Owners Corner

Shelby Gomas began our company in his kitchen with a hand meat grinder and lots of love and compassion for felines. As Shelby’s recipe became known via the internet and his customers increased he moved into the laundry room then the garage to keep up with the orders. He accumulated commercial grade equipment grinders, mixers, freezers, and material to package and ship to customers. He soon outgrew the garage and rented a house, turned part of the house into a factory, took in sick cats and refined his recipe through collaborating with veterinarians and others in the pet nutrition field. His original recipe came in 3 basic flavors – chicken, turkey, and hen. When Shelby passed in 2010 his brother Dennis and wife Suzy took control of the company and moved his home business into a 3,300 sq. ft. commercial building in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

The family added 2 more flavors – duck & rabbit - and introduced Raw Made Easy kits that allow the customer more selection and the option of making the meal themselves using our powdered formula. In 2014 we included production of our pet food for dogs based on the B.A.R.F diet. As the company continued to grow it was clear that our facility in New York was too small and the distance between the owners in Florida and the factory in New York too great. In December 2014 we moved the business to Odessa, Florida. During that move we upgraded some of the equipment and are now in full production.

 

In 2013 our daughter Suzanne (SuzyQ) Anderson came aboard and has been a driving force, taking the company to the next level. As an owner and manager she has been instrumental in building our Supplier chain here in Florida, improving product shipping and packaging, and creating a whole new line of Great Natural Treats for our furry friends. Our customers love them and can be ordered by calling the office; however, soon they will be available on our website. SuzyQ is the person that you will most likely encounter when you phone us. Our customers can be assured that our family will do all we can to ensure your pet has the best premium food products available to keep them healthy and happy for years to come.

 

Shelby’s Story

Shelby Gomas founded Feline's Pride. This is his story as he wrote it years ago:  For over twenty five years... I've had cats. On my morning's journey to the coffee pot, I've had to endure a trek that would have made climbing Mt. Everest a walk in the park, blizzards and all. Trying to make that desperate attempt to the can opener before a houseful of cats realize it's breakfast time is a perilous adventure never told in any book or novel ever written. No one has ever recanted the frenzy that ensues with the sounds of an electric can opener. This is the task of warding off prying paws and swirling tails in their dance around a myriad of empty feed bowls in anticipation and expectation of yet another morning's breakfast.

For years, I have danced... no, more like... stumbled through that gauntlet, ever faithful in that glorious morning chore. Burning out a few, so called "life-time warranty," electric can openers would offer an air of temporary despair. Through emergencies, power failures, mechanical failures; acts of God; (which household insurance policies never cover); my trusty, old manual can opener was there to the rescue. For without it, I surely would have met an early demise and an untimely passing before an unforgiving, furry audience. I was outnumbered. After all, there was a lot more of them, than there was of me.

The one thing I always paid attention to was the mission.... getting food in the bowl before I became a victim of prey myself. I never paid too much attention to what was being served. I figured what was ever in a can, so long as it said, "nutritionally complete," or had a seal of approval on it, I'd serve. Same went for what "kibble" I could find at commercial feed stores. Someone else had figured out the why's and where fore's; the rights and wrongs of what to feed. It never occurred to me that maybe that wasn't the case and maybe something might be critically wrong with what I was unwittingly feeding them.

Poor coat condition; dry flaky skin, and constant reoccurrence of loose, runny stools. Not to mention coughs, colds and other malevolent symptoms. Someone in my troupe wasn't up to snuff... and that bothered me! These animals lived in a nice, warm house and were getting sick. The situation was alarming and becoming totally unacceptable. It became more incredible when premature kidney failure took two very sweet souls of mine and nothing could be explained to me other than vets were seeing more and more of this type of failure and found it professionally unexplainable themselves. That's when I became suspicious and started reading the fine print on the back of those cans and bags. That's when my curiosity led to determination to give them what they should be eating and not what came out of somebody's "grease pot."

What motivated me further, was when my grey, shorthair, Curly, became diagnosed with I.B.D. It's an insidious disease affecting more and more cats every day. Inflammatory bowel disease is treated with a variety of so-called medicinal cures of questionable efficacy and can sometimes exacerbate the problem to a whole new set of health problems. The disease usually manifests itself with loose runny stools, dehydration and with your cat beating on your bathroom door looking for that extra "paper roll." In other words, "miserable all the time!" would be a mild way of putting it. As far as Curly was concerned, he would strike poses resembling the famous sculptor, Rodin's; "The Thinker". The only difference was “Curly” was warmer than marble and was extremely more pensive with his poses. For those of you who have had the misfortune of having a furry

friend of yours diagnosed with I.B.D., my heart goes out to you. Fortunately, for me, Curly was a key motivator. I had a healthy, furry soul for five years and then out of the clear blue, boom!, the shoe drops and he's loose as a goose.

I searched high and low for an easy solution to an increasingly, complex problem. I became entrenched in researching something that would provide a promise of at least making his life’s situation bearable. Fortunately, I happened upon a website, CatNutrition.org, graciously hosted by Anne Jablonski and supervised by her Duke and Nettie. This site is something that everyone who has a cat should trundle off to with a picnic lunch.  Spend some quality time preening over everything she has to say. Anne promotes feline health by offering two raw food recipes for our furry friends and a wonderful discourse on how to prepare this diet yourself. Her recipe works for most I.B.D. cases and works wonders for many other health issues your cat might have.

It worked for my “Curly”. He was a happy camper 24 hours after he chowed. A couple of days later I was yanking him out of trees. He was back to making a general nuisance out of himself again with me and his crew. A few days later, 22 others of my clan were wondering what the heck was in their plates. A few licks here and few licks there slowly began to remind them of something they instinctually knew they should be eating!

Anne's testimonial page will enlighten all of you as to the phenomenal, beneficial results of feeding a carefully prepared raw food diet for your cat. Another quality site is Michelle T. Bernard's Blakkatz.com. In her book Raising Cats Naturally - How to care for your cat the way nature intended, the author extols the virtues of this raw food feline diet.

The book is a must read for every feline addict. Mind you, there are many other sites and books out there to preen over. I find them of interest and hope that your curiosity takes you there as well.

I hope you can find the time to review what Lisa Pierson D.V.M. has to say. She's a professional and has seen the effects of nutrition and can substantiate the benefits of this raw food diet. Her suggested food diet is a little different than Anne's but basically the same. She knows what she is talking about through professional experience and has the credentials to prove it. I encourage you reproduce these recipes and try them for the benefit of your cat's health.

In the long run, it’s your cat’s health and well being that I am concerned with. We are engineering a food similar to what nature intended your cat to eat... simply put... a mouse! If you haven’t got the time, or just plain too busy to "whop, chop and grind" or got a million other reasons not to make it for your buddy... maybe we can help here at Feline's Pride. –

Shelby Gomas/ Founder