Have I ever mentioned that I have a fur baby? 

I am the proudest Mom ever.

How could I not be with a face like this?

Meet Tig.  My cute-faced, sweet-tempered doughball.  She and I met six years ago when a coworker had to give her up for adoption due to allergies.  I offered to take her and we’ve been inseparable ever since.  Tig is a 7 year old Domestic Short Haired Calico.

Fact #1 Calico’s are almost always female due to the X chromosomes which is where the colour of the coat is determined.  The genetic code for black or orange fur is found in the X chromosome and since females have to XX’s they can display both colours while males who have an X and Y chromosomes can only display orange or black.  There are some genetic mutations of this and most of these male cats are sterile. 

Fact #2 Calico’s have a reputation of being crazy.  Vets and cat people always comment how sweet and docile Tig is.

Last month, my girl was suffering from cystitis, also known as bladder inflammation.  Very similar to what humans get.  The vet told me that this can be caused from stress and wanted me to put Tig on some horrible vet-prescribed dry food for the rest of her life since this has been a recurring problem.  Maybe it’s being a holistic nutritionist in training but this was not the solution for me.

It is my personal belief and opinion that diet and stress is the root cause of all disease.  And I believe this is the case for not only humans but animals as well.

I thought to myself “how is it fair that can I live a holistic lifestyle, buy high quality foods, try to practice and promote peace and calm and not give Tig the same options?”  I chose for her to come into my life, not the other way around.  I owe it to her to give her the best life I can.

That night I started researching and found this amazing, inspiring and life-changing book:

Just like negative stress often has a detrimental effect on human health, stress also plays the same role in animals.  I had been filled with stress over the last few months and that energy gets passed onto those around me.  Since I live with Tig, the stress I was feeling was passed onto her.

I am about half way through the book and I am telling you if you have a cat or dog, please consider reading this book.  It is an easy and practical read.  The author, veterinary doctor Paul McCutcheon runs a clinic in Toronto called East York Animal Hospital so I am happy to be supporting someone in my community as well.

Using my knowledge of holistic healing I have made immediate and positive changes including putting Tig on a supplement to help her urinary tract, she has new toys to keep her active and I make sure to spend quality time with her.  I have started practicing yoga regularly to keep me calm which will pass on to her.

Perhaps the biggest change has been transitioning her to a raw food diet as cats and dogs tend to do very well eating this way.  I should know, it’s worked for me!  While there are many brands on the market of high quality dry and wet food, I look at it like feeding a human.  Food should generally not come in a bag with a shelf-life of many months (there are exceptions to this rule of course) but I can say that the dry kibble I was feeding her before was just like giving her fast-food on a regular basis.  This in combination with stress of course causes illness.

Currently I am feeding her raw food from Tollden Farms and Healthy Paws.  Both are local and humanely run, government inspected farms that provide human-grade meat (although the meats are not for human consumption) she seems to be enjoying it and is physically doing much better.  Eventually I am considering making my own food for her but I don’t think I’m quite there just yet!

“Holistic thinking defines good health not as the absence of disease, but as the presence of full and radiant wellness.” ~Dr Paul McCutcheon

For more information on Dr Paul McCutcheon, please visit The New Holistic Way.

Do you have any pets?  Would you consider a holistic approach to their well-being?