Several years before I graduated from massage school (1995), I began learning how food impacted my well-being. I 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 living experience into a grounded sense of well-being and embodiment. In the midst of enhancing my dietary intake, I adopted two cats (Gem & Clea). I hadn’t had any animals in my life since I was nineteen, so I was essentially learning how to mother myself and my new adoptees at the same time.
Clea was sick the day I picked her up from the shelter. She had an upper respiratory infection, which I knew nothing about at the time. With antibiotics in hand, to address the congestion and literal snot running out of her nose, 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 felt Clea needed to be hospitalized because she was so sick. The Humane Society ended up paying for the bill, and I’m sure they regretted adopting her out, at least financially. Once Clea was released to come home, I saw 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 six month old kitten, who had just lost her mother, and her sister while living in a shelter. 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 (my cat bible). We began working to heal Clea’s gut, and her immune system (Clea developed herpes in her eyes from the infection, which never returned).
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 that rarely shed, dispositions that were calmer, less need to use the litter box, and less odor when they did! It was so nice to see the evolution of wellness take place with the feline beauties in my care.
Later I learned raw bone (calcium) was not so good for Gem because of his history of urinary crystals and stones. So I only give him raw meat with no raw bones, and mostly canned food now.