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October 15, 2014 / mymeowz

Raw Meat Handling Tips

Hi everyone! Here are some tips/facts to keep in mind when buying meat and packing meat for your kitty’s frankenprey meals. Even though cats have very strong stomach acids and a shorter digestive tract which is the reason why they can eat raw meat, you shouldn’t take that for granted and should still take care when buying, handling and preparing their raw meals.

P1030481preparing and packing my daily meals for the month

1)Buy fresh meat meant for human consumption

Buy meats that are meant from human consumption as opposed to meat that might be labelled for pets. The reason for this is because not everyone thinks that animals also deserve the very best and safest. Some might think that meat that is very old or not good enough to be sold for humans to eat is fine for animals to eat since they’re just animals. If it’s not safe enough for human to eat, it doesn’t mean it’s fine for animals to eat.

Your furry deserves good fresh meat and you shouldn’t take any risk of feeding them bad meat because it’s a lot worse for you if they end up sick. Also, why waste good money on inferior meat?

Mummy used to be very open about telling butchers that the meat she buys is for me but she doesn’t do that anymore because a friend told her that sometimes the butchers might give you lousier/less fresh meat if they know it’s for a cat/dog. And you still pay the same premium price! So to be on the safe side, Mummy doesn’t say the meat is for me anymore.

2) Buy from a reliable source

The Singapore AVA  is pretty strict about the meat that can be imported into Singapore (since these are meats meant for human consumption). So generally meat that is sold in Singapore should be from a safe source/farm and there shouldn’t be concerns over the meat being dangerous or having parasites etc or having been slaughtered in a facility with poor standards.

But for people in Singapore, it is still important to buy from a reliable source. This is to ensure that the meat is handled properly, has been kept properly chilled, that the meat is fresh etc. Because poor handling of the meat can result in the meat going bad. And since the meat is being fed raw to your furry (and not cooked to help kill bacteria), if there is bacteria overload in the meat, it can make your furry sick.

3) Treat the meat like you would if you were eating it

If you wouldn’t cut raw meat that is meant for yourself on a dirty mouldy chopping board, there is no reason why you should do that if the meat is for your furry.

So make sure you have clean hands and clean equipment (chopping board, knives, scissors etc) when handling raw meat at all times.

P1030472clean tools. the same stuff pawrents use for their own meals

4) Keep raw meat chilled as much as possible

Lower temperatures slow down bacteria growth. So don’t leave raw meat sitting out on your kitchen counter in humid and hot Singapore for a prolonged period or leave it in your hot car for an extended period. Keep the raw meat chilled or in a cool environment as much as possible.

Mummy and Daddy always bring along a cooler bag with an ice pack (or they ask for ice from the butcher) when they buy meat for me. And they go home as soon as possible after getting the meat and pop the meat into the fridge straightaway. They only take out from the fridge whatever they’re cutting or packing and leave anything they’re not working with in the fridge to keep chilled. They also work as fast as they can when the meat is out of the fridge.

20141012_110125reusable “ice” packs from Daiso

We only defrost meat for my meals the following day and generally don’t keep defrosted or unfrozen meat for more than 2 days. Anything that I don’t finish eating after 2 days is thrown away just to be safe.

5) Freezing meat to keep meat fresher and for a longer time

Mummy and Daddy go to the butcher once a month to buy meat for me and prepare/pack about a month’s (or slightly more) meals at one go. Everything is frozen on the same day to be kept for the month.

Freezing meat will stop bacteria growth but remember that freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. Once the meat is being defrosted, bacteria growth activity will start again. It’s just a matter of how quick or how slow depending on how cold the meat is kept. However, freezing will not keep meat fresh and good indefinitely (although it will keep it good for a fairly long time). This is why Mummy and Daddy only prepare one month’s worth of meals because they have noticed that the meat that is kept frozen for 2 months doesn’t really seem as fresh when it’s been defrosted. If they have any meat that for some reason has been kept frozen for longer than 2 months, they generally just throw it away to be on the safe side.

6) Freezing doesn’t kill ALL parasites

Freezing might kill some types of parasites which might be found in raw meat (depending on how cold your freezer is and how long the meat is frozen). But it doesn’t kill ALL types of parasites. This is why it’s important that the meat is safe enough for human consumption and from a reliable source (see points 1 and 2).

One of the common concerns with feeding raw pork is trichinosis as the relevant parasite can be found in raw pork or wild game. But not all pork will contain the parasite and the risk is minimised with hygienic pig farming and checks on the meat before allowing for sale. Mummy thinks that this means the risk is Singapore should be low because Singapore’s AVA has very strict rules about country’s/farms which our meats can be imported from, certifications for safety from the country of origin and tests and checks on the meat. Also, this may be why it is SO difficult to find game meat in Singapore because the Singapore AVA is so particular about the meat that is imported. But if anyone is still worried, you can freeze the pork for at least 20 days before letting your furry eat the raw pork to kill any worms.

7) Defrost safely in fridge

Best way to defrost raw meat (for humans or animals) is in the fridge. It will take longer but it is the safest way because the meat is kept chilled. See point 4.

8) Try to avoid refreezing

Mummy and Daddy have to semi thaw certain frozen meats so that they are slightly easier to cut for packing into daily meals. Completely frozen meat is impossible to cut by hand. But they semi thaw in the fridge and just enough so that they can cut the meat using a lot of brute Daddy force.

The pawrents don’t like to refreeze thawed meat. They feel like this might not be super safe for me to eat the meat raw. This is because during the process of thawing, the bacteria load grows. And then the meat is re-frozen but when it is being thawed again, the bacteria grows again and so the meat would have even more bacteria than if you hadn’t thawed it twice. Although thawing in the fridge should lessen the impact but the pawrents still don’t feel comfortable. So if they defrosted some meat for me and I didn’t eat it or didn’t finish it, they would throw it away instead of popping it back in the freezer. They try to be very careful about not packing too much meat into eat daily meal portion and how much they defrost so that they don’t end up wasting meat.

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And…that’s all I got! These are the tips/rules that Mummy and Daddy follow/keep in mind when feeding me raw :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthanks for choosing raw for your kitty and hope everyone is safe and healthy!

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September 30, 2014 / mymeowz

am I the only cat that loves coffee??

I don’t know what is it about coffee that makes…me…want…it!

But Mummy and Daddy won’t let me have any!! They say kitties cannot drink coffee…

Fine. Be that way. You’ll just never get to drink coffee in peace at home.

 

 

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September 3, 2014 / mymeowz

Loving my new “toy”

With all the toys Mummy has bought me that I now mostly don’t play with anymore…this is what I am having fun with.

20140901_223607

A gold foil wire tie from the loaf of bread packaging

Caution: Only to be played under pawrent supervision. Could be choking hazard.

Playing right under Daddy while he is cutting fruits is not dangerous at all..nope.

Mummy says this is called How To Mess With Mummy Tip #1. I prefer to think of it as enjoying the simple things in life. You see how I ask for very little??

I just want Love and Patience.

And also kangaroo and venison meat.

And treats.

And also boxes…but boxes are free so no count.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m in the zone man…just chilling.

August 11, 2014 / mymeowz

#lifehacks for Litter Box!

We all know how important the litter box is. Getting the right box, the right litter and placing it in the right location for your kitty as well as keeping the litter box clean is critical to making sure kitty uses the litter box. It’s worth the little effort it takes to and perhaps small compromises humans have to make (for example, the litter box should be in a location that firstly works for your kitty as opposed to where you want to put it) to ensure litter box happiness for your kitty.

But all the setting up of the litter box is a post for another day! This post is about life hacks which Mummy uses to help make maintaining the litter box as easy/convenient as possible. And when something is easy and convenient, you are most likely to do it on a regular basis. And a well maintained/clean litter box = a happy litter box using kitty which = a happy human. Always think about whether you would want to use a toilet that has 2 – 3 days of your pee and poop and/or another person’s pee and poop laying in it. If the smell is too bad and it’s too gross for you…it’s probably too gross for your kitty.

Also just to note, when I say a clean litter box, I don’t mean sterile litter box. Mummy and Daddy do not wash or scrub out my litter boxes unless there is maybe poop on the box itself (and even if there is, they just use water or a damp tissue to wipe out the poop). All they do is to scoop out the clumps of pee and poop that’s in the litter box once a day. Once in a while Mummy may rinse out the box with some water when the box starts to feel really dusty or grime-y. Jackson Galaxy had a video about litter boxes where he says it’s not recommended to scrub out and sterilise the litter boxes all the time because you then remove the kitty’s “smell” completely from the box and they need to have their smell there to “own” the box.

thanks Jackson Galaxy for educating us all!

Now..Mummy likes to think of herself as an efficient person. Although the truth of it may be that she’s a lazy person. She likes everything she needs to be within her reach and not have to walk too much to go get stuff. Same with the litter box essentials such as the litter scoop and clean litter. So here we go!

Litter Box Life Hack #1Keep litter scoop next to the litter box.

We have 2 litter boxes in the house and one scoop for each box which is kept next to each litter box. If you had to carry one scoop around the house or go across the house to go get the sole litter scoop you have in the house to clean the litter boxes, chances are you are not going to be scooping out litter on a regular basis.

The litter scoop is placed in a litter scoop holder which is actually just a small plastic trash bin which is very inexpensive (you can get from Daiso for SGD2).

20140701_204145

20140808_150936

Litter Box Life Hack #2 – Collect used litter in a small trash bag next to litter box. 

Collect used litter clumps (i.e. balls of pee and poop) in a small trash bag that is kept next to the litter box (for example in the same litter scoop holder). And close it up to keep smells in with one of those bigger clothing pegs. Mummy and Daddy will keep the litter scoop inside the bag as well since the scoop can get a little dirty as well.

20140701_204237

This way you don’t have to bring the litter box to a trash bin or vice versa or to the toilet bowl (if you’re using the type of litter that can be flushed). You also only have to take out the litter box trash maybe once a week (if you’re a single kitty household). Mummy and Daddy usually tosses out this bag of used litter when it gets about 1/3 or 1/2 full.

Only thing to note is that when you open the bag to dump in used litter, keep your face further away or hold your breathe. The ammonia fumes can be pretty nasty.

Litter Box Life Hack #3 – Fold new trash bags and keep at the bottom of the litter scoop holder.

Right at the bottom of the litter scoop holder is always new folder trash bags ready to be used. So when you toss out one bag of smelly used litter, you can immediately pull out a new trash bag to use. No need to walk over to wherever you keep your trash bags to get a new one.

Litter Box Life Hack #4 – Keep fresh litter nearby

You should top up some fresh litter maybe every one or two days (depending on how much used litter is scooped out of the box everyday). If there is too little litter in the box kitty may not want to use the box either. To make sure you DO top up fresh litter, keep the litter packet as close to the litter box as possible.

For one of my litter boxes, a packet of fresh litter is kept in a cupboard which is literally 2 or 3 steps from the litter box. And for the other litter box, because there isn’t a cupboard near the litter box, the pawrents bought this very pretty mint metal bin with a lid from Ikea to keep the packet of litter in.

20140701_204206

The Ikea metal bin looks nice next to the litter box and the size is perfect for one packet of litter. The packet of litter is closed using a metal crocodile clip to make sure no litter spills out. This Ikea bin is also good because it has a hook on the underside of the lid so that you can hook the lid on the side of the bin when you open it.

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And…that’s pretty much how we do it in the Misty home! All other stuff needed for the once a month or once every 2 months complete change out of litter (such as new bin liners or pee pads) is also kept pretty near the litter boxes.

July 25, 2014 / mymeowz

Apparently my goodies bring…

all the condo kitties to my yard

(booya!)

There a couple of free roaming kitties in our condo. About 4 to 5 of them don’t really belong to anyone (no collars) but I think there is a family that takes care of them and Mummy is still trying to find the courage and way to ask them to sterilise the kitties. There is a big fluffy flat faced Persian that probably belongs to someone but is allowed to free roam.

We live on the first floor and we have a door that opens up directly to a garden although the garden doesn’t belong to us and is considered common property. So I guess technically it’s not MY yard. But the door that leads to this garden (which has a sliding security mesh panel) is the one that Mummy and Daddy open to let fresh air in for me.

We knew that one white kitty (that we call Ballsy) likes to come to the garden outside our door. Although we thought that was only at night but recently Mummy and Daddy saw him outside out place during the day.

2014-07-25-13-24-51_decothat’s Ballsy

He usually doesn’t come right up to the door but over 2 weekends Mummy and Daddy realized that when I am at the door, Ballsy will come right up to the mesh door! And we just look at each other through the glass door. 2nd weekend, he plonked himself down and started licking his belly and armpits right in front of me! Talk about being forward……..

2014-07-25-13-27-03_decois that supposed to be….sexy??

As long as the glass door is closed, I seem to be ok with just looking at him. Although a little nervous and apprehensive. But when Mummy opened the glass door so that we were just separated by the mesh panel, I hissed so she quickly closed the glass door again. The pawrents were worried about how I would react to seeing Ballsy outside our house but seeing how I reacted they figured as long as I wasn’t getting freaked out they were ok with Ballsy coming by. But under supervision by one of the pawrents and no opening of the glass door so that we can exchange wet noses through the mesh panel…Mummy says no kissing!

And then one day, the large roaming Persian came too! He usually never comes to our part of the condo…..I don’t know if Ballsy’s been telling other kitties about me or something and they all wanted to come see the “beautiful sexy black kitty” (I’m sure that’s what he told the other kitties).

Persian freaked me out!! The glass door was open and I saw him coming…I went to the door (I’m curious…what can I say)…and the next thing Mummy knew I was sprinting across the house and up the stairs like the devil was hot on my heels! Mummy was busy in the kitchen then and didn’t know that a kitty was coming to visit so she had no clue what happened. When Mummy went to look she was so shocked to see Persian Kitty just calmly sitting there in front of our door. He wasn’t even scared of Mummy or anything. The pawrents don’t know what exactly happened between us or what Persian said to me but I have been extremely skittish ever since. First few days I didn’t even dare to go downstairs and the tiniest sound or movement scared me. I’m a little better now (the pawrents have been putting extra effort into playing with me and giving me treats and flower essences) but I’m still skittish and timid.

And then one morning….a different white kitty (that Mummy calls Fluffy Bob because of his fluffy and slightly bobtail) was sleeping outside our house! Mummy has put a fencing right outside our door after the Persian Kitty scare so that kitties can’t come right up to the door anymore. But Fluffy Bob was just right there..broad daylight..out in the open..in front of our house having the deepest snooze ever! Even with the condo gardener nearby sweeping the floor….maybe Fluffy Bob should be called ballsy too.

2014-07-25-13-24-06_decothis looks like Ballsy but it’s not. Ballsy has a very short almost non-existent tail.

Mummy coaxed me to the door with a treat because she wanted me to look out and not be scared at seeing a kitty there and I think I reacted ok. I ate the treat which is a good sign and although I looked outside in a crouched position with my tail slightly down (which shows I’m not really 100%) comfortable…at least it’s a HUGE improvement from the Persian Kitty meeting.

Why are all these kitties suddenly all coming over to our place……and I really really hope I can get used to them and not be scared with them being nearby. I’m an only cat and I didn’t grow up with any other kitties cos I lost my kitty mummy at a young age (1.5 weeks old) so I’m really not used to other kitties. Mummy is really hoping that just the fencing will be good enough to keep everyone (me and the other kitties) safe, secure and happy. The pawrents love all the condo kitties too and are really happy that the condo so far doesn’t seem to have an issue with them living here and they have a family taking care of them. But if them coming close causes too much stress and fear for me and they can’t help me get used to it then their priority is taking care of me. They just have to find a way to discourage them from coming too close but without hurting them or complaining to the management or anything like that. She has the motion sensor SSSCat air spray which she can place outside the house to deter kitties from coming near but she really doesn’t want to do that unless she really really has to for my sake.

If anyone has any advice or ideas do let me know! This is the first time we’re dealing with something like this….Wish us luck!!

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July 9, 2014 / mymeowz

I am Cat. Watch me hunt.

A lizard got into our house the other day! I went into Hunter mode…i found a good spot to watch it, stayed SUPER still and didn’t blink. No matter how much Mummy called out to me I didn’t respond to her. I am CONCENTRATION.

But I did occasionally make these super cute chattering noises at the lizard.  Has anyone heard their kitties make chattering noises before and does anyone know what it means???

Mummy and I hunted the lizard the whole night. Mummy hunted to try to get the lizard out of the house and me just to play with it. Did I say play? I mean EAT it! I am a hunter! Hear me raaawwwwwrrrrrr…

We turned the living room upside down trying to get it. We moved the sofa..the rug…Mummy put on rubber gloves…she kept asking me “where is it Misty? where is it??” I found it a few times and even smacked it. All Mummy had to do was grab it and toss it out of the house…but all she did was stand there and squeal. Mummy is not a very good hunter….

June 30, 2014 / mymeowz

Misty Security Gate/Fence

This a long overdue catification/renovation post! We’ve moved for about 6 months now and I still haven’t told everyone about the 2 kitty gates/fences which we have in the new house.

A bit of background first. In our previous apartment, we lived on the 3rd floor and we shared a lift with 3 other units. So there was very little concern over opening the front door and me running out because there wasn’t anywhere I could really run to. I’d occasionally walk over to next door neighbour’s rug to sniff at it or to sniff at their shoes. But that was about it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAi step

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAi smell da shoez?

In our current apartment, we’re on the first floor. Our front door opens out to the road and car park so a major major concern was making sure I wouldn’t be able to run out or escape outside because it’s not safe and Mummy and Daddy do not want to take any risk of losing me. But how to effectively prevent me from running out the door and also not make it difficult to go in and out of the house? And how to have the flexibility to be able to keep the front door open in case they bought a lot of groceries or have a lot of bags to bring into the house?

Introducing the Misty anti-escape/security fence!

PC271655wmDIY Misty Security Gate!

The pawrents are very proud of this because it is 100% conceptualised and made by them! Mummy was “inspired” by the a entryway of a restaurant she saw on TV. It was a restaurant in either the U.S or Canada where there is winter and it gets very windy. So the restaurant has one door along the street but people enter into a small enclosed area where there is a second door that goes into the restaurant proper. This is probably so that people can enter and then close the first door to keep the cold/wind out before opening the second door which leads to the restaurant.

So using the same concept, Mummy wanted a system which allows them to open the front door completely with a secondary door/gate that will prevent me from being able to run out. People should be able to enter the house and close the front door before opening the secondary door/gate. The goal was also to ensure that the secondary door/gate wasn’t too difficult or cumbersome to open and that it wouldn’t be an eyesore for the humans. It also needed to be sturdy enough and high enough to prevent me from knocking it over or jumping over it.

Thankfully, I am nothing like this cat and I don’t do things like this.

 

These were the plans that Mummy gave to Daddy.

20140610_212119an architect Mummy is not

Together, they figured that the frame should be made of aluminium which is lightweight and sturdy and the centre part of the gate/fence covered with clear acrylic. The hinges needed to be 180degree hinges to allow the gate/fence to be folded flat if needed and kept aside. Daddy found the places to buy the aluminium frame pieces, the acrylic sheet and the hinges. He riveted the aluminium pieces together to form the frame and riveted the acrylic onto the frame and tadaaaaaah.

20130917_181613Is so good to have a handy Daddy.

So far this DIY security/anti-escape fence has worked really well. It is everything that we need it to be. It isn’t an eyesore (like most white plastic baby/pet gates which very often doesn’t match the decor of the house) and it allows Mummy and Daddy to go in and out of the house easily without fear of me escaping.

PC271654wmwith the front door wide open

20140609_190955wmhello you’re home!!

The down side to the gate is that with the acrylic sheets and the overall dimensions being quite big, it is a little heavy. So folding it up and moving the entire gate around is a little cumbersome. And because the gate is not on any sort of rollers or “legs”/pegs or attached to the walls in any way, to open the gate, you have to lift one panel slightly and then swing it. The lifting and swinging is not difficult. It’s just that it doesn’t open like a super smooth door. It’s a little of give and take. If we had attached it to the walls to create a fixed fulcrum, we would not be able to fold up the gate and move it away from the door which sometimes might be necessary if we need to move something very large into the house.

The other Misty gate/fence in the house is at the top of the stairs (we live in a maisonette). There are times when we have visitors in the house and Mummy and Daddy may want to keep me on the second floor for a variety of reasons…to keep me safe in case people just leave the door open and don’t close the Misty anti-escape gate properly or if there are too many people and I get cranky. Instead of buying a white plastic baby gate which wouldn’t look very nice in the house, they asked the renovation guy to make a swing glass door at the top of the stairs which matches the low glass wall/railing of the second floor landing.

PC271657wmLooks nice right??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwith the glass door open

PC271658wmlet me in….

We have lived with and tested what these Misty gates/fences for about half a year and we’re happy to report that it’s all working out really well for us. Mummy and Daddy are really happy and pleased  because these gates are both completely functional and more importantly look great in the house. They match the decor of the house and blend in perfectly!

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