Elvis, king of the Cats!
When Elvis was a kitten he developed a huge yucky open wound on his paw. At first I thought it was an animal bite, (possibly a squirrel) from playing on the roof of my NYC flat. Upon close inspection, I realized that it wasn't so I took him to see the cat doctor. Dr. Sullivan informed me that it was an eosinophilic granuloma caused by an allergic reaction. "Remove all fish from his diet and it will go away", he said, then handed us an antibiotic to clear the infection. "Fish...huh", I replied and he went on to explain that fish is not a natural part of a cat's diet. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever witnessing a cat hunting for fish, except for these at the National Zoo.
And that's when I began researching cat food companies for the optimal diet and let me tell you, it was a real eye opener. They put fish meal in everything! Apparently, it's a cheap source of protein and cats love it because it's stinky. Elvis has been eating fish free food ever since.
Years later, after I read an article about a cat diagnosed with mad cow's disease, I decided to do a little snooping into that arena and called a bunch of cat food companies to inquire about the source of their meat. Most wouldn't even talk to me - bad sign. Hill's Science Diet/Prescription Diet and Iams/Eukanuba gave me the run-around and would not divulge the source of their meat supply. Only PetGuard Organic, the brand that I was using since the fish incident during kittenhood, proudly revealed the source of their meat and even provided a link to their supplier. They use grass fed free range cattle from Coleman's beef...human grade meat. And while I know that beef would not be a part of a cat's natural diet since I've never seen a small cat take down a cow before, at least the meat is drug free and healthy. They also have rabbit, and venison which do not contain any fish oil either, but some of their poultry products do contain fish a/o fish oil.
So back to Elvis. We decided to call a mobile vet to come see both Elvis and Zetti because Elvis hates going to the vet so much that the last time he went which was for Rabies and Distemper vaccines, they needed to wear gloves. The doctor was lovely and she was able to see Elvis as the adorable and loving kitty he really is before he turned into the psycho-Steven-King-Cat. I swear he has the loudest growl you've ever heard and although he's a domestic cat, it's clear that there is still some wild in him. Both cats were given hydration and medication. Now we're awaiting the results of the blood tests.
I referred to my old cat care bible... this book (the author of which I've had the good fortune of meeting and think she may be a saint) and made Elvis a concoction of baby food chicken and raw organic egg yolk which I fed to him through a syringe - not fun for either of us. (Robert tended to Zetti) I am still torn about the whole raw food cat diet because even though it seems perfectly natural since a cat will catch a bird or a mouse and eat it raw, I worry about parasites. So in the past, for a boost of nutrition, I added HALO's Vita-mineral mix to his canned food. Still, there is a a company called Nature's Variety that manufactures organic raw meat pet food that I'm seriously considering trying.
As for now, Zetti continues to decline while Elvis is periodically taking a few bites of his food. He is no longer hiding inside the closet. He is sleeping on top of the kitchen cabinets near the ceiling. This is a very good sign because it is his favorite spot. He likes to be up high, like the king of the jungle.