Why are cats allowed to roam freely outside?

My rant for the day is this:  Why are cats allowed to roam outside freely, killing birds and rabbits and pooping in gardens while dogs must be leashed with their owners picking up their poop immediately after it hits the ground?

My husband was upset when he witnessed a cat killing a baby rabbit in our backyard recently.  He was looking out our kitchen window and saw the cat chasing the bunny.  By the time he got out to the backyard, the cat had injured the bunny so badly it barely had the strength to limp across the yard before it collapse dead.

This video posted on Youtube recently shows a cat eating baby birds in a nest…

 

One of my gardening clients says her cat brings her dead birds as “presents” all the time. My cousin, also an avid nature lover, posted recently on Facebook about a cat in his neighbourhood that attacked a nest of baby cardinals…

 

Why is this allowed in this day and age?  Granted, cats rarely attack people and their pile of poop is smaller than most dog’s, but cat poop or feces is very dangerous to pregnant women and small children.  I learned this firsthand as TOXOPLASMOSIS was one of the suspected reasons for the three  STILLBIRTHS  I suffered through years ago.  Toxoplasmosis is a parasite transferred to humans through exposure to cat feces.

I understand that cats like to hunt the birds and bunnies, thinking they are presenting their owners with a gift.  Domesticated cats certainly do not need to hunt these poor unfortunate creatures as a source of food.  Some of you will say this practice is part of nature.  Cats like to stalk, shred, scratch etc.  Regardless, it is a cruel, unnecessary practice that should be prevented!

Cat owners should be accountable and responsible for their cats as dog owners have to be for their dogs.  If you cannot prevent your cats from roaming the neighbourhood killing creatures of nature, get them declawed or keep the cats on a leash.  Better yet,  keep them inside, buy them fancy toys to play with or let them shred your furniture.

 

 

Keep an eye on your poop

Although the title of this post is silly, it got your attention, so read on to learn what your bowel movements are trying to tell you.  In a previous post, I told you how when my sons were small and came to me complaining of a tummy ache, the first thing I would ask them was “have you had a good poop today?”  If they said no, I would cut up some apples, sprinkle them with cinnamon and serve up this healthy, nutritious, full of fiber snack with a large glass of water. This trick worked every time (except when one son actually had appendicitis, but that’s another story). More often than not, within an hour or two, they would have a good poop and would then feel much better…

Now that my sons are grown up and rarely tell me about their stomach (or other) ailments, I use the information for myself.  If you look at the chart below that categorizes poop with pictures, you will see shapes and consistency from one extreme (constipation) to the opposite (diarrhea) Stage three or four is ideal; your bowel movements should not cause pain, the poop should come out easily, without straining, and in the shape and firmness of a sausage (their words, not mine) or a snake. Regularity is the key, one of these bowel movements a day or every second day is normal.

If you do not fit into the “normal” category indicated in the chart, try increasing your daily intake of water by the glassful or from eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. Taking a pill or other forms of medication (laxatives) to soften your stools or increase their frequency is only a band-aid fix that can land you in more trouble by causing serious side effects and dependency on the medication. The same thing applies to diarrhea; medication should be a last resort, especially if you suspect the diarrhea is caused by something you have eaten or taken.

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Constipation can and does happen to anyone and everyone, young and old, but some people more readily than others. Too much sugar, too little water, too much fat, too much protein, and too little fiber all can cause problems or irregularity with your bowel movements. Medications, allergies and food sensitivities can also wreak havoc on your body, causing constipation or diarrhea. Constipation and diarrhea are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and a warning that you should change your habits. Of course, if either condition lasts longer than a day or too, you should see your doctor as it could be a sign of more serious problems.

 

If your children automatically look for a snack as soon as they come in the door, consider having cut up fresh fruit or vegetables readily available, with or without a dip. Fresh fruit and vegetables are loaded with fiber and contain a large amount of water, both great for keeping their bowel movements in the healthy zone. Another trick I used when my children were young was to add water to their juice cups. (half and half) They would probably tell you now that it tasted awful, but it worked.  Years later, I still encourage them to drink more water and eat more fiber to maintain their health.

Although I usually eat fairly well, I like everyone else, do like to indulge in things that are not so good for me.  It does not take long for my body to react to things like junk food, excess alcohol, and lack of exercise.  Adding fiber and water back into my diet works wonders in getting me back to the right category of the chart.

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca

The Poop says it All!

I realize the title sounds gross, but you can tell a lot from your bowel movements! When my sons were small and came to me complaining of a tummy ache, the first thing I would ask them was “have you had a good poop today?” If they said no, I would cut up some apples, sprinkle them with cinnamon and serve them up this healthy, nutritious, full of fiber snack with a large glass of water. This trick worked every time (except when one son actually had appendicitis, but that’s another story). More often than not, within an hour or two they would have a good poop and would then feel much better…

Constipation can happen to anyone, some people more readily than others. Too much sugar, too little water, too much fat, too much protein, and too little fiber all can cause problems with your bowel movements. Medications, allergies and food sensitivities can also wreak havoc on your body, causing constipation or diarrhea. Constipation and diarrhea are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and a warning that you should change your habits. Of course, if either condition lasts longer than a day or too, you should see your doctor as it could be a sign of more serious problems.

If you look at the chart below that categorizes poop with pictures, you will see shapes and consistency from one extreme (constipation) to the opposite (diarrhea) Stage three or four is ideal; your bowel movements should not cause pain, the poop should come out easily, without straining, and in the shape and firmness of a sausage (their words, not mine) or a snake. Regularity is the key, one of these bowel movements a day or every second day is normal.

If you do not fit into the “normal” category indicated in the chart, try increasing your daily intake of water by the glassful or from eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. Taking a pill or other forms of medication (laxatives) to soften your stools or increase their frequency is only a band-aid fix that can land you in more trouble by causing serious side effects and dependency on the medication. The same thing applies to diarrhea; medication should be a last resort, especially if you suspect the diarrhea is caused by something you have eaten or taken.

If your children automatically look for a snack as soon as they come in the door, consider having cut up fresh fruit or vegetables readily available, with or without a dip. Fresh fruit and vegetables are loaded with fiber and contain a large amount of water, both great for keeping their bowel movements in the healthy zone. Another trick I used when my children were young was to add water to their juice cups. (half and half) They would probably tell you now that it tasted awful, not nearly as sweet as the large glasses of juice, albeit 100% juice with no sugar added, that they consume these days now that they serve themselves…

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Rabbit Poop is great for your Garden!

I have noticed one thing in common in the gardens I have worked in this spring: lots of rabbit poop! There seems to have been an explosion in the rabbit population in my Kanata suburb of Ottawa. I see quite a few rabbits on my evening walks through our neighborhood  so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the increased amount of rabbit poop in the gardens…

The good news is that rabbit poop is great for your garden. Unlike cow, sheep or chicken manure that is considered “hot” requiring an aging or composting process before use so it doesn’t burn your plants, rabbit poop is “cold” requiring no such process before use.  The other advantage is that it only has a mild smell to it.  The smell actually brings back childhood memories of the pet rabbits my father used to bring home each spring at Easter time.

So, just dig it into the soil between the plants, providing a nitrogen rich fertilizer for your garden. You can also add a pile of poop to your composter as a nitrogen layer, or make compost tea by adding a pile of poop to a bucket of water, stirring well and frequently for a few days and then pouring the “tea” onto your garden.

Any way you use it, rabbit poop is a free and convenient fertilizer for your garden!

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca