Here's a totally hypothetical situation: You have a cat...everything is well and fine until you make the mistake one day of buying him a nifty little packaged container, which holds about as much as a half bottle of Coke...only what's inside is virtually "kitty cocaine"...the dubiously infamous "cat treat". Now, cat treats are in a league all their own...they come in little magically shaped containers, usually with a little lid on them of some sort and with strict instructions on the package to not feed your kitty more than five to seven of these a day. Honestly, they look like glorified cat food to me...but I'm just a lay person...what do I know of cat treats and cat treat production. Some tout on their packaging they take care of dental decay...others mention tartar control, some are organic, some are eco-friendly, some stimulate the finicky eater, and yes, some seem to nearly stop short of saying they make kitty's breath "kissible fresh". But - they all have one thing in common. A package of these things, which is typically 3-4 oz, will set you back about $2-4 on average. Well, that's a fair bunch of change to chunk down when you realize a bag of cat food on that scale would end up costing (on the average) $48 for a 3 lb bag. When you put it into those terms...it starts all making astronomical sense. Treats are big business.
I have mentioned it before that I have lots of cats...yes, we do...lots. And our cats, not unlike anyone else's cat, love those treats. Just shake that container and they come from the east, west, north and south...they literally crawl out of the woodwork to jockey for cat treat position.
They also each have their own ways of eating these things. One of our cats, Todd, will use the self-serve approach...he will stick his paw into the container and literally help himself. The others are much more demure...they wait until you shake them out to get them. A couple will take them from your hand...most would rather you put them down first so they can retrieve them themselves. One in particular, Barbie, picks them up and swallows them whole. I wonder how much dental cleaning consuming them that way can be taken care of...probably not much.
So, that got me wondering...hmmmm...what would happen if I just kept the nifty plastic treat container replete with lid after it was empty and just toss in common everyday "ho hum...THAT again" cat food in it instead. Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I have, in essence, replaced my kitties' "Folgers Crystals" with plain old ordinary "coffee"...let's see if they notice the difference. Absolutely...let me clear my throat here....a resounding absolutely NOT. My cats scamper around for plain old ordinary "turn my nose up at it otherwise" dry bits of same old, same old, boring cat food as if they have all somehow mutated and were now French pigs rooting for truffles. The only scientific conclusion to all of this: Packaging, packaging, packaging!
It doesn't matter what you put INTO the empty cat container once your cat has been acclimated to having cat treats pouring out from that "canister of happiness"...just seeing the cat canister has them salivating like Pavlov's dogs - and had Pavlov the sense to use cats instead of dogs the booming cat treat industry might never got its paws off the ground. But it has and in a big way. It's not just the isolated treat dotted around here and there, there are large sections of shelves devoted to stocking these yummies...and yes, we still go in once in a great while, when they are on sale...and plunk down a smaller fortune to buy a really good one. A really good container that is...because we will be reusing it for quite some time. Not that cats aren't smart...they know full well the same food from the cat bowl is inside of it...but they also know that you've never made such a fuss and hand-fed them bowl food before...and they are going to surely take advantage of this situation. They are probably laughing hysterically at you when you leave the room..."Can you believe she ACTUALLY pulled them out, one by one, and handed them to us??? What a moron our owner is...look, she's coming back...let's see if we can make her do it again, this is hilarious..."
Luckily the cats and I have this symbiotic relationship with the cat treat container...I would hate for any of us to look the fool...but I am absolutely sure, since I'm the one chucking out money for their food...regardless what container(s) I transfer them into...the cats do rather have the upper paw. Oh well...c'est la vie des chats!
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".