The Peace a Cat Lends to a Home

This photo of Gracie at the window on a snowy day gives me a sense of quiet, of peace. Maybe it’s the shades of blues of the late day light. Maybe it’s the warm comfort looking out on snow-draped trees, cup of tea in hand, the house quiet. Maybe its the stillness of the cat, observing.

Gracie sat at the window for some time, until the last bird departed the bird feeder, and then sauntered off, blinking her greeting to me as she passed by.



Gracie and the reversal of feline kidney disease

IMG_0862Gracie is an extraordinary being—calm, content, intelligent, and sweet-natured.  All this despite a rough beginning.  She came to us at eight months of age after having had a litter of kittens and being thrown from a car window by her forearm.

A man and woman found her and took her in while searching for a home for her.  Through a circuitous path, she came to us.  We’ve had her for thirteen years now.  She has been devoted and loving presence, almost Buddha-like, through moving more than once, kids, and a few rescue dogs and cats.  I love her completely.

Several years ago Gracie was diagnosed, as many cats are, with kidney disease—thought to be untreatable.  A savvy DVM  with alternative medicine training put Gracie on a Chinese herb (Ba Wei Di Huang Wan–see below), which improves blood flow to the kidneys (and therefore optimizes functioning of the undamaged parts of the kidney).  Much to the surprise of mainstream veterinarians, repeated blood work revealed that much of Gracie’s kidney disease was reversed, improving her prognosis beyond 6 months/1 year.  In addition, I also put her on low-phosphorus, low-sodium, high-protein (not low-protein) food. She regained weight and resumed a full life.  It’s been four years now, but she’s starting the inevitable decline. The herbs have done what they could.  I am resigned and heartbroken, grateful for the time we’ve had together and for her benevolent presence through these years, and I’m dreading the coming goodbye.  Gracie is nearby as I write this, snug and drifting in and out of sleep.

Info on herbal treatment of feline kidney disease:
Ba Wei Di Huang Wan ( )—500 mg. 2x/day or 1/4 teaspoon 2x a day— available online and through your vet via Natural Path Herb Company. I use the Natural Path ( ) vet-ordered, high-quality version.  Gracie refused to eat it sprinkled on her food, so I bought size 4 empty vege capsules ( ) (larger-size capsules are difficult for cats to swallow) and an inexpensive capsule-making contraption that makes filling it relatively easy.  The effort has been worth Gracie’s quality life extension:


You Can Make a Difference for These Dogs

From Soi Dog Foundation~

In the middle of a South Korean winter, there are dogs shivering and whimpering in freezing, open cages. They live their entire lives in factory farm conditions. They have no freedom, no affection, nothing that makes them feel good. And they’ll be butchered so humans can eat their meat.

Will you please help Soi Dog tell more people about dog meat farms and increase the pressure on South Korea’s government to shut them down?

How? By getting media coverage in two of Seoul’s most important sister cities: San Francisco and Hong Kong.

The people below are the editors of hugely popular newspapers in each of those cities. Email them directly and tell them about South Korea’s dog meat farms. Ask them to expose the horror of these farms and question whether their cities should really be partnering with Seoul.

Just click on the email addresses below, and start writing.

Copy and paste the text below into your email, or use the wording as a guide for your own powerful words in support of dogs.  Thank you.

Text to consider using:

Dear ____,

In the middle of a South Korean winter, there are dogs shivering and whimpering in freezing, open cages. They live their entire lives in factory farm conditions. They have no freedom, no affection, nothing that makes them feel good. And they’ll be butchered so humans can eat their meat.

Please expose the horror of these farms and pressure South Korea’s government to shut down dog meat farms.  Also, should US cities cities really be partnering with Seoul?



Send your email to one or both of these powerful media editors. Be the voice of South Korea’s ‘meat dogs’.

Audrey Cooper, Editor in Chief
San Francisco Chronicle

Tammy Tam, Editor-in-Chief
South China Morning Post

And if you have a couple more minutes – or you prefer Facebook to emails – start spreading the word about dog meat farms on the Facebook sites of Seoul’s sister cities:

Thanks very much for everything you do for dogs.

John Dalley
Soi Dog Foundation

Help a Cold Dog Survive the Winter

Dog in the Cold

Become a PETA “Angels for Animals” sponsor and help supply a sturdy new doghouse to a “backyard dog” struggling to survive the rain, snow, and freezing temperatures this winter.

Any amount helps contribute to building a dog house for an animal in need.  Please go to:

Each year, the Iditarod race drives sled dogs to… Help reform Alaska’s animal cruelty laws.

Goal: 35,000 Progress: 11,978
Sponsored by:The Animal Rescue Site

The graceful beauty and power of a husky barreling through snow shouldn’t invoke feelings of suffering and torture. But every year since 1973, during Alaska’s 1,000-mile Iditarod race in early March, hundreds are forced into a state-sanctioned nightmare.

The Iditarod has long been controversial for its treatment of sled dogs. They’re whipped and driven to run more than 100 miles a day in sub-zero temperatures. And while the power to keep those dogs safe lies with the State of Alaska, exemptions are actually in place precluding the dogs from protection under animal cruelty laws.

Hardly an Iditarod has been held in which a dog did not die.

In almost all of the Iditarod races, at least one dog death has occurred. According to the Sled Dog Action Commission, at least 147 dogs have died in the history of the race, with 15 to 19 falling dead from overwork in the very first, 43 years ago. At least 107 dogs were dead after the 1997 race, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News at the time. In 2009, five dogs died, leaving local veterinarians and animal rights workers helpless to do anything but watch.

“Last year, three dogs died. That is near the average for the Iditarod, and the causes of two of the 2008 deaths were quickly obvious,” the Alaska Dispatch News reported the gruesome state of the race in 2009. “One dog was struck and killed by a snowmachine. The other had at some point during the race spit up intestinal fluids and then inhaled them. It was dropped at a checkpoint along the trail and flown back to Anchorage only to die here of what is called ‘aspiration induced pneumonia.'”

The dogs that aren’t killed by machines are killed by the effects of hyperexhaustion as they burn over 12,000 calories a day, for 9 straight days or longer. Their bodies are later tossed into the dump.

“That first race (1973), from Anchorage to McGrath, all you could see along the trail was dog blood and dead dogs,” McGrath, AK resident Ted Almasy told the Wasilla Frontiersman 1986. “That’s when I got into it with them. After each Iditarod, we used to see dead dogs at the dump. You’d see them poor dogs, blood coming out of both ends.’”

This is not how these dogs deserve to live.

Sign below and tell Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska, to remove the clause exempting competition sled dogs from its animal cruelty laws.

click to sign governor petition

This article is shared from:

The Freckle on My Sister’s Snout

I am alone in my wanderings for a long time, but it hadn’t always been so.  I have vague memories–little scraps of images–from the past:  the tumble and tussle of warm fur, the shimmer of sun on my brother’s back, the freckle on my sister’s snout.  We grew up and dispersed, given away from a box in a grocery store parking lot to anyone who would take us.  We were held up and cooed over, and carried off under various people’s arms.

The person who took me changed his mind, tied me up in the back yard for months–with intermittent water and food–and then finally took me on a car ride and left me on the side of the road.  I’ve been fending for myself since then.  Sometimes I’m thirsty, sometimes I’m cold, often I am hungry.

This morning, a man saw me, stooped down and called to me.  I approached him warily and then darted away.  I have trouble trusting people.  I just spotted him again.  He is carrying a bowl that smells heavenly.

He sits quietly beside the bowl and I approach, then back away, then approach again.  With one last sideways glance at the man, I lean toward the bowl and begin to eat.  The man reaches out his hand and strokes my fur, first tentatively, then steadily.  His voice is kind.  When he slips a lead around my neck, he bends down to my level and says, “Come with me; we will find you a home” I go with him, to the first warmth and comfort I’ve known in a long time.