The care of mammalians bears a remarkably strong resemblance to really skilled plumbing. Whether it be cats or other small animals living in your home with you; small humans in your care; elderly humans – a lot of it comes down to keeping on top of the input and outflow.

(Yes, I know this series of blogs has been very scatological, but only in the spirit of science!)

Now that my new old boys are settling, and I’ve had time to look at food and water input, things are so much more manageable on the output end of the cycle. Each one has different needs, that goes without saying.

Certainly Auntie Jen was right when she said they all needed 3 meals a day, not 2, and this is why they worship her so!

However, one of the first results of the extra food was to make things worse for Fluff. His basic tendency seems to be towards dehydration and constipation (Oh Dear.) The blanket application of the same amount of extra food to all three, reversed this rapidly and led to two incidents of super-poo distribution at random, distressing for Fluff and not a bundle of fun for me and my patient guests.

Back to plumbing. For several days I have fed them on this basis; Felix gets what he’s always had, (safely, behind a closed door) and then trots outside to find his special patch. Good Boy! Mystic, who would eat a horse if one came in and died in the kitchen, gets all of his former allowance plus a scoop removed from Fluff’s packet. (He still finishes first, then stares at Fluff, but this bothers Fluff far less than it bothers Felix.) To Fluff’s bowl I add water, as I have never seen him drink. This has resulted in ease of evacuation, and almost unfailing use of the litter tray. Yay! Also, his regrowing fur is softer and silkier and his tendency to dry flaky skin is diminishing. Get the plumbing right, and good things will follow.

For those who find this gross to read about, I suggest you avoid keeping pets, and possibly small humans too – healthcare involves the gross. I have it on good authority from my daughter, who has worked in the care of elderly people, that a significant number of those admitted to geriatric wards for what may look like a near-psychotic event or a sudden onset of dementia, turn out to be seriously dehydrated.

Yes, cat-people, it’s not all games and cuddles- before disposing of the used litter, we need to look at it. That’s love for you!




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