Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maggie & Cat-tip-of-the-day

When I was a child I looked forward every summer to spending 10 days at my grandmother's farm in Manotick, Ontario. She lived in a modest little farmhouse with large gardens, 2 hen houses and a big old barn. She did not raise cattle but lent out her pasture to the neighbours. She loved her chickens and her cats.
Maggie was the one cat I remember most. She was a little brown tabby who spent hours sitting on my grandmother's lap in front of the wood-stove or in the summer kitchen cooling off. She would always garden with my grandmother...running around and hiding on her in the grass. I remember other cats but she always stood out in my mind.

(from web)

Back in those days (40 some odd years back) cats were never spayed if they were farm cats so Maggie had many litters of kittens. My grandmother would find good homes for them and many went to friends and family members but today she would be considered an irresponsible cat owner for allowing too many births. I never thought much about it at the time. Always so happy to see the kittens and spoil them all I wanted. They were kept on the second floor of the house in a special box until they were grown enough to join us downstairs.

My grandmother never bought cat food. These cats ate from her kitchen.

 I remember so well preparing their granite dishes with meat, vegetable, bread, gravy and maybe a little milk. Then off I'd go with this gourmet dinner to the front shed of the house or the porch and feed the family. They were healthy cats and Maggie lived to be a ripe old age.
 I suppose this is why I started cooking for my dog, Kane right away when we adopted him from a shelter and have always cut up meat and veggies for our cats to add to their cat-food. It's real food and why would it not be better for them? Our dog and cats have had healthy lives and many live into their 20's.
I think it is just common-sense to feed what we would eat. It has always made sense to me and my vet doesn't object.

I named one of my cats after the lovely Maggie. She was my soul-soother and she loved when I would dance around the kitchen with her. She lived 18 years with me and I miss her everyday.
   Maggie  1992 - 2010

I have a cat-tip of the day for you.
I have been over to visit the kittens again  which reminded me that there is something very important you must know if you have just adopted one. Kittens start to use the litter-box at about 4 weeks of age. It is all the rage now to use clumping litter for a cat but you must never use clumping litter with kittens. Use the regular litter that can be bought in any pet-store. Clumping litter has clay in it and kittens tend to play in and digest some of the litter when you are not there to supervise. Clumping litter, once in their stomach, turns into cement. PLEASE NEVER USE THIS TYPE OF LITTER WITH KITTENS. It can be fatal.

Still enjoying strawberry short-cake after dinner. I think it is time to go walk it off.

hugs, Deb


  1. Love the pic of your grandma and her apron. She sounds like someone I would have liked a lot. Good tip here, something we don't think about! :D

  2. You know what, when I was little I looked so forward spending the summer with my grandparents on their farm. I can still remember the day I got my first kitten. I saw my grandfather from my window, coming home from work, with a basket in his hands. I was so curious wondering what he was carrying. He had this funny smile on his face, so I knew it was something special. Well, in the basket there was the sweetest little creature I had ever seen. I named him Gunsmoke.:) Haha, what a name!

  3. Lovely story about your summers at your granma´s place :)
    Love them old photo´s !!!

  4. Love the photo of your mum; very pretty and elegant. I always wonder if clumping litter is the right thing to use at any age. I do use it and it certainly makes my litter boxes more tolerable in my multi cat household. But still I wonder. I wonder about the whole pet food industry too! The more I read, the more disturbing and confusing things become especially about cat food. They are selling food for cats that include ingredients not good for cats! Ash?

  5. Lovely memory of your Grandmother and the kitties, plus a great cat tip.

  6. I enjoyed the memories and how your Grandma enjoyed cats. I'm glad to know that about clumping litter for kittens. Not that I have one but ya never know! I give Charlies bits of chicken that I cook and other meat. He isn't much for veggies but will eat rice sometimes.

  7. Deb what wonderful and fond memories - I'm sure something very important was implanted in you in that early age in terms of what you do today. It sounds like your Grandmother was a real lovely lady. In terms of the food - isn't meat and veggies what dry food is made from anyway?? I believe most cats on this little Greek island live off a diet just like that.
    Your Maggie was gorgeous!

  8. I know Manotick!!! :) I absolutely love going for drives there. It is such a quaint, pretty little town.

    I loved hearing your story. It reminds me of my grandparents farm (now only grandmother). Same type of story, mostly the kittens eat scraps and there are many litters of kittens. They are farm folk and my family, so I don't want to be all preachy at them, but they would definitely be considered irresponsible owners in this day and age. even still. I am sure a lot of them have a belly full of worms, you can tell that it slightly stunts their growth. I have always called them the "midget cats" because of it. Still a lot of the kitties seems quite happy there, I consider it paradise. They keep all the rodents away!! I posted a bunch of pictures from there yesterday or the day before.

    It's funny, my kitty Tuna loves when I dance around with her too. Aww...cats are so wonderful. You are so right about them being soul-soothing. And just to let you know you have a dream job!!! :D I work at a doggy daycare here in Ottawa, and while I love dogs too I would rather be around the peacefulness of cats.

    Sorry for blabbing...hehe. You have a very Beautiful Blog!!! and Thanks so much for your sweet words regarding my own! ^__^
    Take Care...

  9. Clearly kitty love runs deep in your family Deb! :)
    xo Catherine

  10. Just wanted to tell you I loved this post! We just adopted a new kitty and while I have been lucky to have several cats in my life I was struggling for some reason over what to feed our new Izzy the Busy. Wet? Dry? Combination? I really wanted to feed wet to this little girl and get away from dry kibble. So, she is on wet food(Merrick,Fancy Feast,Wellness,Natures Variety) and also healthy food from our table now. I just needed someone's opinion I trusted about feeding. And that was you! Our kitties back when we were in our twentys and thirties ate wet with a little dry left out and ate everything we ate at dinner. Or supper depending on where you live :)

    I love the story about your Grandmother and the two Maggies and the grey cat looks like my first girl, Holly.

    I have said this before but I am going to say it again. I wish with all my heart you were in our little bit of country. I could leave Izzy the Busy at home without a care in the world with her little self in your great hands!