Jun 30, 2009


The Mafiosos all have morning personalities.

The Pugs are those two happy morning assholes you love to hate. If they were human, they'd be the two guys in the office who would greet you with "Gooooooooood Morning! Gorgeous day we're having! And how was your weekend?" while you're rubbing your eyes and the weekend's tequila out of your skin. They burst out of their crates like rockets and are all ready to start the day.

Bruno and Carmela are total opposites. They don't come out of their crates immediately. They linger for about fifteen minutes. They are still half asleep, silently cursing the pugs to go drink a cup of shut the eff up. Bruno finally gets out of his crate whenever he hears me grab the food bowls. Now there's a dog that conserves energy. Why leave the comfort of your warm crate just to shiver in the cold until Mom decides to prepare your food? It's best to wait until you hear it's actually ready to finally leave your comfort.

Carmela is a little different in this aspect. She could actually give two furry rats if breakfast is ready. She would skip it just to stay warm in her crate. Every morning, I have to and get her out of her crate. She burrows herself in a blanket and sometimes it's impossible to find her.


"WTF do you want?"

Since I've disclosed The Canine Mafia's morning personalities, it's only fair that I tell you mine. I'm not a morning person. You risk getting your head bit off if you try to talk to me before 9 AM. Part of the reason is I wake up every single day to this at exactly 5:06 AM...

"Wake uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.
Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed Me.

A Year Ago Today: Nom Nom Nom . . .

Jun 25, 2009

I Have An Alibi!


"I swear to God on my father's life
(even though I never knew my father), that I found him this way.
I never did anything that would cause him paralysis for telling me about my spay surgery. Honest."

A Year Ago: Them's Fighting Words!

Jun 23, 2009

An Update

Carmela is now without her girly bits!
Bust open the bubbly!
Long live The Queen!

Jun 18, 2009

Family Hike

We had a lovely hike with The Canine Mafia's cousins. Bison and Lindsay came along during our hike back to Beale Falls and we also allowed the boys to come. :) It's a good thing we invited the boys to come along, but more on that later...

Poor Bison was really unsure about the entire trip.

"I don't know guys...
are you sure this water is safe to swim in?"

Align Center

"It looks all murky and stuff..."

"Just jump in, you big sissy!" shouts Vinnie.
"You'll look even cooler if you swim with a cigarette."

"Alright, that's it!" exclaims Bison.
"No pipsqueak Pug calls me a sissy!"

"I'm just going to start off with one toe in the water..."

"Just freaking do it!" shouts Gino.

"Alright! Man! The pressure you guys
put on a person is unreal!"

Yeah, Bison! He made it into the water and came back unscathed! We continued our five mile hike with the usual occurring: Vinnie looking for wildlife caca, Carmela being chased by vultures and Bruno running back and forth looking for logs.

"Um, Ma...I think we have a problem.
"Bison's not feeling well."

"OMG, seriously!" exclaims Carmela.
"Get the hell up! You can't be that tired!"

"Ma, I think Bison's feet hurt him.
He went all crazy climbing all over the rocks trying to get down
to the waterfall and I think he's in pain," informs Gino.

"If you don't get up, I'm going sit on
you all all day long!" says Vinnie.

"My tootsies hurt real bad," says Bison.

"I just need to rest for a little while."

"Big sissy!" shouts Carmela.

Seeing as how Carmela is an expert ego damager, I decided to lay down with Bison to show him that taking breaks is not a sign of weakness. Besides, my feet hurt, too.

Oh and lo and behold the minute I lay down with Bison to help him feel better, everyone else's feet start hurting also. What a bunch of fakers. :-)

But as tempting as it was to lay there all day with the beautiful waterfall behind us, we had to get going. Poor Bison still couldn't walk very well and we had about a 3 mile hike back the car. This is the part where bringing the boys along on our hike was a very good idea. :)

Jun 16, 2009

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies...

"Psssst," whispers Bruno.
"I know a secret about you.
Tomorrow, you're getting spayed.
That's when they take allyour girly bits out
and you technically become an 'it.' "

"LIAR!" shouts Carmela.
"I'm gonna bite your face off
for spewing such lies!"

Carmela, don't bite your brother's face off. It's not nice, and besides, he's right. Tomorrow, you are getting spayed.


"No, please...don't do this!
I promise, I'll be nice!
I'll even be nice to Bruno!" pleads Carmela.

"See, look! I'm totally being nice!
I'm holding his paw for Christ's sake!"

Nope, sorry. It's all scheduled to be done and you're going in. It's for your own good. You'll thank me later.

"Um, Ma..." starts Bruno.
"I think her version of thanks
might be peeing on your pillow.
I'm just sayin'..."

A Year Ago: The Wheels Go Round and Round...

Jun 11, 2009

BBQ Buddies

One of the few things I can say I really enjoy about my life is that I love my job. I love what I do, but most of all, I love the people I work with. We all have this abundance of love for our pets and consider them our hairy children.

I was able to spend a wonderful Sunday with my coworkers and their pets. We enjoyed great food and great weather. But what I most enjoyed was meeting new furry faces.

I met Baxter...who is one big furry smile.


He may be an old man, but he sure does have a contagious smile.

Baxter 2

Vincent was also a favorite. He was pretty aloof, but he made up for his aloofness by giving me lots of posed shots. I didn't even have to ask...I would turn around, and there he was all nicely framed and ready to go. Damn those Border Collies...always doing things perfectly. :-)


Vincent Posing

Vincent also has a brother named Brock. Brock is super handsome. He kept trying to be my boyfriend. Although, I think in Brock's world, being my boyfriend meant sharing my plate of food with him.

Smile Brock

And then there was Jaxon. All goofy, all play, all the time.


There were tiny dogs there, too. Meet Bouncer. All 11 pounds of him.

Vinnie + Bouncer

Bouncer has the same pose for pictures. It's trademarked. Don't try to replicate it.

Gino + Bouncer

We also had ginormous dogs. Meet Cody. All 130lbs of him.

Cody Happy H20 Dog

It was great to see so many dogs get together and have fun. Especially when one black Pug gets into someone's beer and then has a little bit too much fun...

"Dude? You Ok?" asks Vincent.

Silly Pug and Questioning Border Collie

And it was super hilarious to see the tiny dogs herd the herding breeds.

The Little Ones Tag Teaming The Big Ones

The Fun Police however did make an appearance...

Vincent + Gino + Jaxon = Chase!

What I love the best about gatherings like this is getting to eat this:

Kathryn's Fab Fruit

Go ahead...pluck a fruit from your screen. You know you want to. :-D

Jun 9, 2009

Raw Food For Cats

As most of you are aware, The Canine Mafia eats a raw diet. I thought I would also share that my two cats, Molly and Maggie, also eat a raw diet.

Before we switched to raw, Molly and Maggie ate a very respectable high-end kibble. I never had issues with them while on kibble. But when I saw the results of my dogs thriving on a raw diet, I decided that switching the cats would be the next step.Link

More Information

If you stumbled onto this blog post while researching a raw diet for cats, I'd like to share with you my favorite websites about raw feeding for cats:

Cat Info

Raw Fed Cats

What About Cats?

Cat Nutrition

These websites will explain better than I could why a raw diet is the ideal diet for a cat. Keep in mind that a raw diet is not a panacea for all ailments. Just like not all cats thrive on a kibble diet, some cats may not thrive on a raw diet.

Making The Switch

As I mentioned earlier, when I saw the awesome results of my dogs eating a raw diet, I made the decision to switch Molly and Maggie. It wasn't easy! Molly and Maggie are seniors; both are eleven-years-old. It took me a long eight months to switch them completely over to an exclusive raw diet.

I first started by eliminating free feeding. I took the kibble away and moved onto feeding twice a day: AM and PM. This choice was influenced by the fact that I could also monitor if one of them decided to stop eating.

Once the cats were comfortable with that, I moved on to introducing wet food. I added small amounts to their kibble until they were eventually eating 100% wet food.

The next step was to start adding small amounts of raw to the wet food. I literally had to add a dime-sized amount to the wet food (and no bigger!) or else Molly and Maggie would walk away from the food. I took it at their pace. This is important! If you rush anything, you'll be back to square one. You have to take it at the cat's pace. Imagine if you'd been eating McDonald's for your entire life and someone removed it from you and placed fresh vegetables in its place. You would immediately reject it. Keep this in mind.

Another important thing to mention is do not withhold food from your cat. Do not think that if you starve them they will eventually cave in and eat the raw. Cats can acquire what is called Hepatic Lipidosis. Having battled this first hand with our now deceased cat Blue, trust me when I tell you do not want to go down this road!

After eight long months of slowly reducing the amount of wet food and increasing the amount of raw food, Molly and Maggie are now eating 100% raw.

Premade vs. Homemade

I chose to make my own food as opposed to buying premade for various reasons. One of the reasons is that I have total control over what goes into the food. I am not paying tooth and nail for unecessary items such as fruit and vegetables. I'm also in complete control over the amount of bone my cats are eating.

Another reason is cost. Premade is much more expensive than going out and getting the ingredients on your own. I get more bang for my buck if I make the raw food myself. And in this economy, it's all about making my dollar stretch.

The flip side of this is time. It does take me a bit of time to make the food. However, I'd much rather give up two hours to make three months worth of meals if it means I am saving money. So ask yourself if you have the time to commit.

Making The Food

I use the Northern Tool grinder. This little dude can grind chicken bones with no problem. It has served me well.

I chose to grind my food because Molly and Maggie barely have any teeth. Ideally, if your cat is young, try to move into whole prey raw feeding. Your cat's teeth will benefit tremendously from eating whole prey.

I don't follow a "recipe." I don't micromanage or stress that my cats are getting every single nutrient in every meal. With the exception of salmon oil and a powder form of probioitics, I really don't add much to the raw food. Mother nature made it complete already and me messing with it is not going to help. Raw feeding is all about achieving balance over time. Think about it...do you get all of your nutrients in every single meal?

So this is what I do...

I buy one whole chicken roaster and a package of chicken thighs. I buy the thighs so that I can include some extra taurine. Dark meat has lots of taurine and cats need taurine in their diets. You can also get tons of taurine from hearts, and, from time to time I'll buy chicken hearts. But if you cannot get chicken hearts, thighs will do just fine.

I make batches using chicken and one other ingredient. I'll alternate using beef, turkey, fish and pork. I use chicken as my "base" because it's always easily available and cheap. The money I save on buying chicken I use to buy more expensive items. For example, in this batch, I bought salmon and trout.

I start by cutting the items into manageable pieces that the grinder can handle. Here is my fish and chicken all cut up:

I also have a tub of chicken livers that I add to the grinder. It's essential that your cat receives some kind of organ meat. Whether it be liver, kidney or spleen, your cat must have some sort of organ meat. Again, I use liver because it's cheap and readily available.

Now that I have everything ready, I start grinding.

First I do the chicken:

I set that aside and move to grinding the fish. First the salmon:

Then the trout:

To each of these, I'll add some of the ground up chicken and liver and mix well. The result is a Chicken and Fish batch.

Chicken and Salmon

Chicken and Trout

I will take this mixture and package it into small tupperware containers and freeze them. One tupperware container lasts me two days and I throw them in the dishwasher once they are empty.

I'm slowly moving over to using Mason jars into order to be more eco-friendly, but use what works best for you. I know a friend who has only one cat and she puts her mixture into ice cube trays. She pops out the trays and serves once cube in the morning and one cube in the evening. Find what works for you.

Why All This Work?

Yes, I won't lie and tell you this doesn't require a little bit of elbow grease and time. But once you get over the hump of grinding the food (or maybe you won't need to grind and your cat will accept whole prey!), it becomes second nature.

I stick to this diet because of the changes I see in my cats. Molly and Maggie have glorious coats. They are more agile and playful. Gone are the eye boogers constantly accumulating in their eyes. Gone are the smelly, monster-sized poops. In their place I have tiny, almost odorless, compact poops. I can rest assured knowing that Molly and Maggie are receiving constant hydration. But most importantly, they are eating what Mother Nature built them to eat.
ⓒ 2012 Mary Williams All Rights Reserved.