Long Overdue Website Refresh

You know how in spite of your best intentions to never let that closet or drawer you spent so much time cleaning and organizing get messy again, you open it one day to see it’s in overwhelming disarray again? Packed with of stuff that’s either no longer relevant to your life or buried in a sea stuff that needs cleaning and reorganizing?

You can close it off and mentally say, “I’ll get to that one day soon.” Or you can dive in and go all Marie Kondo on it.

Life Happens

A website is like that. One day you have it pretty much the way you want it and then life happens. Other stuff rises up to take center stage and claim your attention and time. Some of it good. Some of it not good. And so the website fades further into the background, the vague plan to one day tackle it is diluted in a sea of other demands or life requirements.

I have been meaning to update this website for years. “I’ll get to this one day soon.” I’ve been meaning to repaint the kitchen too. I’m embarrassed about how little time I’ve had to answer emails that come through, much less keep up with feeding the always-hungry ever-changing social media monster.

Late last year I’d almost decided to take the site down because it was in such lousy shape. I didn’t want to take the extended time I knew would be needed, plus the steep learning curve to successfully migrate the site to a better platform made my stomach hurt. Never mind the time to format, update, purge outdated content.

I took the path of least resistance and decided not to decide anything.

Then? Early this year I got a dire notification from the (awful) platform I had it on. Unless I upgraded to some overpriced plan by 23 March 2023, the site would disappear. For this hefty price increase I could count on nonexistent customer service, an unstable platform, and web editing tools that were full of bugs.

Enter a knight in shiny tech armor named Mike. He made relatively short work of downloading all the content, images, pages, and posts from the old platform and getting it all transferred to WordPress. What took him a under a week would have taken me months and months. Thank you Mike.

Refurbishment Mostly Complete

I’ve been deep down the online rabbit hole for the past few weeks on a brutal purge of outdated and irrelevant content, updated and refreshed every single page, and fixed an appalling number of broken links.

On that, when checking the link to a particular website to confirm it was still working, I discovered the domain previously been associated with raw feeding was now an ‘adult entertainment’ site hawking pornography. Oops.

For those of you have been visiting this site on and off since it was created 20 years ago (exclamation point) and have recommended it to others or shared it out, please accept my apologies for the sorry state it’s been in for too long. The site had been the victim of my benign neglect for too long. I can only plead, ‘life happens.’ And report that perhaps now  you won’t be as embarrassed to share out this website.

As for what’s new? There’s not a bunch of new content, but there is some revised content. I have:

  • Tightened up the prose throughout.
  • Better organized the considerable body of blog/essay content;
  • Updated the recipes and pictorial pages to reflect some changes I’ve made to the ingredient ratio and my own process for making cat food;
  • Refreshed the content on just about every page, and:
  • Created a logo that I think is at least a little charming.

cartoon line drawing of cat head peering over line above the words cat nutritionIf you’re new to the website, a few things to know: I’m not a veterinarian and I don’t presume to know more about feline biochemistry than someone who has graduated from veterinary school. I don’t treat scores of animals every day or perform delicate surgeries and lifesaving procedures. My only ‘credential’ is that back in the early 2000s, I used diet alone to liberate a sick cat from a miserable disease that plagued him for six difficult years and I learned some stuff along the way that I thought was worth sharing.

It bothered me that the information I learned about the upside-down way we feed cats—and how much that contributes to the diseases that afflict them—was not something that vets seemed concerned about. That led to a deep dive into how cats need to eat, followed by a (mostly failed) appeal to veterinary schools to stop letting the pet food industry act as their proxy on matters of nutrition education. In 2003, this website was born. It was my way of getting the word out. And, frankly, a kind of therapy for my frustrations.

Thanks to My Teachers and Pals

I certainly wasn’t the first to try and cast a spotlight on the gap between what we know regarding how cats need to eat and what most veterinarians suggest that we feed them. I was fortunate, along the way, to meet or learn from terrific pioneers and healthy feeding advocates in that space, like Natascha Wille, Michelle Bernard, Dr. Lisa Pierson, Terri Grow, and Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins.

There are lots of successful ways to feed cats well. I don’t have the corner on all the answers. Over the years, I’ve made adjustments and tweaks to the recipe I use to accommodate new insights. After 21 years of feeding cats homemade food, I’ve learned more, including the value of continuous learning and a healthy dose of humility.

I hope you find the refreshed site useful and easier to use. There remain a handful of annoying formatting glitches that I’m tackling, but now that I’m working on a better platform, I’m confident I’ll figure those out. There’s always more work to do to make any site better.

Here’s hoping I keep my promise to myself, and to you, to do better. Maybe next I’ll paint the kitchen.

Happy cat feeding, friends.

~ Anne



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