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An Alternative to the Cone of Shame for Cats and Kittens


Gustave has just turned eight months old, and last Thursday we had him neutered. In an ideal world we would have had this done sooner, but our veterinary practice didn’t have availability until now due to the pandemic boom in pet ownership, and so we waited as we know and trust them from our time there with our previous cat Minou.

On the forms I had to fill in for Gustave I was asked if I wanted them to supply me with a plastic cone for wound protection after his operation. After neutering, cats need to keep from licking their surgical incisions so that they don’t infect them or prevent them from healing through mechanical disturbance with their tongues. Minou had to have a cone at one point to help let an impacted anal gland heal, and she hated it. She wouldn’t eat or drink with the cone on and couldn’t get comfortable to sleep in it either, so I was reluctant to put a plastic cone on Gustave after his neuter operation. I opted not to get a plastic cone but rather to try a few DIY cones using felt and cardboard, to varying levels of success. Gustave didn’t like them either, and wouldn’t eat with them on. Eating, drinking and sleeping are just as important to a cat’s recovery after neutering or spaying as leaving their incisions alone is, so I needed to find a solution that worked for us and kept him happy.

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My first baguettes


I made baguettes today for the first time. They are made with a 65% hydration dough, and I used instant yeast rather than my sourdough starter because I have a big stash of instant yeast that needs using and I didn’t want to feel disappointed if I spent 24 hours making a dough only to mess up the shaping and scoring! Thankfully, my first attempt at shaping and scoring baguettes went much better than expected, and they taste delicious!

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Sourdough Diaries | On Doing Things ‘Properly’


65% hydration

Four years ago today, I mixed equal parts flour and water in an attempt to make my own sourdough starter. It wasn’t my first foray into sourdough, or bread for that matter. Ed and I have made bread for years. Mum taught me how to make bread when I was a child, and Ed and I have always made quick rise loaves using instant yeast. They’re much tastier than supermarket bread, and they are quick and easy to make. The bread you get from throwing ingredients in the mixer and leaving the dough to rise just once in tins is perfectly adequate for toast and sandwiches, but it’s nothing spectacular.

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