I Remember That Day

Tiny Baby Babbis Kitten

A Curious Visitor Turned Family Member

I was in a loud place. There were many people walking back and forth. I heard dogs barking and cats meowing. The little box I was in was so cold and hard. There were bars in front of my face, blocking me from getting away. I was in pain because I had just had surgery and my ears hurt from an infection. My nose and eyes were running because I had a cold. I don’t like remembering this part.

I was so scared.

But then there were these two beings who were different than the others. I was the last cat they looked at. I saw them take one after another into a room to play. But eventually they saw me. I was off in the corner, in my cold, sterile cage. The female human peered in and smiled. She made a comment about how she had almost missed me there. She mentioned having seen me on the website and that I was cute. But then she added that I wasn’t what she had thought she was looking for. My little heart fell.

You were wrong.

The female asked if she could play with me. I was taken out of my little cold metal box and put into a small room where the humans stared at me and I stared back. I furtively cowered in the corner, barely containing my frenetic kitten energy. I was so small and they were so big. But they were sitting on the floor with me, so they weren’t as scary. They talked to me and watched me. It seemed like they were waiting for something. I got more brave as time went on. I got closer. They took out a wand toy and I instinctively did a butt wiggle while targeting my sights on it. I pounced on it, drawing ever closer to those humans.

Love at first sight.

The female commented that I was so cute. She said that my butt wiggle was so precious. As we sat there, she recounted how many times she had been to different shelters in the past month and how many cats she had met. None of them clicked with her. She commented that she could see me coming home with her. The longer I spent with her, the more natural it seemed. I came over and scratched on her tennis shoes with my tiny claws. When she tried to touch me, I’d duck away. But at the end of an hour, I was comfortable. I felt like I was home, yet not home.

No more thinking!

It seemed like the female was deeply concerned and hesitant about bringing me home. I could tell she wanted to, but she was afraid. She was just as frightened of bringing me home as I was frightened at the prospect of staying at that place. That noisy, cold, sterile, sad place. She talked to the male human and bemoaned the decision. At one point, she said, “I wish I could bring her home.” The question that changed all of our lives was a retort from the male. He asked, “Why can’t you?”

Reservations required.

I had made it clear that my intention was to adopt those humans. Eventually they realized it and relented. Since it was only about half an hour before the shelter was closing for the day, no more adoptions were being processed. It was also the day before Thanksgiving. It seemed I would not be going anywhere. The humans had to place a hold on me and paid a fee. I so much wanted to leave that place but they locked me back up in that cage. I had only a small crocheted pink and yellow potholder-sized blanket as a bed. The sadness was palpable.

They didn’t forget me!

Two days later, on Black Friday, the humans appeared again. I heard the female say something about having just gotten off work. They came to get me as soon as possible. This was not soon enough, let me tell you. Before I knew it, someone had scooped me up and put me into a cardboard carrier. The employee quipped that it was my “Cardboard Cadillac.” It was a small cardboard rectangle with a handle on the top. There were also holes in the side at even intervals to give me a way to breathe. When the humans were asked what my name was going to be, the female thought for a moment. She then announced “Pumpkin Pie.” The people there made a name tag made just for me. A short while later, they had taken me outside. I heard some doors shut. Apparently I was in something I’d soon learn was called a car.

Sugar Ray Babbis

On the way home, I was in the cardboard box on the male human’s lap. I started furiously punching my little paws through the holes in the side of the box. I wanted to get out! This was somehow even worse than the cage I had just left! The male human kept laughing. The female was driving so she didn’t get to see my antics but kept hearing the sounds of my paws quickly passing through the holes over and over. I was determined to get out of there.

Home sweet home.

It didn’t last long, though. After a short car ride, we were finally home. I instinctually knew that I belonged in that house. Once I got out of that cardboard box, I went about exploring post haste. I ventured all over the bedroom that they put me in. The female laid in an inflatable bed on the floor and just watched me. I was skittish and did not want to get too close to her, though. I was always running around and hiding. However, that night, she was eating Thanksgiving leftovers. I became curious and quietly snuck over to sit in front of her and give her “the eyes.” The turkey she had smelled so good. It ended up being my first meal at home. I think that might have been the best meal I’ve ever had since.

That night, I wasn’t just nourished with food but also with love.

I’d have to say that I’ve come a long way from being left with my siblings in a box on the shelter’s steps. What do you think? [Read more…]

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Diet of a Beauty Queen

Why is my fur is so fluffy and soft, as if I were a cloud?
Why are my claws so long and sharp?
Why are my teeth white and free of tartar?
Why am I always so energetic and sassy?

Babbis Sitting on Leather Chair

Beauty Queen Babbis

When I was around a year and a half old, Mammis and the vet decided that I had an allergic condition on my neck that is called “eosinophillic granulomas.” They’re swellings that get crusty and are very itchy. I also get them on the back of my legs but the neck bumps bother me so much more! I scratch and scratch until they’re red and bleeding. I had to take steroids every day to try to keep the swellings away.

They wouldn’t go away, until….

Mammis decided to try a raw food diet. It had very limited and simple ingredients, no grains, and of course high quality protein. She cut out chicken, turkey, and fish proteins. Now I mostly eat rabbit, duck, venison, and a few other “novel” proteins. Anything that has even salmon oil or some other fish oil in it will make me break out. Mammis found this out just recently when we were trying a new food and I got a new reaction for the first time in years.

What is this “raw food diet” thing? Isn’t it just a fad?

A raw food diet is technically the most biologically appropriate food for your pet. This is especially true for cats, since they are obligate carnivores. (This means they have to eat lots of high-quality protein or they will die.) If you think about it, do wild cats grow and evolve over time eating a bunch of grains and rice with just a little protein? No. Wild cats eat small prey like rodents. House cats have been domesticated (barely) over time from some kind of desert cat. Desert cats don’t eat the fast food equivalent of food (kibble). They don’t get a ton of vegetables either. The naturally evolved cat only gets vegetables from the entrails of their prey and bits of grass they chew on. That’s it. They do not have the enzymes in their digestive tract to properly break down vegetables and grains.

Because of this, when you feed your furry friend some dry or canned food that has a bunch of fillers, they aren’t getting real nutrition. They’re getting a Big Mac or Whopper. One can eat that kind of stuff once in a while but if one does it all of the time, it’s going to catch up to one eventually. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cats that are fed raw diets are healthier, live longer, have a more beautiful coat, and overall are more energetic. Most, if not all, bred show cats are fed raw diets.

I know, you’re probably like, “Ew, seriously?”

Mammis was hesitant at first and reluctant as well. But I got better on the raw diet! She and others think that a raw diet can cure a lot of the inflammatory and allergic conditions cats and dogs have today. Cats are so sensitive! They have such tiny livers that have a hard time detoxifying things. A raw diet with simple, high quality ingredients helps them digest better!


Babbis Looking At Raw Food Heart Shaped Birthday Cake With Candles

Babbis’ Raw Food Birthday Cake

Mammis thought of some questions you might have:

Isn’t the raw food gross? It takes some getting used to, of course. There are premade brands such as Stella and Chewy’s and Primal that are thaw and feed. There are also raw dehydrated foods that are shelf stable by those manufacturers and a few more like Sojos. I have always eaten Stella and Chewy’s because they are the most limited ingredient overall. I’ve tried other brands and they make me sick. So we’re sticking with Stella’s. You can also make your own food at your own risk based on Dr. Lisa Pierson’s recipe at catinfo.org.

Are you sure it isn’t gross? Like I said, you’ll both get used to it. The only thing that Mammis has a hard time getting over is the thought of feeding me whole prey like mice, rats, and rabbits. She’s fed me just about everything else including organs. I love it!

Is it safe? Mammis would have the retort, “Is life safe?” Nothing is absolutely safe. If raw food is kept properly frozen and thawed in the refrigerator, the dishes are clean, the food is only left out at meal time, and it’s from a reputable manufacturer, you’re most likely OK! But what about for humans handling it? Wash your hands. Don’t eat right after you handle the food or your pet. Wash your hands before you eat too! This is common sense. Immunocompromised people might not want to raw feed and that’s understandable. There are passable high quality dry and canned products available for pets.

So you’re absolutely sure raw is the best option? Mammis counted out 39 pet food recalls on the American Veterinary Medical Association webpage that happened in the last year! These were only the ones that were issued. I don’t believe this included the many voluntary recalls each year. Have you ever wondered about those times when your cat or dog gets sick and you can’t figure out why? What if it’s the cheap, over-processed, low quality food that’s been tainted with something?

Speaking of tainted….

At the very beginning of this year, there was just an incidence of poisoning via pet food. Evanger’s “Hunk of Beef” canned dog food poisoned five dogs, one of which died. All were owned by the same owner. It was determined through testing that a large amount of pentobarbital was in the food. What’s pentobarbital? It’s what they use to put animals to sleep. I could go through the whole lengthy story about the rendering industry. In essence, pet food manufacturers buy “meat” and by-products from the rendering industry that uses dead animals, including euthanized ones and roadkill. This may also include euthanized pets. Mammis has seen video of it. And yes, the FDA has done studies on pentobarbital in pet food. There were just a few, and not very in-depth.

In 1998, it was found that 50% of pet foods tested (around 100 foods tested) had pentobarbital in them.

Anyhow, let’s get off this sad subject. I, Babbis, wholly endorse raw feeding if done in a responsible, safe, and clean manner. I love my raw food!

There are links to my favorite foods in the “My Favorites” tab on my home page.

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Why Do We Love the Babbis?

Babbis Sitting on Desk

The Real Owner

Babbis has a sassy cattitude,
And a mischievous smile.
Her hair is fluffy like a cloud,
So very much like cotton candy.
Her claws will rip you to shreds,
As she kills you with cuteness.
She takes our love and converts it to purrs,
Then continues the cycle by being adorable.
Her knowing eyes shine like molten gold,
While she deviously plots her next escapade.
The patchwork of spots on her fur
Are like a road map of perfection.
She is a furry artist that makes
Artwork in her litter box studio at 5 AM.
But only after she visits the Mammis in bed for inspiration
And doing kitty calisthenics all over her body.
One must ensure the humans are still alive
And that they are tenderized enough to start the day.

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