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On the Question of Kibble

by Vicky Chapman, NSW, Australia


Typical; Shmogg likes dog food better than cat food, and Fluffy likes cat food better than dog food. Half of me thinks its a simple case of "the grass is greener" or sibling rivalry. The more suspicious part of me suspects that perhaps they are trying to make me go (more) insane, knowing damn well there is provision for both of them in my will if I die or become or mentally incapacitated.

In an attempt to save some money, Joel and I bought a sack of dog kibble and a sack of cat kibble froma wholesalers. The dog kibble got eaten up fairly quickly, but the sack of cat kibble was pretty much a waste of money for the cat. Shmogg really doesn't eat all that munch despite his constant requests for food, and I realised that the cat kibble would long be stale before Shmogg finished of the sack.

Since Fluffy much prefferred Shmogg's kibble, I've been giving the cat kibble to both of them, figuring dogs are almost omnivorous and can therefore handle cat food far better than a cat can survive on pure dog food. If you are a person who shows dogs, a fortnight on cat kibble (even the bulk commercial stuff) will give your dog an incredibly shiney, soft and silky coat, in fact, much like the way cat fur feels. But I digress.

Fluffy had been eagerly munching down the cat kibble, and there wasn't much left. It was time we went shopping again. We know its time to go shopping because the critter food is low - both Joel and I hate grocery shopping and will only get our butts down to the supermarket if the critters are likely to go hungry. We will survive on beans and toast and friend's hospitality to avoid the shopping chore, unless of course, we need pet food.

It was late, both of us were grumpy and all we wanted to do was get back home and relax, so we did the shopping quickly. We split up so that it would go faster. I grabbed cat food cans and dog food cans, Joel grabbed the dog kibble, and assumed that we had enough cat kibble (one feeding of Fluffy is about as much as Shmogg would eat in a week).

We got home to discover, naturally, that one of us who will remain nameless fed the last of the cat crunchies to Fluffy. Bugger.

At 11pm Shmogg decides he's hungry yet again. He knows he's not due for the canned mush until the next day, but he wants something. I wouldn't be surprised if cats just get the munchies like us humans do. "Meow" "Meow!" "Me_OW_!" "ME-BLOODY-OW!".

I take Shmogg to the laundry and point to his half a bowl of kitty crunchies. "meow!" "You've got food", I say patiently, realising quickly that this will be a worthless argument. "Meow!". I rattle the thing. "Oh, come on", I say the defeatedly. Shmogg utters another, more insistant "MeoOW!" and gives me The Look. "fFine!" I mutter and wonder what on earth I can feed a cat at 11pm.

First I empty out the remaining kitty treats from the packet. He sniffs them, but quickly looks up to his slave. "Meow!". Thinking quickly, I put some Doggy Treats into the same bowl. Shmogg again sniffs, with a bit more interest, but still looks up at me in a few more seconds. He's got a snarl on his face. "Meow", he demands "Bugger," I think.

"Fine cat, have it your way", I mutter, and drop a handful of Pal Dog Biscuits into the bowl. Shmogg sniffs cautiously at first, and then with enthusiasm. He pushes a few around the bowl, but the dog biscuits are far to large for him to fit in his mouth. He gives me another The Look and says "meo-f'ing-ow" in a most menacing way.

So I retrieve the dog biscuits, and while Shmogg is doing his best imitation of Patty Yehudah's potty mouth and occasionally nipping at me to get me to hurry up, I take a hacksaw to the doggy biscuits. I chop up - by hand - each and every singly bloody doggy biscuit in that bowl into eighths, just the size of Science Diet kibble. It takes me a full half hour, several bandaids and one new blade to finish them all. Shmogg makes one more "meow" that drips with menace as I drop the now kitty-sized kibble into the bowl.

He sniffs, he eats two, yes two whole bits of the hand sculpted kibble, and trots away in satisfication. Just to make sure I know exactly how truly appreciated I am, he hisses at my ankle on the way past, and then deposits a hairball on my favourite chair about half an hour later, just so I know he loves me.

Bastard cat.


Editor's note:

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