Monday, March 20, 2017

Cruelty Free Shop March 2017 Vegan Mystery Box

It is pretty hard to come back to blogging about regular things after everything that has happened. I just want to thank everyone for all their kind words, and all the support you gave during Sahara's illness. It is still surreal that she is gone, and I wish that time would just stop for a while. But it keeps on going and dragging me along with it.

I guess a post about the latest Cruelty Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box is a gentle way to ease back into a bit of blogging.

March CFS Mystery Box


  • Veggie Street Onion Lard: This product intrigues and baffles me. Miraculously it is not based on coconut oil, so it is something I can eat. Apparently it is traditionally served as a spread for bread in pubs, but you can also use it for cooking, baking and frying. They have included a recipe for Hungarian Goulash that uses it. The first time I have been glad for a recipe inclusion!
  • Cleo's White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: I am adamantly opposed to white chocolate. They shouldn't even be allowed to call it chocolate. Someone will be getting a gift!
  • Protes Spicy Chilli Lime Chips: I was nervous that these would be too spicy for me, so I shared them with my mum. They are not spicy, in fact they have almost no taste except the overwhelming bitterness of the pea protein in them. Gross, would not recommend.
  • Rebel Kitchen Chai Coconut Milk: Happily, I can drink this milk without any coconut fat fall out. This is good, because it is good stuff! I have tried the chai before, and it is not bad. I prefer the chocolate or the kid-sized choc/orange and choc/banana flavours.
  • Chocolate Yogi Happy Thoughts Chocolate: Apparently this tastes like milk chocolate, so we shall see. Everyone knows I like my chocolate dark, bitter and angry with the world.
  • Maharaja's Choice Punjabi Chole: Unfortunately this is designated as hot. And having tried one of their mild-medium varieties, I have given this to my dad who can tolerate more heat than I can.
  • Dr Superfoods Super Blueberries: These were OK, though the blueberries were kind of lost in the chocolate coating.
  • Orgran Apple & Cinnamon Filled Biscuits: These are pretty sweet, but have been a good afternoon pick me up at work!
  • Clif Bar Choc Almond Fudge: My favourite flavour of Cliff Bar is just the straight up Peanut Butter. I suspect this will be quite sweet and rich, though my mother is very curious to try it.
  • Gin Gin's Chewy Ginger Candy: I do like having a ginger chew on hand for emergency sugar lows or nauseous tummies, so this is in my handbag ready to be called upon.


Overall, I was a bit meh on the contents of the box this month. Which is largely to do with my own personal preferences for things.

Though honestly, who could think those Protes chips tasted good? They were so foul. Has anyone else tried them? Yick

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


Dim Sim is an only cat now. This makes her very content. At least someone can be, I guess.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sahara

This is a really hard post to write, even though most of you will already know about this from Twitter and Instagram.

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Following on from my last post, Sahara never got to surgery to have the sarcoma removed. She had a bit of an off weekend, so I took her in to the clinic on the Monday. Blood results showed that she was in kidney failure. An ultrasound the next day showed that she also had massive pancreatitis. She was in hospital for four days, with a few small improvements, but on Friday the 17th of February she had a seizure. The chances of her recovering were almost hopeless, and I had to let her go.

My heart is broken.

I first met Sahara in May of 2003. She was 18 months old, and her then person was moving into a retirement village that didn't allow for cats. She needed someone to adopt her. I had to go and have a meeting and interview first. I drove from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, and was greeted by this sleek, little red cat with one eye, curiously watching me from underneath the car in the driveway. Obviously the meet and greet was judged a success, and I was deemed suitable, and the next day Sahara came to live with me and her new sisters (Gizmo was cool with it, Dim Sim was unimpressed).

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Sahara was a force of nature. She was curious, intelligent and extremely enthusiastic about everything she did. She was always interested in people as well, and would come and say hello to everyone who visited. Often inserting herself onto a chair (or lap) at the table or the sofa.

Sahara Reads Veganomicon


Sahara sniffs flowers


Just over four years ago, she was diagnosed with severe IBD, that ended up needing to be controlled with both corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. She also developed arthritis in her elbows, which slowed her down and limited her play. But nothing ever limited her sweet little spirit. She still loved to be everywhere and with everyone. She was got the nickname 'Bear' because she loved to give big bear hugs, and enjoyed being held like this for what we called 'cuddle walks'. She made herself multiple beds in every room of the house, not just the actual cat beds we gave her, and I don't think there is a chair or a surface or a bed that she didn't make herself at home on at some point. If you left anything soft lying around, she would be on it. Oh yes, and she LOVED broccoli. She would steal it right off your plate if you weren't careful.

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The beginning of the end, she was diagnosed with lymphoma (a type of cancer) in her colon at the beginning of the year. She started chemo. She went into remission, however then got too sick in other ways. I just struggle to understand. The chemo was working, why couldn't that be that. Why all the other things? I guess I can't ever know, but I can't help but feel that I let her down somewhere along the way.

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So now it is just me and Dim Sim. Dim Sim is loving it, she has wanted to be an only cat for so long, and finally she can live her best life. As for me, I'm devastated. Also adrift. Sahara organised our days around her. She had several set feeding times, which she would remind you of like clockwork. She needed her meds. She would wake me up with a paw and a purr and a meow (and occasionally a love nip) before my alarm because she thought that it was time I was up and feeding her. The empty space she has left behind is huge.

I have so much more I feel I should say about her, words will never be enough.

Goodbye my sweet little bear. Thank you for loving me, and being mine, and letting me be yours.

Sahara Selfie


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