A photo essay update on my cat Lyra

You might remember that over a year ago we got a rescue cat. We named her Lyra and she has been living with us and thriving all this time. She’s a hunter – all summer as had voles, shrews, mice, birds – and she’s very affectionate and playful still. Here are a few photos to update you on how she’s been doing! Bit of an odd blog post but there you go.

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Pure Pet Food for my cat – a review

I had heard good things about Pure Pet Food‘s innovative dog food (they were featured on Dragon’s Den) so when they got in touch to ask me to review their new range of freeze-dried cat food, I was very excited.

First, let me introduce you to my cat: Lyra. We got her over a year ago from the Cat’s Protection and she had been living rough on the local allotments and bringing up her babies in such adversity. She’s the friendliest cat I’ve ever known (clearly a valuable skill on the allotments) and she integrated herself into our home very well. She’s always been a bit of a fussy eater – she’s so petite and only eats small amounts in one go, usually taking most of the day to get through her breakfast. So any new food type we are excited to try to see if it will encourage her to eat a bit more regularly.

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Pure Pet Food source their ingredients from human-grade farms – so you can eat it too, if you really want. The concept of freeze-drying pet food is that it retains and preserves more of the nutrients than wet food, and it lasts a hell of a lot longer because it comes in powder form and you just add warm water to re-hydrate it. I’m expecting that this will turn out to be really convenient for us as Lyra seems to have such a small stomach and only eats small amounts, meaning that a lot of wet food gets wasted; so, dry food that we re-hydrate will be less wasteful as we can choose the amount to feed her based on how much she tends to get through.

What’s it all about?

  • No wheat, corn, or soya, sweeteners or other unnecessary additives.
  • Higher nutrient value than wet food
  • 6 wholesome natural ingredients
  • Good for improving skin condition
  • Good for digestion
  • Suitable for fussy eaters

The ingredients

Surf & Turf: *

  • Chicken & chicken liver (75%)
  • White fish (10%)
  • Carrot
  • Minerals
  • Apple
  • Celery
  • Salmon oil

Whisker Lickin’ Chicken: *

  • Chicken & chicken liver (85%)
  • Egg (5%)
  • Carrot
  • Minerals
  • Salmon Oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Spinach

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The verdict: As soon as I added the warm water to the dried food, Lyra must have caught a whiff of it and was extremely eager to try it. But I had to keep her waiting for up to 5 minutes for the food to soak up the water and re-hydrate and expand, which sadly I could not explain to my hungry, pestering kitty.

When I finally put the bowl down, she gobbled it up like it was a roast dinner. Clearly, this food was a winner and we will certainly be looking at stocking up. It’s good to introduce your cat to this type of food gradually as it’s a change in diet, so the advice is to try a little bit in her normal wet food and increase it gradually. The only off-putting aspect of this product is that it seems expensive; howeverwhen you consider that this 200g pack of dried food equates to 800g of fresh food when you re-hydrate it, the price seems much more reasonable and affordable, considering all the benefits.

* I was gifted these products but all opinions are my own and I always give honest reviews.

Reluctant Yulin Dog Meat Festival Aftermath Post

I wanted to avoid writing about the Yulin dog meat festival, as social media has been buzzing this last few weeks with haunting images of dogs and cats crammed into tiny wire cages, on their way to an inhumane slaughter. I don’t need to argue that the boiling, beating and murder of stolen beloved pets is morally wrong – that’s a given. But this is a good time to point out that the mass production of billions of chickens, pigs and cows, all kept in unnatural and unpleasant conditions, is not too far removed from the perverse Yulin dog eating festival.

Dog eating is dying out in China, despite the popularity of the new Yulin festival. Attitudes to animals are changing in China, and the festival attracted animal rights activists, who went to rescue as many dogs as they could afford to.

Yang Xiaoyun, retired school teacher, paid about 7,000 yuan ($1,100; £710) to save 100 dogs on Saturday.

We’ve all seen farmyard animals packed tightly into trucks on their way to slaughter in the UK – a more humane slaughter, perhaps, than the hideous fate that awaited the stolen Chinese pets this month. Pigs are highly intelligent creatures and they, like domestic pets, do not deserve to suffer a horrific journey to the abattoir. You might not agree that animals shouldn’t be eaten, but it is undeniable that sentient creatures deserve freedom from the kind of daily torture that occurs on a massive scale globally every day.

I’m not going to make the case that current animal husbandry is unnecessary cruel. There have been plenty of investigations – you can Google it yourself. I’d just like to put the grotesque nature of the Yulin dog festival into perspective: 10,000 dogs and cats once a year. 56 billion farmed animals each year.

Ricky, a lucky dog rescued by Dr Peter Li of the Humane Society International.

‘Rewilding’ Project Could Return Lynx To The UK After 1300 years

Ambitious plans, formulated by the Lynx UK Trust, could see a return of the wild lynx, not seen in Britain for over 1300 years, to certain areas selected for the five-year trial programme. It is hoped that the once native lynx will curb deer populations and restore balance to the British countryside.

Lynx UK Trust assures us that lynx have never been known to attack humans, nor do they attack sheep or cattle, as they prefer the protection of remote woodlands, and would not naturally venture onto open pasture or farms. Farmers remain concerned for their livestock, but they will be rewarded with a compensation package. The threat posed to livestock is low, as lynx in Romania and Poland rarely prey on farm animals.

Once the Trust has gauged public opinion on the return of these extinct cats to the wild, they will launch an application to Natural England. The plan will see four to six lynx, each wearing GPS tracking collars, released into open, unfenced private areas of woodland in Norfolk, Northumberland and Scotland.

There are over 1.5 million wild deer in Britain, and they currently have no predators, so controlling their populations has been extremely difficult. The Deer Initiative believe the reintroduction of the lynx will help to solve the problem of the overpopulation of deer, which eat birds’ eggs nesting in low bushes, and they also damage woodland by overgrazing.

There have been fourteen previous reintroductions of the Eurasian lynx into the wild, which have proven to be hugely successful:

In Germany, 14 lynx were reintroduced to a site in the Harz mountains in 2000 and have since bred and colonised other areas. Another reintroduction, in Switzerland in the 1990s, has also seen animals breed and spread.

The lynx is the third most prolific predator in Europe, beaten only by the wolf and the brown bear. It hunts at night and is notoriously shy, so hopeful ramblers would be lucky to spot one if they are reintroduced. The lynx is thought to have been hunted to extinction for their fur during between 500 and 700 AD.

A representative of Defenders of Wildlife suggests that concerned farmers could take precautions to protect their livestock by getting a dog, as “Lynx have an instinctual fear of canines.” She points out that after the reintroduction of wolves to Idaho, only 30 of the 18,000 sheep in Northern Idaho have been lost to wolves in the seven years the predators have been roaming there.

Project Paws And Claws

I have reached the stage in my personal development that I now feel required to write a blog for self-validation. Not being interested in fashion, not being knowledgeable enough about music, and generally not having a very fascinating life, I have settled on a vague animal theme.

I will write about animal welfare issues, post vegetarian recipes – if i ever bother to cook anything well enough to blog about it – and discuss animal activism projects. I will also link to petitions and causes related to wildlife and the environment.

But mostly I will post photos of my cats.