Cat Food — Feeding Mist & Smoke

Cat Food — Which to Pick?

Merlin and Magic
Merlin and Magic

Mist and Smoke are now about four and a half years old and, knock on wood, are in good health. Magic and Merlin — Di’s “Burmese boys” — lived to be 18 and 15, respectively, and passed away some ten days apart.

Not being raised a cat person, I purchased what ever food Di wanted or was on sale and didn’t pay particular attention to what was in it or how it was rated. If the cats liked it, I kept buying it. Magic and Merlin did quite well on the regimen of Iams, Nutro, Friskies, Science Diet and Royal Canin. Their diet consisted of wet foods at breakfast and dinner with dry food available 24/7.

With Mist and Smoke, however, I’ve taken a different tack. Di’s inability to shop on her own and my retirement give me both the responsibility for the purchase of cat food and the time to research both brands and individual products.

I’ve continued to feed Mist and Smoke both wet and dry food. Breakfast is at 7 am and dinner is served at 6 pm.

Dry Cat Food

After four years testing what they like and what I’ve researched, I currently feed a combination of Wellness Core, Open Farm and Science Diet Indoor.

Like people, cats have individual likes and dislikes. While cruciferous vegetables and kale might be good for me, I cannot stomach them and just the smell of some of them cooking nauseates me.

Neither cat likes Acana or Orijen, but both happily munch the Science Diet, which I consider to be much less healthy.

So, I’ve settled on feeding the cats with a mixed diet.

I have a large plastic box and periodically pour in a half dozen cups of the Wellness and Science Diet and three cups of the Open Farm. Then, I mix these together and dispense into their bowl when necessary. They “cherry pick” the Science Diet but also eat the rest of the mixture without demure.

I occasionally get coupons for other foods and, after checking the ingredient list to exclude those with wheat and/or corn, may add one to the mix to see how they like it. (Recently got a coupon for a “Free” 4-lb bag of Fussie Cat and got it for the cost of the sales tax. They ate it but didn’t prefer it over the others.) The same goes for samples occasionally given out at our neighborhood pet shops.

Wet Cat Food

Just like our previous cats, we feed Mist and Smoke wet (canned) food twice a day. I give them each about an ounce and a half in the morning and again at night. Brother Smoke, who is a couple of pounds heavier than his sister, would like more, but Mist often leaves a bite or three in her bowl.

Smoke and Mist asleep on Joe's lap.
Smoke and Mist asleep on Joe’s lap with Smoke using his sister as a pillow.

Smoke happily gobbles up Mist’s leavings when I don’t pick up her bowl in time, but he tends to throw up the meal when he eats more than his share. I also put away the dry food bowl. About two hours after the meal, I put out the left over wet food, which has been sitting in the fridge, and the dry food bowl from its drawer. Smoke usually eats the left over wet food right away and Mist has a few nibbles at the dry food.

Smoke will eat wet food that has been open and stored in the fridge, but Mist won’t. Neither cares for food warmed in the microwave for a few seconds. Therefore, I purchase most of the wet food in the the smaller 2.8 – 3.0 ounce cans. Yes, it’s more expensive, but the cats eat it and none goes to waste.

Currently, their wet food mix consists of: Wellness Morsels Tuna Entree, Wellness Sliced Salmon Entree, Wellness Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Wild Salmon Entrée in Broth and Wellness Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entrée in Broth.

Neither cat likes any of the patés I’ve tried; so, most of their food is sliced, flaked, cubed, morsels, etc.

They also prefer seafood to chicken, beef and other meats. Smoke will eat some of them but Mist just sniffs and turns away to “bury” her bowl.

I purchased some individual Tiki Cat cans a couple of weeks ago and three of the tuna versions were approved; they are on my next Chewy order. Neither of the cats would deign to even sample the Weruva cans I purchased at the same time I got the Tiki Cats, so they are off all future lists.

As I was about out of wet food and the next Chewy order isn’t due until the end of this week, I bought some cans of Blue Healthy Gourmet at Target the other day. The Flaked Tuna Entrée was quite favorably received this morning by both Smoke and Mist and the others will be sampled over the next couple of days.

Conclusions and “Advice”

I don’t know that there is any one food which will satisfy any cat’s needs or wants over its entire life. Likes, dislikes and needs change with experience and age for our feline family members just as ours do.

I believe that feeding our cats both what they really enjoy (even if it is the feline equivalent of ice cream or french fries) and what they like a little bit or merely tolerate (albeit what I think is higher quality food) will keep them in good health for a long feline lifetime. And, I’ll keep on trying out new/different foods to add into the mix.

If you need “advice” on what to feed your cat(s), go to several different sources. Try your cat’s vet — although, s/he may steer you to what the clinic stocks and sells. Pet shops and markets may stock many foods but be aware that some may be more profitable to them than others; this may influence what they try to sell you. Ask your friends; ask your Facebook friends and groups.

Also, check the Internet. Type: cat food ratings into your search engine and you’ll end up with millions of results — many, unfortunately, will be biased; so, check them out carefully.

I like CatFoodDB (Cat Food DataBase) and read several others.

Read the reviews of the foods on Amazon and Chewy — some of them have got to be legit.

And, don’t be afraid of buying a dozen or three different cans of food from a store’s shelves, your cats may like them. If they don’t like a particular brand you bought several of, give them away. Your next door neighbor’s cat may like them and a local shelter or rescue group will love them.


Yes, I know the Science Diet contains wheat and corn, but the cats love it. I had fish for dinner last night and “chips” and plenty of tartar sauce to go with. I will survive and so will they.

Sunroom Cats – Watch the Birdie Show

Sunroom Cats -- Shadows on the screen
Shadows on the screen

Our two cats, Mist and Smoke spend a good deal of time in our sunroom. This room used to be our open-air patio — that is, it was outdoors and Mist and Smoke are indoor cats.

Now, however, they are allowed into the sunroom and can get some ten feet closer to the birds. We have lots of Mourning doves, hummingbirds, sparrows and similar birds and the occasional crow, Coopers hawk and squirrel. Sunroom Cats -- Shadows on the screen

In the morning they crowd the feeders and the ground under them. In the afternoon their shadows appear on the shade which my wife has lowered to prevent the sun from shining in her eyes.

Sunroom Cats -- Shadows on the screenMist, the female and smaller of our cats, finds these shadows fascinating. She watches them from the floor, the chair, the TV table and Charlie’s “wheelie/walker.” For about two hours, until shortly before sunset, we can find Mist, and occasionally Smoke bird watching while Charlie reads or watches TV. Sunroom Cats

We enclosed our patio and built the sunroom so Charlie would have a room of her own to read, play games, watch TV, drink tea, smoke and enjoy her garden. It’s nice to have a room that her cats also enjoy and can spend time with her.

Sunroom Cats

Sunroom Cats -- Shadows on the screen

The Cat.

By Oliver Herford

OB-SERVE the Cat up-on this page.
Phil-os-o-phers in ev-er-y age,
The ver-y wis-est of the wise,
Have tried her mind to an-a-lyze
In vain, for noth-ing can they learn.
She baf-fles them at ev-er-y turn
Like Mis-ter Ham-let in the play.
She leads their rea-son-ing a-stray;
She feigns an in-ter-est in string
Or yarn or any roll-ing thing.
Un-like the Dog, she does not care
With com-mon Man her thoughts to share.
She teach-es us that in life’s walk
‘T is bet-ter to let oth-ers talk,
And lis-ten while they say in-stead
The fool-ish things we might have said.



Smoker – Travelling across the USA – 2

After our stay in Minnesota we headed home by the same route across the northern U.S. and south along the Pacific coast. My wife did not care for the Moorhead motel we stayed in on our earlier trip and we found other accommodations at a Travelodge on our return. They didn’t have a smoking/ADA room and we settled on a third floor smoking room (elevator). A nicer room than before but no ADA bathroom and farther to walk.

We “flew” across North Dakota and landed in Miles City, Montana the next day at a Super 8 motel. Smoking but not ADA and no elevator. The room was on the third floor (no elevator); my wife went up once when we checked in and down once when we checked out – I, however, got a lot of exercise with our luggage.

Even though we tried to get a room at the Homewood Suites in Bozeman, Montana a couple of weeks earlier, it was booked. My wife got a smoking room at the La Quinta Inn. When we got there, we found out that it was a non-smoking facility. We found out that the booking had been through, not directly with the hotel, as my wife thought she had done. After forty-five plus frustrating minutes on the phone with and Expedia they couldn’t find us in their system even though there was a reservation at La Quinta and my AMEX card had been charged by them the previous week. The La Quinta was fully booked, with a waiting list, and we were able cancel the room with them – but not with The busy and harried young man at the desk also found that the Holiday Inn just across the Interstate had smoking rooms available – we called and got a room with no trouble. It was not ADA but it was a short walk for my wife from the parking lot.

After a calming cup of tea and a bit of shopping, we had dinner at the Holiday Inn’s on-site restaurant – yummy.

I spoke with American Express that evening and they cancelled the charges – the first time in the forty years I’ve had the card that I’ve had this kind of problem.

The next night we stayed at the Super 8 in Spokane Valley, Washington. Once again it was a smoking room but not ADA, on the third floor, but close to the elevator. My wife had to do little walking and I got my exercise with the luggage and a short walk to the local Subway for a couple of sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies (the last two in the store).

Then it was on to The Dalles, Oregon and Cousins’ Country Inn. Good food and an upstairs non-ADA smoking room.

The Mill Hotel and Casino in North Bend, Oregon was next with a downstairs (but long walk) smoking room. The problem was the restaurant. We got a bad meal at Whitecaps. The food was cold and my wife’s appetite was spoiled so she went off to play the slots. My dinner was re-done; the seafood was dropped back in the fire and overcooked but the fresh potatoes and veggies were still cold. The manager again apologized and took the meal off our charges. It was the first sub-standard meal we’d had there, so we’ll give them another chance next year, maybe.

Eureka, California. Best Western Plus Bayshore Inn. My wife had made a reservation for their one smoking/ADA room and gotten an email confirmation. When we arrived, we found we had a third floor, smoking, non-ADA room. I was told that we had not requested an ADA room – WRONG – as the email confirmation confirmed. Our room had been given away to someone else and my wife now had to use the elevator and walk to the room farthest away from the elevator; we expressed our displeasure and the clerk promised to make a note of it. (The service at the on-site Marie Callender’s was also bad this evening and we left without eating.) I called American Express, since the room had been guaranteed through my AMEX card. I was told that since the motel had not yet charged for our room to wait a few days and then contest the charges. We checked out the next morning and my wife gave the assistant manager a good talking to. She apologized, said that the person responsible had already been spoken to, and said she was going to discount the room. I mentioned my conversation with American Express and the “discount” quickly became NO CHARGE for our stay at the Bayshore Inn. Will we stay at the Bayshore Inn next time through Eureka – stay tuned, film at eleven. Will I keep my American Express card – YES!

Lessons learned:
1. Book through the motel directly or the motel’s website – DO NOT use or Expedia.
2. Don’t leave home without it (AMEX card).

Smoke, Di and Mist
Smoke, Di and Mist


We stopped and visited with our friends in Gilroy, California (garlic city) the next day and arrived home the day after. On Monday we picked up our new four-footed kids – two chocolate point Siamese kittens. I had wanted to call them Smoke and Mirrors but my wife decided on Smoke (male) and Mist (female).