Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Won't Lie...I Miss It.

It has been about three weeks since I have had a "coke" and I gotta say, it has been rough. I don't care what people say, it is not true that after a couple of weeks the craving goes away because it doesn't. I guess for the "regular" person it might, but for those of us who use it as a substitute for other things, like snacks, it is a bit more important. I have been swilling down the water and Crystal Light, but it is SO not my beloved Diet Coke. I am not sure what health benefits I am reaping by giving it up, but I can tell you I am probably saving 30.00 a week or so, if you count in the stuff I ahve to get the kids whenever we would stop for a coke.
Surely there is some benefit to losing the soda.....if you know of any, let me know.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NEXSTAR - 2010

Today was the THIRD dance competition, and man was it a doozy!
First off, we had to wear the false eyelashes. It was a fight to get them on, then the real battle began, keeping them on all day!

Sassy girl!

Two pretty little divas!

Just chillin' between dances.

After a quick lunch of Chinese, we had to have a shoe change by the car.

All smiles and ready for awards!

For the awards, ALL the girls pile onto the stage and wait for the announcements. I'm not sure what this pouting was all about.

Our little tappers got a platinum and a high gold award in the judicated section and then got both FIRST and SECOND place in the 8 and under large group competition. They did two numbers, so that is how they got both the first and second place. I am so very proud of my girl and her little classmates. They definately work really hard for everything they have earned!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feline BMI.....Progress Report

After two solid weeks of no dry food, I am happy to report that Bob has lost approximately 0.7 lbs and Poopie has lost 0.4. Smudge ( clinic cat) had lost 0.4 as of last Monday. Currently at home we are alternately feeding Pet Promise, Innova, and Wellness with a can of Friskies or Nine-Lives for variety. Smudge is eating Purina DM or Hill's M/d for the most part with a bit of Friskies . :)
The Pet Promise I have only seen at PetCo until recently. Last week it was on sale at Big Lots for a very reasonable $.50 a can. I bought a BUNCH. The EVO from Innova is grain free and is possibly the best choice for diabetic cats, of which mine are not. They like it very well, but it is quite a bit more expensive and at this point, only available at a few places in town. It is easy to find online though, but the shipping may make it cost prohibitive.

Wellness may be the best overall choice for people with multiple cats because it does come in larger cans. If I were going to be out of town and have some one come in to feed, I would likely have them give one of these daily.
A few important points that I have to mention if you are considering going "all wet" with your cat:
1. Watch for loss of muscle mass. They don't need to lose too fast. If you are feeding as much canned as they can eat and are seeming to lose muscle, you will need to increase the quality of the food.
2. Cats do not need food in front of them 24/7. They will probably beg a bit during the first week, but then will become accustomed to the meal feedings.
3. Be sure to keep fresh water available at all times. My cats are not drinking NEARLY the amount of water they once were, so don't wait until it is empty to change it. Do it every day!
4. Per my research, any canned is better than any dry. If you have a cat that is reluctant to eat canned food, then leave a little bit of dry out so that they have a means to survive, but also offer canned food several times daily.
5. If your cat is diabetic, watch closely for signs of hypoglycemia. You may need to talk to your veterinarian about the dosing of insulin. Of course, I suggest always that you consult your doctor about any change in the care of your diabetic pet, whether that be food or medications.
Let me know how it is going for your cat ( via comments) and what you are feeding.......I'd really love to know.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reduction of Feline BMI

Several years ago, through a series of fouled up plans, we aquired a lovely siamese-like kitten. His name is Bob. We went to a scarey apartment complex in Memphis to get him. There was a Bob Marley beach towel hanging over the window like a curtain. Much was going on there. But they were nice and the cats were sweet, so we took him. And fled.

Here he is as a lean and gorgeous teenager. Over the years, like all of us, he matured. And grew. And spread. Then, suddenly one day, he was this........

Twenty-one pounds of feline deliciousness. I decided that he really needed to be on a diet when he came and sat on my chest in bed one morning and I was nearly suffocated. Bob has a huge frame, so I was prepared to see that he was maybe 17 lbs or so, but 21? Desperate times call for desperate measures. I am not sayin that big cats aren't beautiful, but shoot, he near killed me. Plus I don't want him to end up diabetic and having to have shots and all, which is where he is headed.

Then I grabbed up little Poopie and popped her on the scale and she was tipping it at 14 lbs. Not awful, but still a bit over optimum considering she is average frame and a female.
Ok, so I go to my trusty Veterinary Information Network and start reading. It is current belief that cats don't metabolize grains very well and should be fed a species appropriate diet that is high protein, low carb, moderate fat, high MOISTURE. That means either mice or canned food. Mice are out of the question unless they can catch one in here on their own, ( which I strongly encourage should one have the guts to get in here), so we made the switch to all canned, all the time. They are in cat HEAVEN! Thankfully, they were already accustomed to having canned food from way back in the day when we had the old cats who had health issues, so the switch was no problem. Some cats get so addicted to dry that they won't readily accept any change . Until recently, "diet" dry foods were made so by the addition of loads of fiber and decreasing fat. I can't tell you how many cats I see that are fat as little pigs and are on diet food. ( sound familiar?)

So far, we have tried several brands of canned food. The experts don't recommend any particular brand, but say that in general, any canned is better than dry. Right now, they are eating Pet Promise which is sold at Petco, but I recently found ( thru a friend alert on Facebook) that all the Big Lots stores in our area had it, so I went and stocked up. So far, they are eating it very well. We have a stockpile of other brands too, and I sort of switch it up meal to meal just to make it interesting.

I am happy to report that Bob has lost about 1.5 lbs since this experiment started. Poopie has probably lost about a half pound. They are both more active and alert, and they have been tumbling around together like they did when they were kittens.

Just to make things interesting, we started our clinic cat, Smudge, on our little "Catkins" experiment too. She has been chronically overweight for years and has been on a nationally well known reducing diet. Her claim to fame was that she would tear open bags of food if she didn't have a full bowl all the time. The diet food didn't make her lose weight, but she sure was able to fill up her litter box, and she was starving all the time. So far after one week on the diet, she is faring well.

Poopie says that she would love to be the svelte kitten in this picture.....though I doubt that she would be too interested in California rolls........but then, you just never know.

Monday, March 8, 2010

More from Teton Trek

A beautiful Trumpeter Swan. She was pretty miffed at being disturbed during her nap.
The Grizzly bears were out playing in the sunshine.

This grey wolf seemed to be really happy to see all her visitors.

Then she closed her mouth and showed us her extreme orthodontic misfortune. They should have named her "Scoop."

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This weekend was pretty busy as the children had to go to school on Saturday to makeup a snow day, then we had a big dance competition to attend in Arkansas. I am proud to say that my little girl's team got two "Gold Awards" and placed 4th overall in the 12 and under division. Today we made a trip to the zoo to check out the new "Teton Trek" exhibit. It was a beautiful day and the lodge is really impressive. I have more pictures to show, but just had to get this one up tonight. They are growing up so fast!
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