My journey into the world of organic food and alternative medicine for my animals began ten years ago with a sick, double-pawed cat named Tweetie.
I met Tweetie about a week after I began volunteering at an animal shelter in New Hampshire. He had been brought in by a family who hadn’t bothered to get their two cats fixed. Before they knew it, they had a family of 25 inbred cats - and the family was threatening to grow. My shelter stepped in to help them, and took a number of the cats and spayed and neutered the rest. But Tweetie, only nine months old, came in very ill and was immediately put in quarantine.
He had a chronic upper respiratory infection. His eyes were red slits, his nose had to be soaked with warm washcloths daily so he could breathe and his face was always covered in goo. But he was the sweetest cat I’d ever met, the four I had at that point aside.
I kept asking what was going to happen to him. No one could tell me. They figured they would just keep giving him antibiotics until he improved, and then put him up for adoption. He was sure to face a long, hard road in that realm, though. People didn’t usually come clamoring at the doors for chronically sick kitties. My shelter didn’t euthanize animals, so I didn’t fear for his safety, but I feared for his happiness. I worried he would be stuck living in a cage for a year, waiting for the perfect home. He was too happy for that, despite all he’d been through.
I went home and had a talk with my four babies. I told them they were going to get a new friend who needed some TLC. My girls ignored me. My one male was all for the idea, figuring he might have an ally, finally. So I let the shelter know I intended to adopt him. I waited (impatiently) for him to finish his medications, and they finally released him to me.
Tweetie went home happily, despite his chronic coughing, sneezing and runny eyes. He made friends easily and didn’t cause any problems. This little cat didn’t have a mean bone in his body, and I swore I would find a way to help him. So I started searching for other ways to treat his problems. And then I found Dr. Martha.
She appeared in a search I did for homeopathic medicine, something I’d always been interested in but never looked into before. Her practice was called Alternative Veterinary Services, and she was fairly new. It was her second career. She’d spent twenty-five years as a regular vet. I called her and explained the situation. She sent me a number of complicated forms to fill out and scheduled me for a two-hour appointment.
When Tweetie and I arrived, he wasn’t nervous at all. Her office wasn’t anything like a regular vet’s office. It was more like a living room, since she didn’t use any of the tools traditional vets used. We talked about Tweetie’s history, she observed him and did a physical exam.
Then she told me he needed to eat raw food. I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded disgusting. But she had some incredible statistics on nutrition and the positive changes it made in animals lives, once they stopped eating all the junk in dry foods. If he won’t eat the raw, just feed him quality wet food, she told me. Both were fine with Tweetie. For an allegedly sick cat, he ate raw food on the first try - unusual, Dr. Martha said. In addition to the raw, she began treating him homeopathically.
And miracles began to occur.
His eyes got better. His breathing improved. He didn’t sound as congested all the time. His mood, thankfully, didn’t change - he was still as sweet as ever. And just like that, I was a believer.
It wasn’t that he immediately achieved perfect health overnight. It’s been a long road, and sometimes he has setbacks. As I write this post, though, he’s sitting on my lap, happy as can be. He still eats raw food every day, and I know the difference it’s made in his health. He’s 11 now, and I look forward to him being around for a long time.
That’s one of the reasons I’m so delighted for the opportunity to write the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries - I can use what I’ve learned, what’s helped my own animals, and share that with everyone. I’m so excited to be able to spread the word about natural, organic food for animals in a lot of future books. I hope it will make life better for a lot of our four-legged friends.
Liz Mugavero writes the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. The first in the series, Kneading to Die, is on sale May 7. In her spare time, she looks for new, healthy food recipes for her own furries.