I came across this short piece in my mom’s files from 2006. I thought everybody might enjoy it…
Since I’m into holistic health and since I want my Ms. Kitty to be super healthy, I’ve been reading up on holistic cat care. One book I found suggested that true cat lovers should cook their cats’ food themselves, and it also gave a recipe for a vitamin-mineral concoction to mix into the home-cooked food. I started imagining being with Ms. Kitty in the vet’s waiting room while other cat owners looked enviously at us.
“What do you feed her?”
I wave my hand modestly and say, “Oh, I cook all of her food myself.”
“No you don’t!” they exclaim.
“Oh yes, that’s why she’s so healthy and her fur is so thick and glossy. Really, it takes no time at all.”
Inspired by that imaginary conversation, I went to the health-food store last week and bought toasted wheat germ, yeast, bran, lecithin granules, kelp, and bone meal. I mixed them all up according to the proportions given in the recipe and stored them in an airtight jar.
So far, so good.
A couple days later, feeling extremely domestic and earth-mothery, I put lentils, millet, and whole wheat cereal in a pan, threw in a diced carrot and a few spinach leaves, clapped a lid over it and put it on to boil. In less than a minute, there was a hissing sound coming from the kitchen and I realized the pan was boiling over.
Note: a mixture of lentils and millet and wheat cereal sticks to a stove top like industrial strength cement. I scrubbed it off as best I could and then mixed up an entirely new batch. This time I lowered the flame a bit, but not enough. It boiled over too. FYI, you can’t cover a pan of boiling lentils and millet and wheat cereal. If you do, it will boil over. Best to leave it uncovered and watch it like a hawk.
I finally succeeded in getting the stuff cooked and dumped it into the food processor. I whirred it into an oatmeal consistency, added some bran flakes and stirred in a can of chicken chunks. A little winded by this time, but feeling extremely virtuous, I spooned serving portions into small baggies and put them in the freezer.
Yesterday morning, I got up a little early and took one of the baggies out to let it defrost. Once it was room temperature, I stirred in some of the vitamin-mineral mix, plopped it all in a bowl and proudly set it down for Ms. Kitty’s dining pleasure. She sniffed it, turned her tail up, and walked away, sending me one of her telepathic kitty messages – something to the effect that she would eat that glop when hell froze over.
She stayed outside all day sulking. Cats can be finicky, so sometimes you have to stand your ground if you make any major changes to their diet. I figured since her new food would make her the picture of health, with thick and glossy fur, it was worth the fight, so last night I tried it again. This time I put in a few pieces of lamb from my own dinner. She picked out the lamb and left the rest.
Today she seemed suspicious even before we went in to the kitchen. I gave her another serving of the lentil-millet-chicken mixture and this time she sent me a very hostile message. I think she may even have used the F-word. Then she stalked into the living room and pouted while I sat at the kitchen table and ate my yogurt and fruit. I sprinkled some of her vitamin-mineral mix on it.
While I was rinsing my dishes, she came back and sniffed at her bowl. She shot me an angry look and then nibbled a few bites. I was elated. My patience had paid off. Then she asked to go outside. Just after I shut the door behind her, she made a horrible yowling sound. Alarmed, I jerked the door open, and she stepped back inside and promptly threw up between my feet.
I sighed. “Okay, you win. You don’t have to eat it again.”
Later I was sitting at my desk, opening mail and paying bills, when Ms. Kitty jumped up into my lap and looked hard at me. She leaned over my hand and, for the first time in her life, bit me. On the wrist. Not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough to send a clear message. Then she looked up at me and blinked twice.
Ms. Kitty and I blink at each other like that sometimes to say, “I love you.” But, this time I knew she was saying, “I forgive you, but don’t ever do anything like that to me again.”
Tonight, I unceremoniously opened up a can of sliced beef cat food and gave it to Ms. Kitty without stirring in any of the vitamin-mineral mix. She gave me a proper “thank you” and gobbled up every bit of it. Then she hopped onto the couch next to me and curled up for a nice nap, purring so loudly I could barely concentrate on the holistic cat book I was reading.
I’ve thrown away all the specially cooked food, but I’m saving the vitamin-mineral mix. When Ms. Kitty sees how thick and glossy it makes my hair, she’s going to be jealous.