Thank you for all the lovely and thoughtful messages you left here on the blog and in my email inbox for Freddie. As much as we miss him, and will continue to miss him, we are grateful he went peacefully, knowing he was deeply loved.
Last week we also discovered our lovely calico cat Pubm, who had developed a mysterious limp in the past month that was initially diagnosed as arthritis, is harboring what seems to be a fast-spreading tumor in her hip. The day Freddie passed on, Pubm went through a biopsy. The results are expected next week.
In the past year, three of our five furry babies have been diagnosed with cancer. Each time I visit a vet or speak with a pet parent, I hear more stories about the incredibly high prevalence of cancer in cats and dogs today. Googling up the topic throws up all kinds of theories, with store-bought pet food being the prime suspect.
A good friend who does a lot of animal rescue work in India once told me that diseased and even dead animals are often used in food for pets by unscrupulous manufacturers, because standards in most countries are low or nonexistent, especially when compared to human food. Add to that a multitude of preservatives and carbohydrates and all those things we prefer not to feed ourselves, and you likely have a recipe for disaster.
Desi and I have always fed our kids store-bought pet food and although we try to buy the best, I am more and more becoming convinced that homemade food could be a healthier way to go. I do cook for my dogs at home a lot, but with the cats it is another story. Cats have very special nutrition needs but more than that they are extremely finicky about what they will eat. They are especially finicky about NOT eating homemade food.
If any of you feed your cats homemade food and have ideas to share, I would welcome them. For now, here is a recipe for a delicious side dish that is perfect with some dal and rice.
Have a nice week, all.
(Makes 4 good-sized servings)
1 medium cauliflower, separated into florets. Boil water in a pot and drop the florets into it. Bring back to a boil and let the cauliflower cook for about three minutes. Drain and set aside.
1 large onion, ends lopped off, cut into half, then sliced into half-moons
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder, like cayenne or paprika for a milder flavor
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala powder (use some Kolhapuri spice mix or tawa masala for a slightly different but delicious flavor)
2 tsp vegetable oil like canola
Heat oil in a skillet.
Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the onions and a little salt. Saute until the onions turn translucent, about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the powdered spices. Stir and let the tomatoes cook until they break down and start to express the oil.
Add the cauliflower florets and stir well. Cover and cook a few more minutes or until the cauliflower is al dente. You don’t want it to turn soft and mushy. Season with some fresh chopped coriander leaves.
(Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 93, Dietary Fiber 5.3 grams, Total fat 2.9 grams, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 15.8 grams, Potassium 707.6 mg, Protein 4.2 grams)