Thursday, April 5, 2007

Chow Chow Chow

I am a pet lover and I have three pets. Two of them are dogs; the other is a cat. I have such deep and abiding affection for Kitty that it sometimes surprises me because I always considered myself to be a dog person.

Kitty (her real name is Tabitha, but we mostly call her Kitty) came to live with us nearly eight years ago after we found her as a starving stray on a deserted building site. It was around Christmas and it was cold and she was a pathetic little waif who let me catch her and put her in the car. I originally intended to get her out of the cold and then after Christmas, to take her to a shelter. She is pretty, with blue eyes and almost Siamese markings, so I thought she was likely to find a good home.

Kitty had other ideas, however, and within a few weeks, she was my permanent bedtime foot-warmer. She has moved with us to two houses in Houston, a house in Louisiana, another house in Texas, and now to Washington state. She has also endured a nightmare hurricane evacuation with me -- inside a carrier in a (barely) moving car for 26 hours -- without any stops (for poor Kitty). She was so freaked out, she howled like a banshee the entire time (and so did I, but that's another story). She survived, though, and on the trip back home, she was quiet as a purring mouse. She apparently decided that riding in the car was OK as long as terrifying things weren't happening around her.

But now Kitty has a problem. That means we have a problem too. Kitty's other nickname is PsychoKitty because her early life as a stray made her a bit flaky about some things. She's terrified of strangers, and she's terrified of most food. We think because she was hanging around a construction site when we found her that she must have been living on food dropped by the builders. When they disappeared for Christmas holidays, she began to starve. When we found her, we stopped at the store and bought some generic sort of crunchy cat food since we knew we had nothing at home. It must have been different enough to what she'd been eating out of desperation that it was comforting to her.

So, what's the problem? Well, that crunchy cat chow is literally the only thing Kitty will eat. She will not touch fish, or chicken, or anything else that isn't cat chow, and in fact, she literally runs away when you try to tempt her with it. The problem is that we have this pet food scare and we want to feed our pets home cooked food until we're sure their food is safe. DH whipped up meatloaf and hamburger and rice for the animals and the dogs are in heaven. Kitty, OTH, will only eat this stupid cat chow, so she stalked around the house for two days, wailing at the top of her lungs, until I conceded defeat and gave her what she wanted. So far, the specific food hasn't been recalled, but the list keeps growing and I'm worried that it will be. I really really don't want to give my cat food that is going to kill her and I'm afraid that I am.

Keep your fingers crossed for Kitty.


Gillian said...

Those pictures show Kitty at her most sane.

I do hope the food problem sorts itself before Kitty runs out of options. I'll keep everything crossed.

(Maybe the dry food is sourced differently to the tinned stuff.)

Tess said...

Oh, poor Kitty. But she is beautiful! From what I understand, most dry food is fine. Our girls eat Medi-Cal Weight Control made by Royal Canin - I picked more up yesterday from the vet and read the release from Royal Canin saying they'd tested their food just to be sure and it's safe.

But I hear you on wanting to feed your pets home made food - if we had a kitchen I might be tempted to do the same.

Hope you find something Kitty will eat! Have you tried scrambled egg?

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

What a beautiful Kitty she is, Tamara. I do so hope that the scare doesn't extend to what you feed her on. We have a psycho-kitty ourselves in Dottie, who takes one look at her bowl, and if she doesn't like what's in it, flees through the cat flap. Like Kitty she would rather starve than eat something that doesn't conform to her ideas of proper food - and yes, we've gone several days without her eating at all. Even if there's something she likes in her bowl if she's interrupted, whilst dining, she'll run away from the food. She wasn't a stray, so I don't know where her psychosis comes from, but I do hear what you are saying. Difficult indeed!