The year was 1995. At that point, I had been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for twelve years and still had no idea about the cruelty associated with companion animal breeders. My stepson was allergic to cats; and I very dearly missed living with feline companions, so someone suggested that I purchase sphynx cats from a breeder. The Austin Powers movies had yet to be released, so sphynx cats were still something of an anomaly. Breeders were hard to find; but eventually I was able to find one. Cleo arrived shortly thereafter, and was immediately diagnosed with cardio-myopathy, a heart disease which would prove to be fatal. Not having any experience with homeopathic care, we went the traditional veterinary route, providing care through a cardiologist veterinarian. Cleo survived for four years, far longer than was expected had he not received specialized care. I was devastated when he passed away; so very shortly after his death, I embarked on the journey of finding/selecting two new Sphynx cats to join my family.
By now, Austin Powers had made Mr. Bigglesworth a feline phenomenon. Suddenly, there were Sphynx breeders everywhere. It was difficult to narrow down the choices, but eventually I did. Gypsy and Pharoah had a harrowing ordeal coming from Alabama via airplane to New Jersey. Somehow, they got put on the wrong plane, were lost for more than several hours, and then found on the tarmac in a baggage cart at Chicago O’Hare Airport in a snowstorm. By the time they arrived, Pharoah was not thriving at all. My vet, who was this amazingly kind man, opened up his office close to midnight so that I could bring them in for him to look at. He immediately recognized a serious heart problem with Pharoah. Ultimately, he was given the same diagnosis as Cleo; but his case was much more serious. I knew I needed to do all I could to help him thrive as best he could for as long as he was able to have quality in his life. (Side note: It is a well-known and documented fact that Sphynx cats, due to the breeding techniques implemented to continue this breed, has created congenital heart defects that are very common in them, most especially in the male Sphynxes).
That is when my vet told me about this book, at that time in its second edition, which focused on natural pet care and included some recipes to make homemade food for our companion animals. I immediately went to the bookstore (this was long before online bookstores), and was able to pick up a copy of “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health For Dogs & Cats” by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. It held a plethora of valuable information that was scientifically based and just made sense to me. Every Sunday, I faithfully went to the butcher and purchased fresh raw chicken and made their recipe for raw cat food. Pharoah thrived for 18 months, far longer than the anticipated several months, which was the original projections.
But, as time went on, I put aside the book and started to buy organic cat food from the specialty pet stores that were cropping up.
Fast forward to 2015, when I had the pleasure of meeting both Dr. Pitcairn and Susan at an informal gathering. Upon introductions, I immediately realized I recognized the names and asked the question. Yes, they were the authors of this ground-breaking book; and in fact, were about ready to embark on updating the book, which would be their fourth edition. Very exciting.
Even more exciting was the fact that the fourth edition was going to incorporate up-to-date scientifically-proven evidence that dogs could easily be transitioned to an all plant-based, vegan diet and that many cats could also benefit from the same shift in their diets.
Oh my! It is not without controversy, especially regarding cats….but I am here to tell you that through personal experience as well as witnessing this fact with feline companions of many of my friends and associates, YES, many CATS CAN THRIVE ON A PLANT-BASED, VEGAN DIET.
Astonishing, but true.
In November, 2013, two days before Thanksgiving, I was rescued by Tasha. She was surrendered to an abominable shelter in New Jersey. It was reported that her elder companion had passed away and her estate surrendered Tasha and her brother, Torbie. They were not thriving. In fact, Torbie did not make it out of the shelter. When I arrived at the shelter on that blustery fourth Tuesday in November, Tasha was not well. Several surgeries later, and many nights of wondering if she would make the night (and with the help of my dear friend, Carol Githens) Tasha began to thrive. She is such a sweetie, incredibly affectionate, and is my neck scarf every night when I go to bed. I have her butt on my left shoulder, and her face nestled into the right side of my neck under my chin.
Exactly a year ago, she started vomiting, a lot, and it wasn’t just hairballs any longer. I immediately took her to the vet, who ran tests. The diagnosis was bleak – renal FAILURE. I was not at all ready nor willing to accept that diagnosis. The vet suggested daily subcutaneous fluids (which I quickly, and initially rather squeamishly, learned how to do); but other than that, I was told it was now more a quality of life issue for what little time she had left.
I immediately contacted Dr. Richard and Susan Pitcairn and explained the plight. Dr. Pitcairn was quick to respond that it does not need to be FAILURE, but instead has a very good chance of being reversed with a change in diet and homeopathic remedies. He referred me to a local homeopathic veterinarian who trained with him. She was local to me, and did house calls. How perfect! Who does house calls any longer?! Tasha’s been able to be competently cared for without having to leave the comfort and security of her home.
Well, long story short, today Tasha is thriving. Using the recipes included in Dr. Pitcairn’s 4th Edition of Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (I was fortunate enough to receive copies of them last year, a year before the book came out in print). Initially, it was a transition shifting her to a plant-based diet, mixing both the food she was accustomed to eating mixed in with the plant-based food that I was making; however, today, Tasha is 100% plant-based and has been for over six months now.
But the most extraordinary thing is that I had follow-up bloodwork done a month ago, and guess what? Her levels were all within normal range. No evidence of renal failure. All done using homeopathic natural care and a 100% plant-based diet, all of which is included in the new version of Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health For Dogs & Cats.
Tasha is not a peculiarity. There are thousands of documented cases that affirm the fact that our companion animals not only survive but more than thrive when the care administered is done naturally and the consume no animal products.
Dr. Pitcairn’s work is proven, effective, and just as important—compassionate regarding all sentient beings and our planet.
For anyone who lives with companion dogs and/or cats, the fourth edition of Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats is a definite MUST-HAVE.