If you've been following the epic of our poor foundling waif, you may recall that he was having severe allergic reactions to Environmental Factors Unknown, in the form of black acne-like schmutz all around his face, eyes, ears, mouth, and chin.
Well, we monkeyed around with his food for a while with varying levels of success, but finally said, "Screw it!" and took him to the vet with the instructions: "Take a blood test and find out everything this cat is allergic to!" Well, the list was a whopper. Buddha is allergic to chicken, beef, milk, soy, egg, grasses, mold, and dust, plus about fifteen other things.
Note that first item: chicken. Now go to your local Cat Food aisle and look at every can. Every can. The first, second, or third ingredient is almost always "chicken" -- even for things like "Stinky Seafood Feast" the primary ingredient is chicken! And thus did enlightenment shine down upon us -- and so began the Quest For Chickenless Cat Food.
We have managed to find a few varieties, primarily by going to pet specialty stores and finding the one shelf in the back of California Organic Stoner Dude Brand, Man catfood. These tend to be made with pretty much what the label says they're made of -- Turkey Dinner flavor is made primarily of turkey, Whitefish Le Pew is made primarily of whitefish, etc.
The difference has been dramatic, and gratifying. Buddha's face has cleared up by 99%, and he has become energetic, playful, and even more affectionate than he was before. His fur has almost completely grown back, as well -- if I didn't know this was the same cat we saw in a death spiral in our back yard, I would never believe it.
In short, Buddha is doing wonderfully well. ^.^ As for my allergies, Zyrtec is a wonderful thing. They're still around, I can still feel 'em around my eyes in particular, but they're bearable and worth it for Buddha. :)
In case you haven't seen 'em, laurie_robey periodically posts pictures of the little fuzzball: see her journal for details.
Also, Buddha has recently had a minor role in Pearls Before Swine!
Reep to Shred!
Me popped heem.
Not very special.