You just can’t get away from it. No, Miss Crankypants is not speaking of dull stuff like fireworks on the 4th of July or midterm elections. She is referring to the relentless guilt trips being heaped upon cat lovers (and the occasional dumb dog lover) worldwide: You ARE your pet. At least when it comes to diet, accomodations and liver transplants. But especially in the pet food department.
Picture a fine medieval scene: the bard reclines at table, tucking into his goose or pheasant or whatnot. Under, around and beside the table, the family pets roam, hoping to catch a scrap of the feast and thus not starve for the day. In the Good Old Days, animals in the house might extend to horses, sheep and a wandering cow, but they all had one thing in mind–how to snag a portion, however tiny, of the PIC’s supper.
This type of pet feeding routine enjoyed popularity until the present day, when some wise guy decided that Americans were suckers and that we could all be guilted into providing “better nutrition,” aka Slurry of By-product at greatly inflated prices.
Well. Miss CP regrets to inform you that the strategy worked. Average Americans can stuff their pie holes full of junk food, empty calories and Ding Dongs all the day long. But our pets? Our wonderful little companions who do nothing all day besides watch Animal Planet and demolish the furniture? THEY deserve nothing short of the best.
It all started with some guy named Friskie, who cornered the entire cat food market until he was replaced by IAMS, a horrible grammar gaffe if ever there was one. There was this ScienceDiet dude, trying to elbow his way in, but most of us lowly cat slaves just stuck to Mr. Friskie and hoped the name wasn’t going to make resident kitties climb the drapes again.
Then some Blue company comes in and forces us all to read the ingredients of our beloved pet’s daily ration. We turn green while learning that felines need real meat as the first ingredient. As if! Just last week, Mama Mia brought in a bird and did she need real meat? Of course not! She needed entertainment. She let the birdie go inside the house and got a kick out of watching Miss CP try to catch the poor terrified bird and put him back outside. But Miss Cranky digresses.
The whole CHICKEN BYPRODUCT MEAL thing has been blown way out of proportion. Of course cats love Chicken Lips. They dream of getting their paws on a nice serving of lips! What do you think the medieval head of household threw to the cats under his table? All Miss Crankypants knows is that if pet food gets any fancier or spendier, she will be the one waiting patiently next to the crystal dish of Fancy Feast, hoping Cranky Cat will throw her a scrap. After all, she’s never tasted Cream of Chicken Lips.
I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.