Thursday, October 2, 2008

Aisle 5B

I had been standing there for over 5 minutes staring at the shelves in aisle 5B. All of the options sounded delicious and very appealing. I didn’t realize however, how hard it would be to narrow the wide variety of alternatives down to just a few. I knew that this decision was turning out to be much more difficult than it really should be. And it was certainly taking up an unreasonable amount of my time. After all, there must have been over 50 different flavors of canned cat food in front of me and I stood there, staring at them all, befuddled and paralyzed with indecision.

I’ve noticed in the past, from their desperate howls and incessant pestering that begins two hours before mealtime, that my 3 cats are quite fond of eating. Eating, after all, is in their top 3 favorite things to do, after sleeping all day in inappropriate and bunglesome locations, and finding annoying and destructive ways to wake me up at night. I thought picking out their favorite canned cat food would be a good way to show my love for those 3 precious kitty fluff balls and at the same time, hopefully, bribe them to stop ripping apart the fabric on the underside of my box spring.

The trouble was, I really had no idea if my cats preferred cat food with gravy or without gravy. Did they feel like eating food that was grilled or sliced? Marinated or minced? Morsels or flakes? Was it a chunky kind of day or a smooth kind of day? A roasted day or a simmered day? Regular or gourmet? And of course, somehow I had to guess what flavors they preferred, given the many options of beef, chicken, liver, giblets, turkey, whitefish, shrimp, crab, tuna, chicken hearts, salmon, cod, sole, mackerel, trout or the mystery flavors of “seafood feast” and “chopped grill”. Of course, if I really loved my cats I would forgo all of the regular choices and go straight to the super expensive restaurant inspired recipes that included long grain rice, garden veggies and greens. I wondered if the cats would like one of the souffl├ęs made with aged cheddar. The meat also sounded more delicious in these pricier meals. The tuna was yellowfin, the salmon was wild, the turkey was tender and the chicken was all white.

With all of these amazing choices how was it possible for anyone to choose? It would take almost two months just to try them all once!

The descriptions on the sides of the cans didn’t make it any easier. Did I want my cats to have “a seductive dining experience” or did I want to “make my cats purr with delight”? Should I chose the “mouthwatering and delectable” or the “succulent and artfully prepared”? I wondered if the “Tuscan inspired, tantalizing and luxurious” meal was tastier than the “chef created recipe of slow cooked beef lavishly basted in gravy”. Should I go for the “delightful, delicate feast” or the “scrumptious, delicious collaboration”? It all sounded so good. My stomach growled. If my cats could talk, what would they tell me to buy?

Of course, I finally came to my senses. I realized that it didn’t make one bit of difference. If my cats could talk they would tell me to grab the closest can, throw it in the basket, check out in the express lane and get home as fast as I could. They would tell me to rip open the top of that can, dump the food in their dish, leave the spoon and can on the floor so they could lick them dry later and then get the heck out of their way. They would then proceed to attack the food with such voracity that anyone who witnessed the spectacle of carnivorous aggression would wonder if they had eaten at all in the last week. It didn’t matter at all what flavor I chose, they would devour it instantaneously. They wouldn’t have a clue what flavor the food even was as they feasted in fast forward. The food would be inhaled so quickly that it would most likely bypass their taste buds entirely and go directly to their stomachs.

And even if somehow my cats were able to discern what flavor the food was, I realized that they wouldn’t care. If they could talk, they wouldn’t in a million years turn to me and say “Aww, salmon again?” Nor would they whine to me, “But I hate chicken!” They would never try to hide their Sliced Ocean Fish Feast underneath their bowls. They would never pick the fresh garden greens out of their Tender Turkey Tuscany meal and try to throw them away in a wadded up paper napkin. I can’t ever see my cats trying to sneak some Marinated Morsels Beef Feast in Gravy to the dog when I wasn’t looking. Nope, I knew my cats and I knew…they would eat anything.

After spending so much time in aisle 5B, I was running a bit late. So on the way home I hit the fast food drive through for dinner. In about 49 seconds had ordered a number 3, paid for it and was fishing for the french fries at the bottom of the bag while I waited for the stoplight to turn green. When I got home I started to eat my hamburger at the dining room table. As usual, one of the cats jumped up to sniff my food and attempt to steal a bite or lick my plate. But after one sniff, the cat jumped right back down again. He didn’t try to steal my food or lick my paper wrapper once. Apparently, my cardboard hamburger wasn’t tantalizing or luxurious enough for my cat. I guess he didn’t think the special sauce was artfully prepared. My grease laden fries definitely didn’t make my cat purr with delight. Apparently, my cats won’t eat just anything.

The cat walked arrogantly away from the table, his nose held high, and sat down next to his food bowl. He then started his obnoxious pre-mealtime howl. Soon, the other two joined in and the howling chorus began. After I wolfed down my forgettable number 3 meal, I took the cat food cans out of the grocery bag and lined them up on the counter. I stood and stared at them for quite some time while the cats continued to howl in desperate despair. All of the options sounded delicious and very appealing. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to narrow it down to just one.


Check This Out!

At Slightly Exaggerated this week we have been enjoying lunches of rice and peas and parmesan cheese with a tiny bit of butter and salt. We eat this lunch while watching old Brady Bunch episodes and have recently realized just how young Greg seems and just how handsome that blue eyed Mr. Brady really was. We also have our favorite Queen song I Want It All on repeat, and have become quite taken with another Queen song, the haunting, Mother Love. Mother Love was recorded just prior to the unmatched Freddy Mercury’s death and wasn’t released until 4 years later on the album, Made In Heaven. And finally, as election day approaches we encourage you to view the following link http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2008/10/breaking_news.php

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was so funny. Sounds just like my cat....although, my cat loves french fries!

Liz in New York said...

Have you seen the cat commercials? The food on them always looks good too.

hmchugh said...

ok... the voting video... i must be a complete sap. why did i tear up? lord knows... but i did. AND i just got my ballot. i'm gonna go vote now.