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" Be the change you want to see in the world "
  Mahatma Gandhi

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Disclaimer:
The material on this website is to be used at your own discretion.
I highly suggest working with a Holistic veterinarian as every animal is different and may have different needs.
Always seek the help of a liscensed, preferably Holistic veterinarian regarding health issues.
 
 
 
The little sanctuary my cats call home .........
 

 
This is the outside area of the cattery......decorated with whimsy.  I think it matches a cats personality. The old antique bench against the wall is in front of a heater which is a great spot to warm up after being outside in winter....and to dry damp coats, etc.  It's conveniently situated just next to the outside door.

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  My old Paul Bunyan yellow pine table.....it's huge.  My spot to lay out paperwork and organize.   Also a great table to entertain.  The corner hutch in the back holds some of my collectibles, stained glass work I've done, etc.

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Entry to the cattery.....lots of open viewing so the cats can see what's going on.  And my family / friends can see the cats as well, while not posing a risk to my program.  I've a huge TV opposite the cattery.  The cats sit up on the wide shelf along the window and watch on occasion.

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  Just inside the cattery.......I use hanging wire closet shelving for the cat perches.....work perfect.  They serve a dual purpose.....at night, when the cats are in bed so I can clean, I drape any washed towels, etc.  over the hanger edge to dry. 

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  Better view ........this also is the play area for mothers and older babies as well as young cats. Helps me keep a closer eye on them while I'm in and out working in the yard, or visiting with people. 

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  This is the birthing box....litter box slides in easily......secluded enough to satisfy the mother while allowing plenty of viewing for me.   I have a baseboard heater down below.....great to control temperature for newborns - no worrying about the mother dragging them off a heating pad. This box is very easy to clean, and keeps everything contained, unlike a wire cage.    All of my cats have one to retire to at night to eat and relax. This allows me to clean up end of the day and wash down the cattery.   They really enjoy their own space too......their little hideaway no other cat has access to. 

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Grooming table.....slide out drawer with ample space for daily grooming tools.  There is a shop light above on remote control.  Also have paper towel dispenser mounted above.  The AC goes in this window for the summer to keep the cats comfortable.  On cool, dry days....the window is the entry to the outside extension of the cattery on the grass.  Great for the cats to get some fresh air and sunshine.   This is newly built and I will have photos of it when the final touches are done.

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 Wash area......probably the busiest little spot.  Here I have all my shampoos, conditioner, dish soap, etc. in easy, one hand dispensers.  I have a drying rack above for food bowls, etc.  The cattery washer also drains here....maybe later I'll have a nice high end sink installed but for now, this works just fine.

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  Washer/Dryer & wash area fenced off for the cat's safety, and my piece of mind. 

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Air cleaner for the cattery, though I really don't need it.  Windows are open often and there is good circulation throughout.

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  My favorite piece of equipment, wet/dry shop vac with a 32 foot hose and lots of attachments.  Suction is great, even with that long hose.  I wash the attachments every single day....what's the point of being clean if your just going to  touch the surfaces with dirty attachments and likely spread bacteria, etc. ?    Hygiene is very important around here.

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 Hand sanitizing station......whether coming in or going out.....it's a must.  Paper towel dispenser above, trash bucket below.   And a mirror if your vain ;-)

 
While wood is not an ideal material for a cattery due to it's porous nature, I love the look and went with it.  However, every single board is heavily varnished, seams between every board are all silicone caulked and above and below baseboards is caulked.  This seals the wood and seams to allow for easy cleaning and sanitation.
  The floor is linoleum, though not glued down so I can remove and replace it if I wish.  The cats claws are religiously blunted to preserve the linoleum.

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Feeding
 
Cats are, by nature, obligate carnivores.  While packaged, commercial foods are convenient and easy to feed- they are not what our felines are designed to eat.
    Yes, I know, many of you are saying " My cat has been fine on dry foods for years".   I certainly believe you......until the problems start - IBD, Diabetes, cancers, skin allergies, inflammations, ulcers, cyctitis, CRF, kidney disease, etc..   Health issues develop over time and they all have a cause.  Some are related to genetics, some to vaccine use, foods and environment. Just be aware , prevention is simple  if you care to just self educate.
 
I raise my breeding cats with a raw meat diet.  I add a blend of coat/skin supporting oils and Kyolic Garlic.  I use Kyolic because it contains no Allicin, which is found in fresh garlic and can be toxic to cats.  Garlic is great for the immune system, cardiovascular health, parasite control, and has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal properties, just to list a few benefits. 
  The cats have been quite healthy on this diet and don't have IBD, or any on and off stool issues or "poop patty butts", no digestive issues, etc. 
  Himmies and oriental breeds can have a tendency to be sensitive  with regards to a raw meat diet, as they seem to lack more of the naturally occurring digestive enzymes and would need enzymes added to their food until they start creating their own.    The more removed from the natural diet, through generations, the more problems the breeds develop.
 It is also common for commercial food fed cats to have some blood in the stools due to irritation in the lower intestines.  Usually it dries to a dark brown or the litter coats the stool and can hide it so many people don't notice it, unless the stool is very loose.
I was told years ago by a few breeders that this is basically a given with the cats, but it just didn't seem right.  Hence my venture towards natural rearing.  
As a result of feeding the cats a diet closely resembling what they would be eating in a natural habitat, they have great stools with none of the visible blood due to intestinal irritation, common to commercial food fed cats.  And, they are much hardier. 
 
  I cut my own meats and usually use Chicken, sometimes with a little turkey mixed in.  I usually alternate every few weeks with Beef.
To this meat, I add Feline Instincts supplement powder designed for completing a raw meat diet.  ( click on banner below to visit the site).  There is a powdered formula for recipes using bone or recipes without bone.  I usually cut up chicken necks in the chicken batches for the "with bone" recipe. 
The beef batches I use the supplement powder with the added calcium.
It is a fairly simple diet to make, just a little effort involved.
Kittens get their meats finely minced not only because they have such tiny mouths but they are gluttons and try to swallow too much - they love this food.  I'm usually sitting with them, pair of tweezers handy just in case some little piglet needs me to clear their throat.   I usually mix in some of my special made baby formula so they get extra calories.  Most breeders use Nutri-Cal but it contains sodium benzoate which can build up to toxic levels in a cat's liver- since cast do not have the ability to process toxins like humans - they lack the enzyme needed which is one reason they seem to suffer more problems related to the adjuvants/chemicals/preservatives in vaccines and drugs, etc...
  Once the kittens have been off milk for a few weeks and are used to eating meats, I also start adding some of Nature's Logic canned food, primarily chicken, duck or rabbit.  This allows my adopters to have a choice of food they can feed,  that the kittens are used to. I still strongly urge everyone to add some raw meats to the diet.  I also strongly urge them to keep the cat on a wet diet as that is what they are designed for.  Dry foods are hard on the kidneys and their digestive systems. I will also used canned food with  meats added for the adults if I am running low on my Feline Instincts supplement powder, until I can place another order.
  Nature's Logic is  the best canned I've found, since all the vitamins and minerals are naturally derived - no synthetics.  My other  choices are Natural Planet Organics, B.G. ( Before Grain ) by Merrick, Blue Buffalo's Wilderness, and Brandon Farms Naturals. I also like Dave's Turkey and Chicken canned food - I can find it in the large cans which I prefer.  I avoid any canned foods that have grains or rice added - I want to see more meat than anything else. I also avoid canned foods that contain fish, which alot do because it adds flavor.  Too much fish in the diet can lead to hyperthyroidism in older cats, can cause allergy due to the high levels of histamines present in fish based foods, and Ocean Whitefish (usually the fish utilized in canned foods) is high in Mercury.  
    I usually find Nature's Logic online at Pet Food Direct or a local pet specialty store.  Many Pet specialty stores will carry these brands if you ask them.
 
Once a month I will give the cats canned mackerel for a treat,  which they love.  I may also make chicken soup and give them a bowl of that too. 
 
The cats also get filtered water as tap water can contain contaminates like chlorine, etc. These contaminates can also have a negative effect on any homeopathy you use. 

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 Below are some examples of what my raw chicken batches look like.  They can be frozen in glass or ziploc bag serving sizes, or you can just make it as needed for 1 or 2 cats.
I do not heat the bags of food, everything is served cold - so I am not worried about freezing food in plastic - nothing leaches into the food. 
Yes, it can seem "gross" but raw meats are what a cat is designed to eat, it just comes down to common sense really.   It is second nature to me now so when I make a batch, I think how good it is for my cats.  Although, I do suggest you work with a more natural minded veterinarian - a conventional vet is not trained in this manner.  

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 Below, you can see my kittens eating their raw diet - I use a puppy pan which is great for feeding a litter.

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Free Standing Water Bottles - No Mess Cleanliness
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Healthcare Regimine
 
I use mainly herbals and homeopathy with my animals.
Many people use these terms interchangeably but they are not the same thing.
Herbal medicine deals with herbs.
Homeopathy deals with homeopathic energy medicines derived from any number of substances, repeatedly diluted to the point that there are no biologics left in the remedy.  All that remains is the "energy" of it.  Potency differs depending on the amount of dilution - and the more diluted, the higher the potency.
I suggest anyone interested in the herbal/homeopathic route, visit my Veterinarians - Alternative/Holistic  page for information about home study courses as well as my Recommended Reading page for some great books on the subjects. 
You really need to have some education on these modalities if you wish your efforts to give you results.
Otherwise you do more floundering trying to get a quick fix and you get nowhere.  You need to understand the root cause and pay attention more to symptoms than the "name" of a problem.  Dealing with the symptoms is how you progress as they may vary greatly.
 
I'll share some important facts about each modality,  which everyone should know beforehand........
 
Important Homeopathic Use Guidelines  
   Homeopathic remedies are energy medicines and should not be kept on metal surfaces, near a Computer, TV, VCR, anything electrical, etc.
 Keep them out of the sun/ultraviolet light.  They should never be placed anywhere near magnets or X-ray machines either.  
  Do not use Homeopathy ( including Homeopathic Nosodes ) with herbs or food - wait a while ( about a half hour ) before consuming herbs or herbal teas and such.   Most practitioners will advise 15 minutes before or after using a remedy.  
 Try to avoid handling with your hands also.  Use the bottle cap to pour the pellets into.  Make sure you have not handled essential oils, lotions, creams, camphor, mint, onion, garlic, anything of strong odors, etc.  That includes using essential oil diffusers and room deodorizers / fresheners and strong cleaners.  Your hands should be very clean, odor free and dry when handling. 
You should wait preferably a good hour before and after taking a remedy yourself to brush your teeth / use mouthwash- especially with a minty toothpaste as it will nullify the effects of your Homeopathy.
 Also, do not use tap water if you dissolve your remedy in water for use. Tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine,  among other undesireables to make it "safe" for human consumption.  What is in the treated tap water can negatively impact your remedies.  Please use spring or distilled water. 
It is also important to note that built up toxins from drugs, chemical cleaners/exposure, preservatives in packaged foods, pesticides, etc. in the body, can impede the effectiveness of your homeopathy.
Animals seem to respond much more readily to homeopathy than humans as they usually are not as "toxic".
 
 
Important Herbal  Guidelines
 Always use Organic or Wildcrafted herbs and herbs that are not irradiated if you possibly can.  If you are using herbs for medicinal reasons, there is no point if they are not Wildcrafted or Organic.  All crops are sprayed with insecticides, etc. and you will just be adding these toxins to your body by ingesting these treated herbs.
  Look for brightly colored, fresh looking herbs also.  Leafy herbs such as Alfalfa, Mint, Comfrey, Nettles, Catnip, etc. should have retained their bright, green color.    
  Flower top herbs such as Red Clover and Calendula, Chammomile, etc. should stay brightly colored if picked and dried properly.  If you order herbs and they are brown - send them back ! ( aside from those that are normally brown like bark herbs, some root herbs etc. )  They should refund your shipping also as the herbs were low quality and you should be recouped the costs for your inconvenience due to their inferior product.
 Your dried herbs should look almost just picked for optimal medicinal quality.   Use within 2 years - properly store away from moisture,  heat and light in a cool,  dark area - preferably in glass jars.  Plastic jars are OK too, just make sure the container is very clean and dry.
 Do not use copper or aluminum pots, pans, kettles or utensils when using herbs for medicinal purposes such as in teas, etc.  You will ruin the medicinal qualities.  Use only Stainless, enameled, glass as well as wooden, stainless, plastic utensils.  That includes teaballs for loose tea - stainless only...including the chain attached to them if there is one...or remove it. 
 Keep your pots covered when making medicinal teas also to retain their valuable qualities. 
 
 

 
My Holistic Veterinarian's Office.......
 
 

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 Office entry on the left....the surrounding property is just lovely, peaceful and serene.

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His post and beam office.......
As you can see, he's busy calculating
my current bill ;-)

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This is the right side of the office....fireplace and a few musical instruments where he and friends like to collaborate.
 It's a wonderful, rustic setting and I just love it here.

 
Cleaning Regimine
 
I do not use chemical surface/floor cleaners, laundry detergents, air fresheners, essential oils, etc. to clean.
Essential Oils can be toxic to cats and I will refer you to this source for some great information.....
 
 
 
 Most of my cleaning is done with biodegreadeable soaps and I use a Vapor Steamer for deep cleaning things such as sisal posts and porous materials as well as the cattery in general. Virus and fungus are easily killed in this manner - with no chemicals.  Dust mites can be killed at 135 degrees, flea eggs at about 140 degrees and bacteria such as E-Coli can be killed at 165 degrees. Virus minimum - 160 degrees.
Wrapping the end of the wand/nozzle with microfiber helps hold the heat in and keep it more consistent which is why many steamers come with these little covers to fit the attachments.
The temperature when using each attachment can vary as well.  You can check the temperature coming out of your wand, with a thermometer that can reach the higher degrees such as a meat or candy thermometer. 
When vapor steaming, follow the manufacturers directions for effectiveness. 
 I will refer you to this fantastic resource for alot of information on vapor cleaning and products...............
 
 And a temperature conversion chart you'll find handy as well.....
 

The Litter Box
 
I save a ton of money here. 
 
    Most litters today are extremely harmful with all their chemicals certainly contributing to health issues whether the chemicals are breathed in or when the cats ingest them when they clean their feet.  And exposure also happens with chemical floor cleaners, pesticides the pets walk on in the yard or that we bring in on our shoes, etc.  You are unknowingly poinsoning your pets. 
 
  Clay litters contain dust, etc. and can damage the lungs and airways and clay is also basically pure aluminum which is detrimental to the body.  Clumping litters can be eaten by kittens and cause gastrointestinal issues.  Many litters stick to the bottom of pans such as wheat litters and clay litters when wet, they are  like lead and can be time consuming trying to clean the box out. 
 I tried lining the boxes with plastic bags and liners, etc. to help  ( more money on top of the litter wasted - they usually got ripped too).
 
So now, I use newspapers and I have for a number of years.
   I will change them 2X in a day if I see more than one urine spot, or a urine spot and a poop.  Most of the time one change a day is all that is needed.  It is so much cleaner than dealing with litter, took a while to get used to it but now I love it. It also allows you to moniter urine better than with other litters.
 
   To clean the boxes, I wear dish gloves, grasp one end of the paper, roll it up with all the waste inside and pack them in a paper bag for the fireplace outside and use the ashes in the gardens. The box is then washed and refilled.
I also wash my gloved hands between every box I empty and wash.  Hygiene is very important.
 
You can use plain white paper or krinkle kraft paper for boxes as well.  I will usually use krinkle kraft paper for kittens I am raising for show.
 
Litter Box Problems ??
Have a checkup done - rule out physical problems first. Then assess the home - anything new added, happening, going on?  Any new stressors, like new animals, unrest in the home, abuse, neglect, unclean litter boxes  Keep in mind  the average rule of 1 box  per cat in a home.  Multiple boxes on each level of the home as well.  If it is a male cat, is he neutered yet ?  Males will start marking their territory as they sexually mature, it is instinct.  Watch him closely and if you see him standing next to something fluttering his tail - against a wall or pile of clothing- then  he's marking.  Females can mark as well, usually when they are in heat, so if you are not a breeder, that is another reason to  be responsible and neuter your cats - please.
If those things are all ruled out, you can start retraining them to use the litter box with a puppy wee wee pad on the floor next to the box with some protection under it ( plastic, etc. ) and after a few weeks, graduate to a very low box with the wee wee pad in it.  Throw some cat attracting herbs in the box as well - Catnip, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Valerian.  In a few weeks, start adding litter topped with a blend of these herbs and eventually, they're using the box again.
A new litter is out now that uses herbs  to attract cats to the litter box, most likely these exact  herbs, but it contains clay which as I've already mentioned, can be harmful.  You can make up a blended batch of these herbs and keep it in a jar for sprinkling in  your litter boxes.
 
 

Litterbox
Use black and white newsprint - colored ink can be toxic obviously. But if you are in a bind and need to use it - sandwich it in the middle so the cat isn't actually on it.  I've done it for years -  on and off myself if I am low on paper and never a problem. 
  Lay a section of newsprint in the box - opened in the middle.  Lay your glossy fliers, magazine sections inside ( I tear magazines in half and can lay a section side by side in the bottom ).  Fold the other half of the newsprint back inside the box so the glossy papers and fliers are sandwiched in the middle.  I prefer a decent thickness of about 1/4 inch which absorbs well.
 
 
 

Litterbox

  Now  my bottom is done - with the edges of the papers slightly riding up the sides of the box for easy grasping when changing.  I then take a few sections of plain newsprint ( not glossies or heavily printed flyers) and I shred them up on top - grabbing and tearing at the folded end, you'll figure out which way to tear so you get strips.
Don't make wide strips - try to tear them on the thin side.
** Wear dish gloves - it gives a good grip for tearing and you don't get ink rubbing off on your hands. 
 
 

While the krinkle kraft paper is my favorite for using with show kittens, this is  my 2nd  favorite litter for kittens I am preparing for show.  Great ammonia control and it is less costly than World's Best Cat Litter.  The texture is fluffy, reclaimed paper pulp. It can be a little messy - kittens may play in it and you have some fluffy paper pulp scattred about but a quick vacuuming takes care of it.  I  throw it in the compost heap ( for flower gardens only ) when I clean the boxes so it gets recycled ;-)
This is the best deal I've found ..........
 Huge, 60 Litre factory size bag at a fantastic price -
 even with shipping !
 
 
 
 
 
 

 World's Best Cat Litter is also a great, natural litter.
 It is made of corn, is safe, biodegradeable, flushable, etc.
 It is pricey, so search around.  It is the litter of choice with the mechanical self-cleaning litter boxes
I use this litter when I go to shows.
 I've found a great source/price here for you......
A 58 LB Big Box AND Discount Shipping !

 
Outdoor Kennels..............
 Are a blessing for your cats !
Get your animals outside on nice days - they are a living being, not things to be locked inside 4 walls.  As I've said before, emotional well being plays an equally important role in physical well being. 
Exposure to life is what builds and strengthens immunity.
 
You don't need a huge area - something like this is just fine if you don't have alot of space or need it to be moveable.
I added a wire top using rolled fencing and I zip-tied the mesh shade cover over that.  Works beautifully and the cats enjoy it immensely. You do have to put these together, I am quite handy so I can do it myself - you may want to have someone do it for you.
Add a carrier for them to hide in if they are new to this pleasure.  Remember to put in a water bottle or bowl and a scratch post - either one you can tie to the side of the kennel or a free standing one.  I let the cats use a log - they love the wood.
 If you don't want your show cats on the ground, or don't have a dry grassy area to let them enjoy a little time outside.......... place a kennel on the deck, .a concrete pad is fine or you can use kennel decking on the ground -  snap them together for any size you want and place a kennel on top of that.
I will also suggest that you not let the cats out unless the morning dew has dried or you will end up with matted coats to comb out.   A comfortable, dry day is best ----no early wet spring or midsummer romps outside.  Of course if the cat is clipped - you have less to worry about.
  Alot of people wonder about fleas and ticks in a wooded area..........ticks hate cedar - line the perimeter with cedar mulch.   Dust the ground when dry with food grade Diatomacious Earth - this kills fleas and other pests by cutting through thier exoskeleton and drying them out...many insects won't even cross a spot where there is DE down.  I use it at the barn as it cuts down the fly population dramatically.  I also feed it to the horses,  dump some in the spots they like to roll so they can "dust themselves ", etc. to control parasites. 
  You should dust at least 15 feet out from the kennel area as well - all around. After a rain, re-dust when the area is dry before letting the cats out.  Keep a metal trash can with DE in it next to the kennel, you can leave it out year round in the can.   If you have fleas - dust your animals as well as your rugs, thier beds, etc.  Work it into upholstery - it won't harm anything but you may want to use a dust mask..
 I don't have flea problems here so I am blessed compared to some but alot of that is because I am diligent and  practice prevention.  I also feed my animals a much healthier diet which doesn't contain alot of sugars, preservatives and garbage.   Parasites thrive in unhealthy environments, bodies included......    

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End Note.............
If you are a breeder and decide to change your program to raw, I strongly advise breeders with established programs to start with new kittens you keep or acquire. Trying to change over older cats, when you have a large program especially, will frustrate you and you will give up.  I am experienced at it, know how to go about everything and dealing with older cats is not an issue for me.  You don't have the benefit of my experience to deal with so much all at once. Just go slowly, get educated on alternatives and start creating a new program with the young.  Gradually retire and place the cats in your conventional program.
It will be tough for a while, but don't give up, the rewards are many if you apply yourself and stay focused. Set yourself goals, write them down and accomplish each of them.  Throw a party for each one you accomplish, it was hard work to get there so celebrate it !
 Once you get the hang of things, it is second nature, piece of cake, it really is - like learning anything in life. 
The road you travel to get to your destination is always rough, full of turns, trenches, ruts.  What awaits at the end of that road, is worth everything.   All your experiences happened only to teach you, they are things we learn from.  Never look at something as a bad experience, look at it as a learning experience, now you know what you didn't know, you are learning, growing, one step at a time.
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something, don't tell yourself you can't. There is nothing in this world you cannot do if you set your mind to it and figure it out. 
If I listened to every breeder or conventional  vet that said I couldn't raise healthy animals, purebred Persians to boot, without conventional drug use or commercial foods, I would have never known what I could accomplish - I never was a follower.
 I am setting a standard, and someday, maybe you will better my standard.  
Dont' think, don't procrastinate, just do it. 
 
You can be guaranteed the following will grace your life, when  raising naturally ........................
 You will definitely downsize as this requires a bit more effort - so you will have a healthier, more manageable  program.
You will be a happier, healthier breeder who can enjoy their "hobby" again, instead of being a slave to it  -  and  emotionally &  financially drained  trying to deal with health issues.
 
 In due time, you will ask yourself, why didn't I do this sooner, why doesn't everyone else do this ??
 
And I am sure there will be those few who will just think I am crazy.  But I'd rather be the crazy person without the health problems and expense in my program that they have to deal with in theirs !
 
For natural insect control, cleaning, etc. visit my Recommended Reading  page for some great books !

Click here to go to my " Recommended Reading " page for a brief summary of books on natural rearing, health, insect control, natural cleaning, etc. !