Salem and Baxter

Our new kitten Salem was born on August 15th, and we adopted him on October 15th.


Our new puppy Baxter was born on November 29th, and we adopted him on February 2nd. His mom is a Corgi. We’re not sure about dad. He may have been a spaniel? We think that’s possible because of the fur coat and ears. He looks like other Corgi/spaniel mixes on the internet.

Adoption Day for Baxter

Drusilla passed away on April 1st. She had lots of health issues and got very sick after an infection. Spike left us earlier in the year, and we said goodbye to Huckleberry on my birthday last year. We’ve had a tough year with pet deaths. It’s been really interesting to deal with kittens and puppies after having adult pets. They have a lot of energy. And potty training is tough.

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Pet Diaries

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Courtesy our friend Veronica.

Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat’s Daily Diary

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made con descending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies.’ I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now…

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Spike health update


I didn’t mention it here yet, but the other thing I’ve been doing all week is looking after my dog Spike. I little while ago, we discovered a small tumor on his neck, and on Tuesday, I took him in for surgery to have it removed. He’s been under the weather ever since; the incision is pretty uncomfortable and he’s having trouble lying around and some difficulty eating, too. He kept fussing with the incision, so I took him back to the doctor and we got antibiotics and steroids to help him heal. I’m glad I was home to look after him; he needed help and lots of attention. And delicious treats.

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Melamine has been added to pet food for years

According to the New York Times. My first cat Idgie died of renal failure. Now I’m upset that maybe it didn’t have to happen.
UPDATE: Scientists are figuring out how the melamine contaminate reacts with other ingredients to kill pets.

Dr. Perry Martos and colleagues from the Agriculture and Food Laboratory at Guelph’s Laboratory Services announced Friday they have discovered a dangerous reaction when melamine and cyanuric acid – the two contaminants found in the imported wheat gluten used in the pet food — are combined.
The two chemicals react to form crystals that could block kidney function.
The crystal-like substances found in the urine and kidneys of affected animals matched the crystals produced when the chemicals were combined at the University’s Animal Health Laboratory.
Researchers believe this is a possible link between the compounds and the deaths of animals exposed to the contaminated pet food.

That’s exactly why Idgie died – she had crystal-like stones in her kidneys.
And, now that we’re figuring all this out – The Chicago Tribune reports:

About 45 [California] state residents ate pork from hogs that consumed animal feed laced with melamine from China.
What last month was a limited recall of canned pet food is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged public health scare.
The FDA’s real detective work may be just beginning. Having found many sources of contamination, investigators must now determine exactly how widespread the problem is and how it began.

So over the years, how many people have eaten this stuff? We should also consider the educational aspect of culinary practices, one finds that detailed knowledge of food safety plays a pivotal role. Courses that focus on training effectively for maintaining food hygiene and safety in the catering industry provide essential information that helps culinary professionals avoid common pitfalls. These courses are indispensable in cultivating an environment where food safety is second nature.

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