‘Pawing’ it forward
It’s not your everyday chow.
MOST of us could get away with feeding our pets storebought food, but not cat owner Cynthia Lee. The 31-year-old recalled how her cat developed an allergic reaction to store-bought food. She also has another cat whom she describes as “a picky eater”.
“She would rather starve herself than eat the food I gave her. When both my cats started losing weight, I turned to a friend for advice,” said Lee.
Lee’s friend Wong Pui Yee, 33, gave her some useful advice which made a whole lot of difference to her cats’ lives.
“She suggested that I cook for them!” It might sound ludicrous to you but Lee gave it a try. Then she noticed that her cats were eating better. “More importantly, they looked healthier.”
Later, the simple advice morphed into a small, home-based pet service called Sit & Stay. Lee and partners Wong and Rachel Ng, 41, now take orders for home-cooked pet food. Their business took off in September this year.
“The food we prepare consists of animal proteins and vegetables. Currently, the main sources of protein are chicken and beef,” said Ng.
There are four items on the menu: Chunky Bee-livers, Beefylicious, Clucky Goodness and Rustic Country Chicken Stew. Each item comes in 250-500g packs priced between RM5.50 and RM13.50 each. According to Lee, they all taste as good as they sound.
“We tested the food ourselves before feeding it to our pets. It’s made with human-grade ingredients and fresh vegetables, and we don’t add any preservatives to it. So our food is safe for cats and dogs,” said Lee.
The home-cooked pet food takes about a couple of days to prepare, and can last for a month frozen.
The Sit & Stay trio also decided to bring the goodness of their pet food to animal shelters in the Klang Valley. They launched a Stray Day programme where customers could purchase extra food for charity.
“Our customers can have a look at our menu, make a selection and then pay us. At the end of the month, we’ll make the trip to the chosen shelter and make the donation delivery to them,” said Lee.
Recently, Lee and Ng made a trip to meet Mary Tan of Best Friends Dog Rescue. The 57-year-old independent dog rescuer received 19.5kg of dog food from Sit & Stay.
“I was very happy for the dogs when Pui Yee contacted me,” said Tan.
Tan described herself as “a very low-profile dog rescuer” and said that she doesn’t use social media to ask for donations.
“If I rescue an injured dog, I’d take it to the vet and allow time to heal it. I’m doing this on my own initiative and mostly self-funded.”
Ng explained why they prefer to work with independent animal rescuers – “It’s simply because they don’t get a lot of attention from big corporations,” she said. Previously, they also donated Sit & Stay food to Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better.
The hour-long journey to Tan’s dog shelter was worth it as Ng and Lee could see how their labour of love was benefiting pets and where their pet food is going. Ng added they also maintain a close relationship with their buyers.
“We report to them how many kilograms of food we’ve delivered and share pictures too,” said Ng.
Customers can be sure that Sit & Stay means serious business as they take the time to get to know various independent animal rescuers in the Klang Valley. Though the set-up is new, Lee is optimistic about Sit & Stay’s prospects.
“We hope to be able to extend our donations outside of the Klang Valley but, at the moment, we don’t have the resources and manpower yet. We would definitely work towards that,” said Ng.
For more information on Sit & Stay, visit www.facebook.com/ sitstaysitstay. For Christmas, Sit & Stay has introduced Santa’s Supper (duck meat) and Rudolph’s Recipes (lamb). Each box (400g meatcakes) is priced at RM17.90. For every purchase of a Christmas food item, Sit & Stay will donate RM1 to their medical resource fund for animals with special needs.
Good stuff: rachel Ng (left) and cynthia Lee (centre) presenting independent dog rescuer mary Tan (also below) with 19.5kg of homecooked dog food. above: Sit & Stay has four delectable flavours in their home-cooked pet food range. They use fresh and highquality ingredients and no preservatives.