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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Conversation About Sigmund: Study Guide & Podcast

by AJ

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This podcast presents a real, unscripted conversation I had with my best friend Kristin. I recorded the conversation in her apartment.

Kristin has a cat named named Sigmund (nicknamed Siggy). Unfortunately, Sigmund was diagnosed with an incurable form of sinus cancer. My brother-in-law is a vet, and he said that there is no cure for this cancer. Neither surgery nor drugs nor chemotherapy can cure it. He said that most cats only live about three months once this particular kind of cancer is diagnosed.

Kristin has a very close connection with Sigmund. She's had him for over 13 years, since he was a kitten. She was very upset about Sigmund's diagnosis. But she has decided not to give up. Since traditional medical science has no cure, Kristin has decided to try to treat Sigmund with natural herbs, supplements, and remedies. She researched cat sinus cancer on the internet and found a few suggestions for natural treatments.

Here is Sigmund's standard treatment plan:

Transfer Factors: These are immune boosting components taken from cow colostrum (in the milk) and chicken egg yolks. This supplement is supposed to boost the immune system.

Flax Seed Oil: Many natural vets recommended flax seed oil as an overall health booster. Some claim that flax oil has anti-cancer and immune boosting properties.

Blessed Thistle: This is an herb. It increases appetite and boosts general health. Kristin got a liquid tincture and adds it to Sigmund's water.

Licorice Root: This herb (also a liquid concentrate) thins mucus and thus helps Siggy breath (since the tumor partially blocks his nose).

Digestive Enzymes: Cooking food destroys natural enzymes in it that aid digestion. So Kristin gives Sigmund a digestive enzyme capsule after every meal.

Fulvic Minerals: This is a multi-mineral and trace mineral liquid supplement that Kristin adds to his water-- which is supposed to boost his general health and immune system.

Raw Food: Kristin adds a bit of raw cat food (not cooked, bought at a pet store) to Sigmund's canned food. The raw food is supposed to contain a lot of healthy enzymes, vitamins, minerals, etc.

Other supplements she sometimes uses:

Q10: This is an anti-oxidant that boosts the immune system.

Shitake Mushroom capsules: Shitake mushrooms have anti-cancer properties.

Cat's Claw: This is an herb that boosts the immune system.

Essiac: This is an herbal blend that is rumored to have immune boosting and anti-cancer properties.

Terramin Clay: This clay is rich in minerals and is also supposed to have de-tox properties. It is added to the water.

Kristin has been following the "standard plan" for about a month. It seems to have helped Sigmund. His general health seems good and he seems generally happy and comfortable. The swelling around his eye and nose, caused by the tumor, has not increased.

However, it has not decreased either. So Kristin bought the additional supplements (Q10, Shitake, Cats Claw, Clay, & Essiac). This Monday, she gave him all these new supplements on the same day. It was too much. Sigmund vomited (threw up) shortly after getting all these pills.

So, when I went to Kristin's apartment, we discussed this problem and what to do about it.

Here is the discussion:

AJ: Yeah, so anyway I think that.... I think that, you know, we've established a pretty good routine with his, uh, you know, the raw food....

just the Blessed Thistle in the water, the licorice stuff in the water. The Transfer factors I think are pretty good. Flax seed oil is supposed to be really good, and...

what else do you give him everyday?

Kristin: The minerals.

AJ: Oh yeah, the minerals in his water. You still... you got those in his water again?

Kristin: Not right now, I have the,.. only the clay.

AJ: Ahhh.

Kristin: That's why yesterday I gave him a syringe-full of, ahh, minerals, the Blessed Thistle, and the Licorice Root.

AJ: And he barfed.... I think that.....
[barfed= vomited]

Kristin: It wasn't just that it was everything.

AJ: Yeah, I think that the minerals are also supposed to be diluted in water maybe.

Kristin: Oh.

Kristin: They usually are, that's the first time I've done that cause
(AJ: Cause he was....)
Kristin: I hadn't given him any in a few days.

AJ: And he was drinking it all down fine before right? When it was in his water...

Kristin: Yeah

AJ: So, you know, maybe go back to all that routine.. and then just the other stuff is just kind of maybe a little extra supplement. You know, one extra thing a day-- either the Cat's Claw or the mushrooms or the Q10 is probably plenty.

Kristin: After a few days?

AJ: Yeah, like maybe, maybe tomorrow just do the standard thing. I mean, go... maybe when the clay is... when you're done with that, go ahead and put that..... the minerals back in his water. And then, uh...

Kristin: Yeah

AJ: Yeah, just do the basic stuff, for tomorrow and... then maybe after that you can test him with one thing, one of the pills... of the pills..., with food.

Does he ever eat the catnip?

Kristin: He has been.

AJ: Oh really.

Kristin: So all this time he's been throwing up in the past several days...

AJ: Yeah.

Kristin: He's started eating it a little bit.

AJ: Does he get crazy?

Kristin: No, I don't.... I think he kind of just pulls it off and...
AJ: Chews on it?
Kristin: Chews at it but doesn't really take it in... ingest it.

(Sigmund comes out from under the bed, AJ talks to him)

AJ (to Sigmund): Hey Mr. Sigmund. Whatcha doin boy? Hello boy. Ooohp, he's gonna eat some Catnip.


1. Catnip is a plant that many cats like to eat. It has a calming effect on many cats. Many cats also love to roll around and play after eating it. Some people call Catnip "Kitty Marijuana"!!

2. As always, I recommend a specific study method for using this podcast- especially if you are below the advanced level.
First, read the text, which is located on my blog at: www.effortlessacquisition.blogspot.com
Use an online dictionary to find words you don't understand.

Second, Listen to the audio podcast while reading at the same time. Do this many times-- the more the better!

Third, Listen only, without reading. Do this once you can understand all the vocabulary quickly. Listen many times. Download this file and put it in your iPod or other MP3 player.

Finally, fourth- Listen, pause, and then imitate the pronunciation (including individual sounds, words, phrasing, and rhythm) of the speakers. Try to sound exactly like them.

Good luck!

The adventures of Sigmund will continue in later podcast episodes.

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