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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tempting Fate

Morning Commute
Photo by myself on the subway platform during the rush hour commute.

Some people stand awfully close to the edge of the platform. The painted yellow line and tactile warning bumps guide passengers where to stand.

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This weekend, Mark and I went to Whiskers, an alternative pet store on Second Avenue and 9th Street in the East Village.

Good friends of ours had recommended the place to us last year. They have two cats, and after initiating a new diet, the cats have lost weight and their previously scaly skin is back to normal. Happily, too, they're not shedding as much.

Our friends had told us to talk to Phil. When I walked in and looked around, I spotted an older guy perched in the corner with his chin in his hand. We locked eyes and he waved me over. This was Phil Klein, the pet guru.

I was whisked into the world of homeopathic pet dieting. My way of feeding my poor cat, Dida, has been completely wrong. I walked away with vials of enzymes and vitamins for Dida's rehabilitation. (Last week, after what we thought was a pulled muscle, we took her into the vet. She was diagnosed with a heart condition and was given medication for a blood clot in her hind leg).

Phil advocates feeding your cat limited amounts of food several times a day, and fresh foods, if possible. Earlier this month, Phil was interviewed on NPR about his holistic approach. Phil gives advice to dog owners too. A friendly woman with a miniature dachshund was next in line for a consult.

Little does she know, Dida is now my science experiment. Already she's grumbling about the feeding schedule. Food is taken away just before we go to bed, so there is no snacking. At 4:30 in the mornings, I am awakened by her meowing and standing next to me, stamping her foot. Eek.

I'm hopeful for the whole process. Tests from the vet show that she has a heart murmur but that there's no immediate danger. Her heart is clear of blood clots, which is great news.

I'll post about her progress from time to time. It would be amazing to have Dida's tests come back next year clear of a murmur.


For Phil's interview on NPR, click here.

For a recent post on Dida, click here

22 comments:

Liisa said...

I'm really interested in hearing how Dida's new eating schedule/habits work out. As a fairly new cat owner I'm still trying to find the best way to take care of my cat. I wonder if they even have places like whiskers in Finland... hmm, might be worth looking into :)
Good luck with Dida!

Patrizia said...

Impressive picture. I studied and worked for a while in Milano so I took the metro everyday ... but I absolutely never went on the the yellow line ... not even close to it!!!!!

Greg said...

Interesting photo. Just goes to show you can tell people, paint the part yellow and put bumps but people will still just ignore it

Eva said...

People who are standing that close to the subway train gives me the chills. It's scary!

Thansk for the update on Dida. I've read everything I can get my hands on about holistic food plans for dogs, and we are heading for a switch too. Thanks for sharing your experiences :-)

Abraham Lincoln said...

It looks like the place not to be when the trains fly by. What happens if some kid has his head out of the window? I suppose it would be an awful messy collision. Or maybe the windows on the train don't open.

I do think it is very clever how they have the bumps on the last edge of the platform so you toes, at least, know the limits.

Nice photograph.

Kitty said...

Welcome Liisa
Phil's concept makes sense. What do people put in most canned food, but the unsavory parts of animals? But what do animals in the wild eat when they make a kill? The stomach, at first, which is a combination of meat and veggies.

Diet makes a huge difference with pet health. I'm constantly surprised by the number of pets that die of cancer. I think diet has something to do with it.

Hi Patrizia
lol, I prefer to hang waaaay back too. I don't know what this guy was thinking.

Hi Greg
You take your own life in your hands every day. Some people are more reckless than others I suppose.

Hi Eva
I think there's something to these raw food diets, though I'm not sure I'll be going that far with Dida. Our friends' relative had a dog that was put on a raw food diet, a mini poodle, and it lived til the respectable age of 15.

Good luck with the switch! I'd love to hear about it.

Hi Mr Lincoln
The upper windows do hinge outwards in case the a/c fails, so yes, it's dangerous to stand that close if you're tall.

There have been plenty of accidents. People being pushed, or people standing too close, unfortunately.

The Barber Bunch said...

Love the action shot!

Mab said...

Wow!!! What a pic.Do some people have a death wish or what.I've only been to the London underground about 3 times in my life and I made sure that I was well away from the edge.

Adam said...

When I ride the Metro I damn near hide in the corner until the train stops and doors open. It creeps me out to be that close to the edge.

Mab said...

I think that "Tempting Fate" is a great title for your pic.Fate doesn't need to be tempted though she's there all the time.

Spandrel Studios said...

Whenever I'm forced to walk around other people and step onto that yellow bumpy line, I hold my breath and skitter across! Great picture, and I agree with mab that the title is perfect!

Hope the new regimen works for Dida... so glad to hear that the vet said she's not in any immediate danger.

Tammy said...

I'm glad to hear your kitty is doing better. Aurora's cat had 4 kitties a while ago and they are just about ready to find new homes.

Kizz said...

I was skeptical when I first went to see Phil, too, and now I'm a huge convert. He did what the vet couldn't do. Hope all goes well with Dida!

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Amazing photo!

It's really scary seeing people standing that close to the subway train.

I hope all is well with Dida!

Mo said...

Great shot. I hope all is well with Dida.

Kitty said...

Thanks Carolyn!
It was a lucky catch.

Hi Mab
People take things for granted, I think. Nuts, eh?

Hi Adam
Your way is much better. You hear horrible stories all the time (I won't get into them). Good for you for being safe.

Hi Spandrel
Thanks. Dida is not estatic about the regimen, but she's adapting already, lol.

Hi Tammy
I can't believe you had so many critters. Kittens are a handful!

Kizz, I'd love to know more about your cat situation. I am definitely skeptical but yknow, I'm willing to try anything!

Thanks Sonia and Mo!

tam said...

I am VERY glad to hear Dida is doing well. I have two furry children as well...they are rotten to the core. Rue will let me photograph him, Chloe, she's a bit tougher. She's such a priss...camera shy and all.

I too love the photo. I love the motion. Scary, that guy is so close. I don't think I could have stood there and watched him very long. I'd been afraid he would have fallen into the subway train. YIKES!

Kitty said...

Thanks Tam!
Your 'kids' sound funny. I'd love to see photos.
I think if this guy saw a photo of how close he was, he'd think 2x next time.

Ming the Merciless said...

I'm reporting you to PETA for experimenting on your own cat. :-)

Hope Dida feels better with the new diet.

Kitty said...

Thanks Ming!
We'll see. So far she's been looking great. We're all excited. :-)

penpusher said...

I love love love this picture!!

I kept telling myself I need to take a pic of NY subway when I was there, but chickened out, for fear that someone would rob me of my camera in the station, lol

Hope Dida is doing much better!

Kitty said...

Hi PP
I love how a photo just sort of happens. I don't think my brain was even working when I took this (it was on the morning commute)

Have no fear about the subways here or crime. If you take a photo, there are so many witnesses, there's no way anyone would take your camera. NYC is not the crime-ridden city it used to be.