Our house is well populated. Two humans, three dogs, three cats, a handful or two of fish, and four chickens. I have gotten to the point where I use herbs for the health of everyone but the fish.
When I first started working with herbs, I focused on the humans first. There was more research available to internalize, and I could actually ask questions about taste and effect.
Time passed, and I started catching references to using herbal medicine for other species. The trigger for actually starting to read and make and do was our eldest dog dealing with cancer. Three times. After the last surgery Domino made it pretty clear it was not something she ever wanted to do again. I started reading. Dogs are actually easier to work with than I had expected, with a few exceptions, they are fairly in tune with what works for their two-legged friends.
It took me a bit longer to start working for cats. (In the herbal sense. There are several cats, both still here, and past, that have thought I existed to work for them.) Their systems are not as in tune, and there are some fairly quirky facts about their biology that have to be taken into account whenever I sit down to make a tea-for-felines.
At the time I started studying specifically for feline intake, we had three cats. Selkie, a seemingly immortal Russian Blue; Nikita, a feisty long haired tiny tabby that was two dimensional when wet; and Ro, our accidental cat made of stubborn, muscle, angst, and stubborn. With maybe a little more stubborn on the side.
Ro came into our lives around a decade before this tea was blended. Our roommate’s cat had had a litter, and we’d found homes for all of them. But Ro had other ideas. Every time Mister Tea would come home saying “I found a home for Mostly Black!” she would look up from whatever knee she was lovingly kneading as if to say “Stupid Humans.” The next day the new home would fall through. After the third event of this sort, we gave up and kept her.
The older two were initially unamused. Eventually the surface of the dynamic fell into the feline version of a mess of sisters, “No one beats up my sister but me!” There was a lot more under the surface than any of them liked us noticing. (We have stories.)
We lost both of the older cats within a year. We couldn’t complain about how long they’d been with us, Selkie was 25, and ‘kita was near 20, but…
Ro didn’t handle it well. At all. I had never believed people who say that cats and dogs don’t have emotions, and don’t experience things like loss and grief and… but this was the first time I ever saw a cat essentially go mad with grief.
She’d been diagnosed with heart trouble around the same time the older cats had started to fail, and after they were gone, she quit being willing to take the aspirin our vet had suggested. Pills in treats, powder in treats, powder sprinkled over food, powder added to a broth and poured over food… Couldn’t get her to take it.
Frustrated, and worried, I turned to my herbs.
In the end the blend was developed both to help with her heart trouble, and to try to ease her depression. She’s still with us two years later, so pretty sure the heart aspect is helping, and her mood improved almost immediately with regular use.
Ro’s Restoration has Hawthorn for her heart (as it improves every aspect of cardiac health); Motherwort for an additional assist to the heart, and to ease her grief; Dandelion to keep her liver healthy; and Rosemary for antioxidants and mental acuity.
And now, for the basics:
Organic Ingredients: Rosemary, Motherwort, Hawthorn Berries, and Dandelion Root
Batch Weight: 2 ounces. (When ordering the tea, please give me an estimate of the weight of your cat, so I can give you accurate and customized dosing information.)
Options: At the moment we only offer the Tenth Life teas loose in a bag. We can discuss other containment, if you like. We are hoping to eventually be able to offer these as tinctures or glycerites, and that could be discussed, but we have not worked out the pricing, as yet.
****I am not a vet. I have studied texts written by holistic vets (most of whom either started in allopathic medicine, or use both methods in their practices.) I apply the same standard of research to my pet teas that I do the ones for their bipeds. This includes needing to know about any medications they are currently being given. However, as with human medicine, the information presented here has not been evaluated by the FDA or other agencies, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease from a medical standpoint.