Several years before I graduated from massage school (1995), I began learning how certain foods I ate impacted my health, for better and worse. A nutritionist discovered I was allergic to wheat, corn, and most gluten’s, and had a high sensitivity to sugars, which expressed in the form of hypoglycemia, Candida and immune compromised conditions. These factors and others led me to learn about natural foods and supplements.
As I began to nourish myself, whole foods (and healing) became primary, as a means to recover. Adding whole grains, dark leafy greens and meats without antibiotics into my diet, literally changed my addictive living patterns, and shifted my entire life experience into a grounded sense of well-being and embodiment. During this time I adopted two cats, Gemstone & Cleopatra. I hadn’t had any animals in my life since I was nineteen, and it was then, at age thirty-two (1997) I was learning how to mother myself and my new adoptees at the same time.
I adopted Gem first and Clea several months later. When I arrived to pick Clea up from the shelter, she was quite ill. She had an upper respiratory infection, which I knew nothing about. With antibiotics in hand, to address the congestion and literal snot running out of her nose, the attendant handed her to me and said she would be fine.
I brought Clea home, put her in a room away from Gem and called the vet. I was directed to bring her in immediately. Once examined, the vet hospitalized Clea because she was so ill. The Humane Society ended up paying for the bill– I’m sure they regretted adopting her out after that. Once released to come home, I noticed that her stool was bloody. I had an immediate gut reaction and decided I had had enough of treating Clea with such extreme means. I was going to take care of Clea and Gem the same way I cared for myself–holistically! Ten days on antibiotics in isolation was too much for a five month old kitten, who had just lost her mother and her sister.
Clea’s immune system was overloaded. I was concerned and found a local (well-respected) holistic vet to take her to. During the appointment, Dr. Pitcairn’s book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, was a suggested read. I picked it up right away and also found Anitra Fraizer’s book, The Natural Cat (the holistic CAT bible). We began working to heal Clea’s gut and her immune system. Clea had developed herpes in her eyes from the upper respiratory infection. After changing her diet and adding supplementation, the herpes didn’t return.
We changed Clea’s diet to raw. Gem switched over to a raw homemade diet too and Clea’s stool normalized immediately. With each fresh meal, I watched their coat’s turn into thick beautiful fur. Shedding became a past time. Their dispositions were calmer. They used the litter box less, and there was much less odor when they did! It was so nice to see the evolution of wellness take place with the feline beauties in my care.
All of this was enough to convince me that holistic remedies were the way for me to nourish the beautiful babes in my care.
Later I learned raw bone (calcium) was not so good for Gem because of his predisposition to urinary crystals and stones. So I only give him raw meat with no raw bones, and mostly canned food now.