March 25, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was difficult. As anyone who’s cared for an ill, elderly parent knows, it’s not easy. Things looked pretty grim until about mid-afternoon, when everything took a turn for the better, and she finally got some sleep. Elsa was great, staying right there all the time. She (my mom, not the cat) is better today, but still a little wobbly.

In between taking care of my mom, I worked on the various letters in reference to the pet food recall. Let me just say that the more research I did, the more appalled I am by the entire industry. And I didn’t like what I heard from Trader Joe’s – although I’m grateful they got back to me so quickly. Although their food is NOT on the recall list, it IS prepared at Menu Foods, and they’ve pulled it all to run their own tests. They suggested I return everything I have to the local store for a refund. Which I will definitely do.

According to Amelia’s comment yesterday, she’d heard from CNN that the additional animals who died did so at the same time while they were testing foods at Menu; the information I had from NBC was that they tested the tainted food on animals when the complaints began coming in. I’ve asked NBC to clarify.

Purina only outsourced one brand of pouched dog food in the recall – the rest is manufactured at their own plants, so it seems (I’m waiting for a confirmation). However, I don’t know if I entirely trust their wet food, either.

None of the pet stores or book stores around here carry THE NATURAL CAT, and most of them claim they can’t even order it (hey, it’s on Amazon, why can’t they order it?). I ordered a copy through Strand (hopefully they’ll pull it before someone gets to it) and I’m giving the girls baby food for the next few days until I decide what to do. Yes, I could JUST give them dry food, but they’ll tear the house down. Their routine is wet food in the morning, dry food later on. And you don’t mess with their routine! Not without serious consequences, anyway!

If you ever read the wonderful book by a New York City vet called ALL OF MY PATIENTS ARE UNDER THE BED, he states that baby beef is perfectly all right to feed cats. Of course, I also give mine baby turkey, baby ham, etc. And it has to be Gerber’s Stage 2. They hate all other brands, and Stage 1 is too mushy. I have a few jars, but I’ll get some more tomorrow when I pick up the newspaper. Generally, I only give them baby food if they have an upset stomach, but in the circumstances, I think it’s safer than anything else out there, at least in the short term.

Just in case, I checked the Gerber site to see if there were any recalls.

And you really want to get angry? Check out

By the way, Iams and Eukanuba are basically the same company, under two different brand names.

I finished Susan Cheever’s lovely book American Bloomsbury, about Alcott, Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Hawthorne. It’s a personal book as well as an historical one. I highly recommend it. I also recently read Mary Poppins, She Wrote, which an excellent biography of PL Travers, and Mia King’s Good Things.

I loved Good Things. You can visit Mia’s blog on my list to the right (Mia Musings) to find out more about the book. Her main character is someone I feel I could be friends with, and she avoids the genre traps of overly neurotic protagonists. It’s a warm, lovely book which has enough surprises so the reader never gets complacent. Go read it.

Once I finished American Bloomsbury, I started on the first volume of LM Montgomery’s Journals. They are fascinating. I love her books anyway, above and beyond the Anne of Green Gables books. And her journals! I also love the way she refers to herself as a “book drunkard”. I know exactly what she means.

Hopefully, my mom will continue to improve today AND I’ll be a bit more all-around productive. The less time I make to write, the more fractured I feel. Now that I’ve tasted the non-writing life for a few weeks – it’s not for me.



  1. Hope your mom gets better soon!

    And interesting about Iams and Eukanuba being the same company. I only feed my cat the dry food – he’s not a big fan of the wet – and I always buy the Iams and balk at the price of the 20 pound bag. Perhaps it’s time to make a switch…

  2. That IS interesting about them being the same! Well, it happens all the time in retail. You have “Ralph Lauren” clothes being sold as “Chaps” in the lower-end stores, why not the same with pet food?

    Still, it’s a very sad story and lots of people are getting hurt. And the lawsuits have started, I read. What a mess. And what horrible irresponsibility.

    Glad you can get back to writing! I would imagine you’d freak out a little if you couldn’t! 🙂

  3. Y’know, the instant I heard the pet food industry was “self regulating” I knew it ripe for this kind of fiasco. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t happened sooner than this. And somebody needs to be held accountable. At the very least, Menu Foods should have to pay everyone’s vet bills.

    We don’t have any pets right now, but I’ll be curious to hear the results of all your investigations.

    I’m glad your mom is feeling better. These bugs/flu that are going around this year are so nasty!

  4. So relieved your mom is feeling a bit better. And what a fiasco about the cat food. My two like a mixture of dry food and wet like yours but they have the wet food at night. We use Whiskas which is made by Mars. I’ve checked on the Internet and none of their animal food is having to be recalled. Hope your mom continues to improve and that you have a good week, Devon!

  5. Wow – one ting after another for you sweets. Hope your mom recovers quickly. Thanks for the well wishes you’ve posted for my sick friend. Hugs! Rhi

  6. I’m so glad you’re mom’s feeling better. It is sad about the pet food. It SUCKS when profits win out over morality. It makes you wonder what really in the food humans eat. Too bad organic food is so expensive.

  7. Thank you for clarifying so many of the different rumors going on about the recall. I know my cats should be eating some wet food, but at this time, I’m happy we’re just giving them dry food.
    I’m glad that you’re Mother is improving. I hope she continues on to a quick total recovery.
    I remember reading Anne of Green Gables. I enjoyed it so much when I was a child. I think I’ll dig my books back out. did you ever read her other series? Emily of New Moon?(I think that’s the series.)

  8. Thank goodness Taffy and Levi like dry food. I dislike the look of the “slices and gravy” food and stopped buying it. Once in a while I’ll pick up a couple cans of Fancy Feast as a treat, but mostly they get the dry. I checked out that list and was relieved that none of the “cream-style” cat food I sometimes buy is on it. I didn’t know you could feed cats baby food! Levi has a delicate stomach, so that’s good to know. d:)

  9. Shit, I’m glad I don’t buy IAMS. Poor animals :o(

    Hope your mom gets better soon. Sorry to hear about her being poorly.

    Bless you both, my friend.


  10. So glad your mom’s feeling better, Devon.

    And those poor animals. It makes me furious when profit has to come before everything else.

  11. Sorry to hear about your Mum – hope she’s feeling much better very soon!


  12. I know that fractured feeling well, as well as cat anxiety, and the trials and blessings of an elderly mom. Sending good thoughts your way.

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