Hey, guys? We have to have a talk.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool animal lover (except for squirrels and possums). Specifically, I am a PET lover. I have waaaayy too many critters of my own and I have found many, many more homeless varmints loving homes of their own. I am a SUCKER of magnitude. I have lost sleep about stray animals.
My own animals? Well, I think they have a life that is pretty darn enviable. They are well fed, well loved...they receive medical care (both preventive and acute). They seem really happy to be here, and we are really happy to have them.
BUT...I think as a society we maybe go a LEEEDLE overboard when it comes to our furry companions. Recently, I have run across a few items that are for sale out there for our four-legged family members that I believe prove my point.
Dear pets of mine, I am sorry...but here are some things that I will never buy for you. For example:
I was in Walgreen's buying allergy medicine when I saw this. So...you can spend $5 and buy your dog something to chew on that "CONTAINS REAL WOOD!" It also, apparently has that "Natural wood smell that dogs love".
Do you know what else has a real wood smell? What else contains real wood?
Like this stick shown below that Simba likes to gnaw on.
They just fall out of my trees in the backyard when the wind picks up. I don't even have to pay sales tax on them.
Then there was this. It came as a sample inside a container of cat litter:
Understand, now...this is not a free sample of a packet of cat food. This is a free sample of a packet of "decadent silky broth" that you swirl gently and then "serve" as a complement to cat food. Do you have cats? Do you "serve" your cats anything?
At feeding time here, I line up all of their bowls, get a scoop of cat food and hurriedly slap some of it in each of their bowls while they are milling around and shrieking like banshees and trying to climb me like a tree. The cats then snarf their food down as fast as they can while they all glare and make growl-y sounds at each other.
I can't even try to imagine fending off the horde as I gently "swirled ingredients" and placed a "complementary bowl of broth beside their balanced cat food diet." They would either faint from hunger (which they swear upon their souls is about to happen while I am getting their food dishes together as it is) or the smell of "silky broth" would drive them into a frenzy and I'd end up needing stitches. (BTW, "silky" broth? They use this word over and over again for this stuff. I don't get it).
The broth packet came with a coupon for $1 off of four pouches. Which made me ask myself, "How much is this shit anyway?" The answer? $1.30 a pouch. There are 1.4 oz in each pouch. You know those cartons of chicken broth that you buy to make HUMAN stuff like soup out of? If it were as expensive as the silky, decadent Fancy Feast stuff, a 32 oz. carton would cost you $29.71. Swanson's chicken broth is on sale at Walmart right now for $1.98.
The flip side of the coupon had this picture:
I love my feline friends...but they are NOT getting something that looks better than what I'M served as a first course in a restaurant.
Finally, we come to this last product in my rant. It was in the Sky Mall magazine the last time I flew up to Maryland in December.
This is a $1000 cat bed on stilts. Oh, sorry...it is a cat serenity pod. It was designed exclusively by the designer of the Men in Black III pod designer (who strangely enough, they don't name). It's a "monolithic fiberglass pod with a color changing LED light on the inside. According to product description, the pod's elliptical exterior blocks 90% of outside noise while its interior two foci amplify white noise inside, helping your pet to sleep. (Is this a problem for any cat owner, anywhere?)
And....No cat on the face of this Earth would ever set paw in one. Trust me on this. Would they battle each other to the death over the right to sleep in the box the serenity pod came in? All day long.
Would they chase each other around the room and skip off the top of it and knock it over 15 times a day?
You're damn skippy.
But I'm betting that trying to stuff a cat inside of this thing would be like trying to handle live, land-bound ,furred piranhas. I can't even imagine the required protective gear. The more I look at the advertisement's picture, the more convinced I am that the cat in the picture has been photoshopped in.
The ad promises that your cat will: "float away on a cloud like bed into a bliss state with calming color changing light." (that is a direct cut-and-paste from the ad...not making that up).
I guess fortunately for me, all of my animals seem to be able to enter into a "bliss state" all on their own:
I think they've got it pretty good.