June 5: community and support

Yesterday was the 5-weekly cat food run. Four ox hearts from the meat markets, and 2 beef livers, which then had to be cut up and minced. We were a bit low on taurine – I need to order more, which I didn’t realise until we started making up the mix – so we added extra lamb hearts to the mix in place of some of the minced beef. Heart is rich in taurine, and taurine is an essential amino acid for cats. So we borrowed my parents’ mincer and spent a couple’ve hours cutting and mincing and mixing and packing, and we now have a freezer full of cat food, enough for the next few weeks.


We also spent most of the day helping my mum get her verge garden free of grass, and re-mulched. Last year’s mulch has mostly broken down into soil, and they had a load of new mulch delivered which needed spreading. Sitting there, pulling out grass and spreading mulch with a collection of friends and family, was surprisingly pleasant. We chatted, about philosophy and politics and science fiction (because my family is awesome!), and worked on common goals, and then ate a delicious lunch together. With lime syrup cake. We also planted a sweet potato patch, and the end result looks amazing. Give it a few months and they’ll be up to their ears in sweet potatoes.


It’s a good reminder, doing things like that, and like the various permablitzes, and like the movie night we had tonight. No matter how wrapped up we get in our own projects and hobbies, it’s good to take time out to spend with the people dear to us. That is, after all, what community means. The people (and cats, dogs, etc.) who make up our packs, clans, families, or whatever else we call those social groups and communities are precious, and time with them is important.


The cat food recipe, if anyone is interested, is:

  • 800g muscle meat, minced (you can replace up to half of this with more heart, or with lung)
  • 200g heart, minced
  • 100g organ meat – liver, kidneys, various glands, etc.
  • 5 tsp bone meal or calcium carbonate
  • 2 tsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 2 Tbsp tinned sardines in oil (for the omega 3 oils)
  • 2/3 tsp iodised table salt
  • 100 mg vitamin B complex
  • 1000 – 2000 mg taurine supplement


We are not animal nutritionists, and cannot recommend that you use this in place of a premium commercial cat food. However, it is good for the cats, and they seem to like it. DO NOT leave out the calcium, or you risk making your cats quite ill due to a calcium/phosphorus imbalance. This mix is perfectly safe for dogs as well, although they don’t need the extra taurine.