Saturday, April 19, 2014

Effing Cat Food

Emilio's weight loss journey is the most obnoxious thing ever! After spending $50 on all this specially-formulated-for-weight-loss canned food, Emilio doesn't want to eat it. Introducing a new cat food can be tricky and time consuming. You have to do it just right, mixing the old stuff with the new, but Emilio's always preferred kibble to wet food.

After him refusing to eat even his old wet food for a week, I bought the specially-formulated-for-weight-loss kibble from the vet. He seems to enjoy it a lot more then the wet food, but he still pines for his old stuff.

Not knowing what to do with all this canned food, I decided to give it to Crush since he is just as fat as Emilio. He likes it more than Emilio does, but still prefers his original kibble. I tried giving him some of the diet kibble, but he doesn't want to eat it either.

The only one who does want to eat this diet wet food is Dale and he doesn't need it! He is still being served the old fatty-fat-cat kibble, but he doesn't want it. It's so frustrating. Nobody wants the food they're being served and each one thinks the other cats have a better deal. I can't win!

I have to segregate all the cats into different rooms to eat and shut the door for an hour hoping they'll eat what they've been given. If I don't, they try to eat each others food. In the past I've witnessed the fat cats bully Dale into giving up his food bowl to them. When they don't eat enough, they're whining an hour later to be fed, but it's so much work splitting them up and getting all their food sorted out, I usually just force them to wait until the next meal time so they'll be hungry enough to eat more. I can't leave food out to let them graze like they're used to since they're all on different diets and you can't leave wet food out for hours on end anyway.

None of the cats will eat leftover wet cat food either. They want it fresh out of the can and refuse to touch cold cat food or microwaved cat food. I am so sick of these prima donna cats! I know it's going to take a while to get them used to timed-feedings and it's better for their health overall, but it's still exhausting. If you hear of any vets offering gastric by-pass surgery for cats, let me know.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Emilio's Weight Loss Journey

My eldest cat, Emilio, is 6 years old and sadly, obese. He's gained 6 pounds in the last 2 years alone. That's an astronomical number for a cat. He's in terrible shape. He's on the fast track for developing diabetes or arthritis.

The average cat weighs 8-10 pounds. Dale, my fittest cat, weighs 11 pounds, so he's doing quite well. He has a healthy silhouette, is active, and no health problems. Crush on the other hand weighs 20 pounds, which would be considered obese, though he's never had any health problems to date. Those extra 10 pounds on him is a big deal though. Apparently it's like 140 extra pounds on a should-be 140 pound woman.

But Emilio comes in at 23 pounds. My daughter only weighs 3.5 pounds more than him. Emilio's weight is the equivalent of a 322 pound women who should weigh 140 pounds. You can imagine what that looks like on a person. He has a lot of weight to lose!

It's affecting his health. He can't jump over the baby-gate in the hallway because he's too big. We had to buy a wider litter box for him to do his business because he didn't have enough room. He's had trouble wit his intestines and bowels on multiple occasions. I bought the largest cat harness and leash at the pet store to take him outside for walks and he was too fat to fit in it. I'm going to have to get a small dog harness.

He's on some fancy diet food now. I purchased 24 cans for $50 and he gets a can a day. The vet had been pressuring me for a couple years now to put Emilio on his prescription diet food, but I always turned it down, trying cheaper alternatives. My way obviously isn't working and Emilio needs an intervention. I want him to live long enough for Tesla to be able to pronounce his name properly. (She currently call him Crush or Dill-ee-yole-yo.)

Crush should really be on this diet as well, but I can't afford to spend over $100 a month on cat food alone. Like, my family needs to eat too! Emilio's the fattest and the sickest, so we'll start with him and see how it goes over the next year. For Crush, I'm going to focus on the exercise and getting him outside to play while more closely monitoring his food intake and limiting when food is available to be eaten.

Hopefully this helps. Expect before and after pictures.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rice Cakes

I made some rice cakes this afternoon. I adapted the recipe from Robert Rose's "Rice Cakes With Tomato Puree." I made the original recipe once, and it was pretty good, but this time I took a few short cuts and made it less fancy.

1 cup stock
1 cup minute rice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup grated marble cheese
2 tbls parmesean cheese
1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley

Preheat oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Cook the rice in the stock according to package directions
Let the rice cool slightly
Add the rest of the ingredients, starting with the egg, and combine together until well mixed
Using a 1/4 measuring cup, form cakes and space evenly on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 minutes or until browned.

The original recipe from the book says it can be served with tomato soup and a salad for a complete meal. I didn't have any soup or salad. I just chowed down. It was a delicious snack! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I wish I would have flattened them a bit more and tomato puree for dipping would have been nice. The recipe is supposed to make 10, but I only got 7 cakes out of it. I didn't really measure the cakes too terribly accurately though.

While searching for a link to the original recipe, since my recipe came from a physical book, I found Rose Reisman's Blog and there is a copy of the recipe there. She made a couple minor adjustments to the recipe, but it's essentially the same. The picture she used is even the same as my book.

If you're looking for an easy appetizer, or a light lunch, give this recipe a try.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What a Surprise, Kinder Surprise!

Last night I had a craving for Kinder brand chocolate. I think they're called Kinder Chocolate Sticks. Bob couldn't find any at Target, so he bought me 6 Kinder Surprise eggs. They were so delicious, I gobbled down 4 eggs at once. I haven't touched the other 2 yet since it's just morning, but they'll be eaten today at some point.

Of course, I never bothered to look at the "surprise" inside. I just tossed it to the side. I'll put them in Tesla's closet and give them to her to put together in a couple of years, I thought. But out of curiosity, I decided to crack them open just to see what was inside. Three of them were some sort of car and one of them was a paper ball that you blow up. It was made to look like a monster.

At first I thought, what are the odds of getting 3 cars? That's weird. Back in the day I remember getting all sorts of different toys, especially little figurines of things, usually animals or people. That's when it hit me. When Kinder Surprise came out with Kinder eggs just for girls, they must have decided that the original Kinder Surprise should now be just for boys. It all makes sense.

I don't remember seeing any marketing promoting the original as just for boys. I just remember them promoting their stupid girly Kinder Surprises. I assumed the original would just be gender neutral as always and the girl one would be overtly girly and disgustingly pink. But now the original seems very limited and boyish to me.

After doing some reading about the issue, (people have sent petitions asking the company to revert back to offering gender neutral toys and original labeling,) I saw that Ferrero, the company that produces the eggs, said that they did a survey asking parents if "pink" and "blue" eggs were a good idea and 66% said yes. They're just giving the people what they want.

It bothers me so many people agree with gender stereotyping, but what can you do, right? Throw the toy out and eat the chocolate, I guess. I'd rather deal with this then the racist toys you could get in Kinder Surprise. (Hopefully those have all been phased out by now.)

For the record, the other two Kinder Surprises were a gorilla and a boat.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Buying a Home With a Group

I was reading a boring article this morning about how Canada's first-time home buyers are "exploring new paths." There was honestly nothing interesting about the article except that it mentioned buying a home as a group is becoming more popular. The advantage is with a higher combined income, you can qualify to buy "more home." The disadvantage is trying to sort things out when someone decides to move out.

Before, I never would have considered moving in with friends, never mind buying a house with  friends. In fact, I've never lived with a girlfriend. I've always lived with a boyfriend or by myself. But with the way the housing market is, it actually makes sense for 4 adults to pool their money and purchase a home together. Depending on everyone's income, you could probably get a $300K home. Each adult is paying $600 a month for mortgage and utilities or less if they've saved a big down payment. I think that's a good deal.

But you'd have to be really good friends. I mean really good friends. Some friendships dissolve under the pressure of living together. Some people are just better friends than they are roommates. Take me for example... I think I'm a wonderful friend but a terrible person to live with. I'm messy. I have 3 cats and they're messy. I have a child and she's messy. I'm going to have another child and that child will be messy. My boyfriend's messy. Who would want to live with us? Equally messy friends I guess.

We'll have to purchase a home the traditional way.