In spite of all the trouble they cause…

critter

Even though my critters can be major pains in the ass a lot of the time, like this weekend for example—when they tracked mud all over my kitchen and wanted (each at different times) to be let out, then in, then out again, then back in because it was rainy and cold—they enrich my life in more ways than I can count. To the extent that I am sane and/or balanced, it’s due in no small part to their unconditional love and general goofiness.

Lately, I have been more aware than ever of how grateful I am for them, and for their health and happiness, as I’ve watched four different online buds have to say heart-wrenching goodbyes to their beloved companions. Here’s to the memory of Teddy, Little Joe, Max, and Maxie, each one treasured.

While none of the above were its victims, the ever-widening pet food recall is not far from my mind either. So far, the foods my guys eat (dry Nutro and dry IAMS) are safe and don’t use wheat gluten. I knew that the media was certainly under-reporting the mortality figures but still, I was stunned when I read over at Spocko’s place that the death toll was over 3,000. The unofficial count, that is, since no one knows for sure.

That was two days ago, and now it’s 3,598, according to Pet Connection, which adds:

“Total reports of all owner-suspected cases of food-related illness: 11,363.”

Pet Connection has a wealth of information and links to other vital resources, in addition to a form for reporting ill or deceased pets. They are doing some great work, so show them some love.

[UPDATED: Chain store veterinary practice Banfield reports that cases of kidney failure among cats rose by 30 percent during the three months that the contaminated food was sold. It estimates that three out of every 10,000 of the one million pets treated during that time had developed kidney failure.]

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