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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Books on Nakia

Before we left Hawaii, after Ziggy's emergency visit to the vet, I decided we needed some cat health books on board. The vets I asked for recommendations looked at me with blank stares so I started looking for myself. I ended up buying the following three books. It seemed silly at the time to order multiple references, but I'm happy I ended up buying all three of the cat books because they're from different points of view and I can pick and choose what works best for us. I hope all our cat owning friends will pass on their favorites to us as well!

Your Cat by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins - This is the first one I read cover to cover. She's a former Hill's Science Diet exec and an adamant opponent of feeding dry food. Has some good data on cases where merely changing the diet improved health issues. Using her food analysis I now know that the Rx Hill's diet (canned and dry) that we stocked up on for Ziggy is poorer quality than the few Friskies cans we still have on board. I kept looking for the flaws in her logic because I'm sure vets won't agree with her, but she makes a compelling argument.

The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier - Raw meat diet and homeopathic care proponent. Okay, this one is on the extreme end of things, but she has some good recipes for making your own food, and lots of tips. Who knew roasted chicken neck vertebrae make a good teeth cleaning treat. It's a "feel good" read in that she makes it sound possible to get your cat to do anything, when I know for a fact I couldn't do 3/4 of what she suggests with Ziggy!

Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook by Eldredge, et al - haven't dipped into this one much yet, but looks like a nice middle of the road reference from mainstream vets.

In the reading for pleasure department I have two big recommendations:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver - Inspiring read about her family's goal to eat locally for a year, including growing as much of their own food as possible. Makes me want to make my own mozzarella cheese, which is saying a lot! Can't do anything about the gardening at the moment, but lots of good food for thought (pun intended).

The Pickup, a novel by Nadine Gordimer - Although the inevitable ending was no surprise this is a beautifully written story that stayed with me for days afterwards.

Now we're reading mass market "beach books" which for me are simply time passers. I don't normally read many of these and reading them back to back has been kind of interesting. The first one, a David Baldacci, was a fast paced page turner in which every possible suspect, motive and plot twist was thrown out to get the reader off the track. But the author lost me when the killer turned out to be one of the "normal" characters who conveniently became a psycho. Now I'm onto a Clifford Irving in which the real suspects are evident in under 100 pages, but which is much more character and issues driven making it a more thoughtful read.

The reason we're reading these small paperbacks is because they have been stuffed behind our shelf of reference books and literary fiction behind which we again have a small salt water deck leak. I've stuffed towels behind all of them, but we decided we'd better read them before they got water logged.

It's Sunday and we're having another beautiful clear sunny day, although the sailing is slower than we'd like. John estimates that Robert and Kelita on Freedom are about 75 miles behind us, with the rest of the boats up ahead of us, and all are doing well. Freedom happened to pass Caroline Atoll in the daytime and decided to sail NW to get in the lee of it for what they reported as being the best six hours of sailing they've ever had. Said the atoll was beautiful and appeared completely uninhabited, but too deep to anchor for a visit. We passed at night so had to give it a miss.