By Thomas Garcia
While I had a great time this weekend with family and friends, the one accomplishment I am really happy about is that I finally found a supply of the canned cat food that my stray cat enjoys.
Now, I know that some, if not most, of you might be thinking, “It’s a stray cat! Why does it have to like its cat food. It should be grateful it’s eating in the first place.”
Well, I’m sure that when you don’t get the meal you’d like exactly the way you want at a restaurant, you throw a fit and become unhappy, too.
In the case of Scruffy, my stray cat, he can’t simply send the food back and demand what he likes. Instead, he picks at it and doesn’t eat. Then I worry that the poor guy is starving.
I feed Scruffy 9 Lives Daily Essential dry cat food and 9 Lives Super Supper canned food. The combination ensures that he is filled up during the day and night.
Recently I have not been able to find his Super Supper canned cat food. The store from which I normally get it ran out and it seemed as if they were never going to get it back in stock.
I learned that other stores did not have Super Supper canned cat food, either. This at first was not a problem as I had some extra cans in reserve, even though they were quickly disappearing.
After a month I eventually ran out of Scruffy’s Super Supper. I thought it would take a few days for him to realize it, but that very night as he looked at his food dish and saw only dry cat food, he stared into the house through the screen door.
Every time I passed by or looked outside there he was, just staring at me with those sad eyes wondering if he had been bad and was being punished.
I could not stand to see the little guy that sad, so the following day I went down to the store to find out when I could expect more Super Supper. The clerk working that day was overwhelmed with customers and when I asked, “When will you be getting some more Super Supper canned cat food?” the clerk replied “There isn’t any back there?”
This, of course, sparked my cynical side and I replied, “Maybe its just playing hard to get but I’ve checked three times and all you have is Chicken Delight and Liver Supreme.”
The clerk, apparently not knowing how animals, like humans, can be picky eaters, said, “Well just feed him Chicken Delight.” Again my temper grew and I said, “He doesn’t want Chicken Delight. He wants Super Supper.” Mind you, I edited the previous comment. Kids might be reading.
Not seeing any change in the Super Supper situation I bought different kinds of canned food in the hope that Scruffy would break down and accept the inevitable change. He did not care for chicken or liver and even the seafood medley was a failure.
Scruffy did eat the 9 Lives Ocean Whitefish dinner, he didn’t eat all of it but he ate more than he had been and it relieved some of my worry.
It may seem silly to those who don’t have animals that people get so concerned with what food their animals like or don’t like. To non-animal keepers, it probably seems even sillier that I am so concerned about the food an adopted stray cat will or will not eat.
Scruffy may be a stray but he’s my stray and I care about him as I do about any of my human friends. I even placed a board on his pet bed on the porch to protect him from the cold north wind. I have also placed an old towel as a blanket for him to bundle up with when it’s really cold.
Scruffy is family, and you do what you can for family, even if they hiss at you and abandon you on the porch when sharply dressed teens approach bearing religious pamphlets.
The situation turned around for the good this past weekend, as I was able to secure a four pack of Super Supper at Walmart. You might be asking me, “Why didn’t you buy more than four cans?”
That is a valid question to which I have a very puzzling answer.
There were only four cans left at Walmart. That is right. Only four cans. I couldn’t believe it myself. The spot where I found this treasure had just one four-pack of cans surrounded by vacant shelf space. There were several four-packs of Chicken Delight but as you now know that does me little good.
I returned home with the spoils of my shopping conquest and waited for Scruffy to appear. I opened the can of Super Supper and placed it in his dish and stepped back inside. I watched as Scruffy walked up to the dish and sniffed the canned cat food.
For a moment Scruffy seemed stunned and then dived right into his favorite cat food. I could tell he was happy, since he ate the whole serving. Usually he eats a little of the canned and then the dry food and leaves the rest for later, but not this time. He ate all of his Super Supper.
Scruffy finished his dinner and jumped up into his bed and as he settled in for the night he looked over at me yawned and went right to sleep.
I only have three cans left, and I’m going to have to ration it out in hopes that the stores here will get some Super Supper in stock.
Sometimes you’ll do what ever you can for those you love, even though it seems like you’re going way out of your way to accommodate them.
In the end knowing that you have done something that has brought another joy makes it all worthwhile. Even if they still hiss at you and bolt at the first sign of religious literature.
Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org