living room. Bonus points for putting Cat Faeries toys inside some of them! Once you’ve created your maze let the cats out. Your maze could confuse them at first, but once they figure out that this is a kitty-wonderland of boxes they won’t know which to try first! Perhaps the best of the prank isn’t that you goofed on the cats but when your housemates see your creation they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers and need an intervention!

April Fools Prank for the human cat lover in your home. Yes, Auntie Cat Faerie really did this to Mr. Cat Faerie many years ago!

  • On your best platter serve a sandwich filled with canned cat food. Surround sandwich with cat toys.
  • Quench their thirst: 1 tablespoon of dried Catnip with 1 cup of boiling water poured over it. Let your tea steep 5 minutes. Cool it down then pour it into a wine glass and add some ice. Honey, sugar or vodka are optional.
  • There’s always room for dessert so take two cookies and spread a layer of cat food in between them to create what looks like an ice cream sandwich. Spread a thin layer of more canned cat food and sprinkle kibble on it.
  • Clean the hair out of your hairbrush and wad it up. Dampen with water and leave it on their pillow so they know how much you love them.

 
 
 
 

COVID-19/Coronavirus and Cats. Coronavirus And YOU. We’ve got precautions.

So far cats and other animals are not getting this latest Corona Virus: COVID-19. But as we know, viruses can mutate so we are monitoring this closely and if conditions change and if cats are getting it, we’ll notify you immediately.

But then there is you dear reader, human customers who we care about greatly. After all, you are your cat’s caregiver, Maid or Butler, Litter Box Attendant, and personal Chef so it’s mandatory that you stay healthy to perform these duties! This article was compiled by Jeff Nobbs, a buddy of Auntie Cat Faerie. He’s smart. He’s practical. And he’s got a very cool head which is so refreshing right now. So. with permission from San Francisco blogger and co-owner of Kivava restaurant, Jeff Nobbs we present to you The Coronavirus Diet – supplements, dietary changes, and easy to do precautions that everyone can/should being doing now and in the future which go way beyond washing your hands for 20 seconds. (This is from Jeff’s blog that you can subscribe to.)



The Coronavirus Diet

by Jeff Nobbs

Part of what makes coronavirus so scary for some people is the feeling of helplessness. There’s no vaccine and no cure. We simply have to sit and wait and hope.

Maybe we’re not totally helpless though. Just like hand washing can help lower our chances of getting the virus, a healthy diet may aid us in fighting it off. If you contract COVID-19, you’re relying on your body’s immune system to recognize the enemy and create antibodies to defeat it.

If this were an actual war between humans, and there was an enemy at the gates, wouldn’t we want our army to be strong, well-fed, and ready for battle? The same logic can be used when we’re thinking about our immune system. We want our white blood cells warriors to be capable of swiftly defeating the enemy.

Just as human warriors who are starving, nearsighted, hard of hearing, or disabled would have a harder time defeating an enemy, our immune system has a harder time defeating viruses when it’s handicapped by a lack of nutrients.

You won’t hear this advice from most medical professionals. Nutrition is not well-studied by most doctors. Their continued education is often facilitated by pharmaceutical companies, not the kiwi fruit coalition. As a result, “natural” medical interventions are often used as last resorts, instead of our first line of defense.

Let’s take a look at what we can do to train our army of immune cells and prepare for battle with coronavirus:

Selenium

Eat a couple Brazil nuts every day.

Coronavirus seems to steal from your body’s selenium reserves. In addition, for immune cells to have a high killing capability, they need antioxidants to protect themselves, which are supported partly by selenium.

It would be smart to start eating foods high in selenium, including oysters, liver, and sardines. Shrimp, eggs, and salmon are all good sources of selenium as well. If you’re vegan or looking for the easiest solution, have a couple Brazil nuts every day and you’ll be getting all the selenium your body needs. Don’t overdo it on the Brazil nuts though–ten is not better than two in this case.

Vitamin C

Pop a Vitamin C tablet every day, 500–1,000 mg.

Vitamin C is helpful against many viral infections, but vitamin C deficiency is widespread. 31% of Americans have inadequate intakes of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed to maintain levels of glutathione, the immune system’s primary antioxidant and a key component of being able to fight off pathogens.

Vitamin C is one of the safest nutrients. While many nutrients are actually toxic at megadoses, vitamin C has been found to be safe at almost any dose. It’s one of the most well-studied supplements, and certainly safe to supplement at doses of a few grams per day. Some doctors have suggested that megadoses of vitamin C are an effective treatment against coronavirus, but the jury is still out on those claims].

It is possible to get enough vitamin C from food, but you’ll have to eat a lot of citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli, and kale. To be safe, it’s probably best to supplement with 500 mg of vitamin C per day.

Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Water

Get plenty of sunshine, drink enough water, and eat orange foods.

Wherever coronavirus might enter your body–mouth, nose, and eyes–you have compounds that kill pathogenic microbes. Secreting enough of these compounds is dependent on having enough vitamin D, vitamin A, and water.

The best source of vitamin D is the sun. The UV rays in sunlight also happen to kill viruses and give you an attractive tan. Triple win. If you don’t get much sun, consider supplementing with vitamin D3.

Eat foods rich in vitamin A, including liver and egg yolks. While the form of vitamin A found in plant foods is not as bioavailable, it is still helpful. Carotenoids like beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash and lycopene in tomatoes are what give those foods their orange and red colors. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard are also good sources of vitamin A precursors.

For water, you don’t need to overdo it. Just don’t be dehydrated. Listen to your body; if you’re thirsty, drink water.

Iron

If you eat red meat, don’t supplement iron.

Iron is a tricky one. While your body’s immune system needs iron to be most effective against pathogens, too much iron can also feed the pathogens themselves. Iron is an essential mineral for nearly all life, including coronavirus. Not enough iron and your immune system is limited; too much iron and your body can’t starve pathogens of this key mineral.

If you’re eating a real food diet that includes red meat, you’re probably getting enough iron from food. To prevent iron overload, avoid iron supplementation and give blood regularly (for men and post-menopausal women). If you don’t eat meat or shellfish, your risk of having excessive iron levels is low.

Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption, so there’s more for you and less for unwelcome pathogenic visitors.

Zinc and Copper

Enjoy oysters and dark chocolate.

Just like with vitamin C and iron, it’s important to get enough zinc and copper to give your immune cells the best chance of success in battle against coronavirus. Fortunately, the foods highest in zinc and copper are also delicious.

Shellfish and especially oysters are by far the best source of zinc, with a half dozen oysters per week mostly satisfying your zinc requirements. Chocolate is an excellent source of copper, with just a few squares of dark chocolate (85% or above) per day satisfying your copper requirements.

Cashews are also a good source of both zinc and copper.

Iodine

Eat stuff from the sea.

Iodine is an extremely effective mineral employed by our body for immune killing. Like with vitamin C, high dose iodine treatment has been used to cure some infectious conditions.

To keep your immune warriors strong, feed them a few hundred micrograms of iodine daily. You can supplement with iodine, or simply eat foods from the sea. On days you eat seafood, shellfish, or sea vegetables, there is no need to supplement.

My favorite form of iodine “supplementation” is to eat seaweed snacks.

Smoking and Air Pollution

Don’t smoke.

Coronavirus started in Wuhan, China, where air pollution is a major problem and a high percentage of the male population smokes. Whereas only 3% of Chinese women have smoked, 62% of Chinese men have been smokers at some point. The coronavirus death rate among men in China is 2.8% compared to 1.7% for women, and some point the finger at smoking rates to explain the difference [https://fortune.com/2020/02/19/coronavirus-china-smoking-rate-men/].

Coronavirus seems to work by binding to the ACE2 receptor in the lungs. One study found that cigarette smokers have a higher density of ACE2 receptors. If that relationship is causal, lung health may play a major role in fighting the virus, and air quality would play a role as well. While there’s not much you can do if you live in an extremely polluted city, you can certainly refrain from intentionally sucking down smoke in the form of cigarettes.

Summing it up, in order to boost your immune system in preparation for battle with coronavirus, you may want to get more of the following:

Brazil nuts, bell peppers, kale, kiwis, broccoli, liver, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, oysters, dark chocolate, cashews, shellfish, seaweed, clean air, water, and sunshine.

Even if/when coronavirus is no longer a threat, we want our immune systems to be strong, healthy, and able to easily fight off infection.

Our immune system is not just sitting around waiting for the next outbreak; with every breath of outdoor air, we take in 50,000 germs]. While most of these germs do not cause us to get sick, they do keep our immune system busy, regardless of coronavirus.


To Jeff’s great blog piece Auntie Cat Faerie would like to add a few of her favorites:

  • Colloidal Silver – make your own for pennies. All you need is distilled water, a big glass jar to “cook it” in for 4 hours, and glass bottles to store it. Drink it. Wash hands with it. Clean your house with it. Spray it in your mouth and near your nose and eyes. Keep a bottle in your bag to spray your hands. The machine is easy to use and it’s American made: The Silver Edge.
  • Elderberry syrup – apparently it has to ability to bind with flu and cold bugs to purge them from the body. Two that I like: 1) Whitney’s Best which is Elderberry with honey and other herbs – very tasty; and 2) less tasty but powerful is undiluted Elderberry syrup from Western Botanical Medicine. It’s pretty intense and you don’t need much of it. Mix either into bubbly water for a refreshing and healthful mock-tail.
  • Microgreens. Did you read our article from a few weeks ago? If you are now growing your own double the amount you are eating every day. If you normally eat one cup of them, double it to two cups. One that is great for people (but NOT for cats) is leek micro greens which bind to microbes and viruses. You only need a little of this highly powerful and fragrant allium to battle the bugs and feel like Wonder Person.
  • My favorite Vitamin C is a powder from Marcus Rothkranz a well known raw fooder and plant expert. Just mix it with water for a nice tangy flavor. Add some Elderberry syrup to give it an extra boost. You can’t over-dose on this powder Vitamin C because it’s powdered plants – no rushing to the toilet!
  • And BE HAPPY. Really. It’s the best medicine. Laugh in the face of evil to disarm it. Laugh. Smile. Play with your cat. Be kind to others. Don’t shut down.

 
 
 
 

Cats and Winter – Fast Facts

Cats can get seasonal depression or mood changes similar that that of we humans. Here’s what you can do to help, which will help you too:

  • Run the heater at a temperature you can afford to pay for
  • Place the cat’s bed near a heater vent
  • Move cat beds from anywhere drafty. The window with sunbeams in Summer can be chilly this time of year
  • Take a look at where litter boxes are – is it drafty there? Try to block the breezes with heavy tarps, a drape, or a rolled up “draft dodger”
  • When you are away leave a light on. Even though cats can see very well in the dark a bit of bright LED light will chase away the blues
  • Watch how your older cats walk for signs of arthritis. Note if your cat isn’t jumping on top of the sofa or the bed – another sign of stiff joints.

Believe it or not, cats do not sleep more in the Winter! Healthy cats sleep the same amount of hours year-round which is 15 to 20 hours a day! Cats do not hibernate.

Cats need a few extra calories in Winter so provide an extra bit of food. A nice thing to do for your cat is warm up food in the oven for a few minutes. Even a vegetable steamer for a minute is nice. Food from the fridge is very unpleasant for anyone, including your cat. In Winter even room temperature food is nicer warmed up just a bit. It also mimics the warm body of recently caught prey!

Is the food bowl in a sunny or bright place? Open the curtain and let as much brightness come in as the weather provides.

 
 
 
 

Pumpkin seeds – your cat’s new friend and a tapeworm’s worst enemy!

 

Pumpkins are in season right now and their seasonal yumminess has me not only eating them but thinking about their miraculous seeds and how they benefit both your cat and you!

Pumpkin seeds are a good friend to any animal – such as your cat or you – who might have parasites! Yes, face it, we all have them to some degree and they lead to many big health problems. Regular eating of ground pumpkin seeds will paralyze them so that they will lose their grip on the intestine wall. Once these uninvited residents have been loosened, they will be pooped out! Keep eating those seeds because there will be unhatched eggs which will grow up and we want to keep the flow of parasite removal going!

Parasites that cats can get:
Tapeworms
Roundworms
Hookworms
Flukes

How do pumpkin seeds work to kill parasites?

Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin which is an amino acid that paralyzes leeching worms which causes them to lose their grip on the walls of your or your cat’s intestines. When they lose their grip, they are easily pooped out with no further intervention of your part. People can chew the seeds. Grind them for your cat’s food or to toss in your salad or sprinkle on other foods that you like.

How much ground pumpkin seeds is needed?
Cats – 1 teaspoon per day
You – ½ to 1 cup per day

Most cats do not mind the flavor of ground pumpkin seeds.
Always tell your veterinarian that you are giving your cat pumpkin seed powder.

Pumpkin seed pesto in your blender – your cat’s and yours:
Put in the blender…
½ cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup good olive oil or coconut oil
BLEND AND STOP – Put a teaspoon in your cat’s food

Continuing for your meal add this…
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Lemon juice
Fresh US grown organic garlic
Greens such as parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach
Blend and eat

There are a few products for cats and dogs on the market which are pumpkin seed based. We checked and learned that the pumpkin seeds were grown in China. Do we, yet again, need say how bad it is getting food items from China? Aside from buying your own pumpkins right now (the edible kind, not jack-a-lanterns), scooping out the seeds, soaking them, dehydrating them, and then using a Vita Mix or other high powered blender to create powder) you can buy certified organic, grown in Oregon, pumpkin seeds. Our source of choice for US grown pumpkin seeds is Living Tree Community (https://www.livingtreecommunityfoods.com/product/pumpkin-seeds-american-family-farmers-grown-alive-organic/) who have dried them at 95* thus keeping them in a raw state, rich with enzymes and nutrients!

All you need is a coffee grinder and you can grind up enough to last your cat and you several days. We recommend that you do not use the same grinder to grind up coffee or hot spices. Many people have 2 or 3 grinders reserved for specific types foods to grind. Coffee grinders are easy to use and generally cost around $20.

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Good fiber – helps regularity
  • Loaded with nutrients including magnesium,
  • Prevents certain cancers including stomach, lung and colon cancers
  • Good for the heart
  • Contains antioxidants which reduces inflammation
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Omega 3 fats
  • Anti parasitic
  • Tasty!

 
 
 
 

Why October is a great time to take your cat for a checkup! 13 Things You Can Do to Make Veterinary Visits Better for Everyone With 13 Great Tips!

With the holidays rapidly approaching, a busy time for everyone, we thought that we might urge you to take your cats to the see the veterinarian now for a checkup before holiday animal (and human family) emergencies might crop up creating additional stresses. Statistics tell us the emergency room trips increase on holidays for a variety of reasons! Here’s an older newsletter/blog posting of ours with a check list of what to do to make trips to the vet easier for you and for your cat! It will help you organize and plan before you get there. And once you are there double check and question everything – we’ve seen where a doctor mis-prescribed a medication or got the dosage wrong – you have the right to go over every detail without getting push back.

  1. Accustom your cat to a carrier and to traveling in the car.
  2. If your veterinarian doesn’t already have your cat’s medical record on file, bring it with you or have your previous veterinary hospital send or fax the records. Also bring your own notes on your cat’s health and medical history. Don’t send your cat with a person who doesn’t have the information the vet will need to help your cat – or if you must do this, thoroughly document your cat’s current condition on paper and make sure you’re available by phone to answer questions that may come up.
  3. Arrive on time or a few minutes early for your appointment.
  4. Unless children can sit quietly without distracting you or interfering with your veterinary team’s ability to examine or treat your cat or talk to you about your cat, consider leaving your children with a babysitter while you take your cat to the veterinarian.
  5. Turn your cell phone off while you are in the exam room.
  6. Know what medications your cat is receiving (including supplements), as well as how much, how often and how long it is given. Better yet, bring them with you.
  7. Don’t be shy about sharing your observations and concerns with your veterinarian – after all, you know your cat better than anyone else does.
  8. Ask questions. Ask until you understand the answers. Often vets forget that we don’t have a medical degree.
  9. Take notes! Don’t expect to remember everything. While you are taking your notes, you may think of additional questions which you should write down and ask before you leave.
  10. Ask for handouts and brochures. Ask if there are reputable online sources of information about your cat’s condition.
  11. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. They’re given for one very important reason – to keep your cat healthy.
  12. Arrange for a follow phone call to review how the cat is doing.
  13. And our Lucky 13 thing to do: Check the name or names of medication. Check the dosage and instructions on the bottle/s of medication and compare them to what the veterinarian wrote down. Show it to the office manager to verify. Mistakes can happen and in the case of drugs – they can be fatal. Never take anything for granted, a cat-parent cannot be too fussy!

How to Keep Your Cat From Biting

Every now and then we hear from people who ask what products we might have for cats who bite. They often bite during play or while being petted. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a dime on a product BUT you do need to change behavior, yours, not the cat’s!

There are many cats who get “overly stimulated” and it can happen fast. Even a few brisk strokes on a cat’s fur can be too overly stimulating and trigger than same excitement of an outside cat when prey is in sight – attack and bite! This harkens back to their early primitive years in forests and jungles when survival depended upon great hunting skills.

If you have such a cat here’s what you should do. Beginning right now No More Petting! Give this a few weeks to a few months. I know – it’s hard! Really hard, but you must. Don’t think about how soft and plush your cat is, resisting isn’t easy! But resist you must. Even if the cat begs for it, rubs on your legs or body, don’t do it. Play hard to get! If you can’t resist some fur-contact do a few strokes, soft strokes on the tippy tips of fur, then stop. Walk away if you need to.

The other thing you must stop doing right is no more playing finger-mice with your hands. You must restrict play by allowing the cat to only play with floor toys (like our Catnip toys) rather than interactive toys. We want to give the cat some time to disassociate you with play, chasing and hunting that your cat might be more genetically prone to than other house cats

You can make this stop and allow your cat to be calmer and less likely to channel their hunter ancestors!

One last thought. Sometimes a cat will bite because of a tooth ache so have your vet check out your cat’s mouth to see if this is the root cause.