By Dana Cox, editor-in-chief of Animal Wellness Magazine
I got my first black cat in my early twenties. She was a farm kitten who had about 12 brothers and sisters, but she was the only one brave enough to come over to me. I named her Madeline (Maddie for short). She was an incredible cat and super smart.
Back then I didn’t know a lot about nutrition, so I fed her the kibble the veterinarian recommended. One Saturday I was reading the newspaper on the floor. Maddie came over, squatted on the paper right in front of me and peed. This was very unusual because she never went outside her litter box. When I looked at the urine, I noticed some blood in it. Maddie was telling me she was sick! I immediately took her to the veterinarian, who determined she had a urinary tract infection.
Twenty years after this incident I went to my first American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association conference, where I heard Dr. Jean Hofve speak about feline nutrition – how cats were originally desert animals who didn’t drink a lot by nature. In the wild, they get most of their water from their prey. That’s why it’s so important to add wet food to a cat’s diet, or feed a well-balanced raw diet.
Maddie died a few years ago, but she’s forever in my heart and I remember her fondly as one of my most important animal teachers.