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Jeff Hutcheson

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The key to that statement is you actually have to look at the picture. A quick glance won’t do.

If you’ve been reading here the past year or so, you know my trials and tribulations with one of our two cats, Snare. He alarmingly lost about seven pounds over the course of a year or so, and it’s one of those things you don’t really notice until you notice it. Turns out he had a digestive tract issue, and after a month of pills and a new diet, he rebounded quite nicely. The pills stopped long ago, the new food didn’t. We have two cats, the aforementioned Snare, and our other cat is named Stix. The problem is you can’t feed each cat individually. For years, we have just left food in their self-serve container and they just eat at their leisure. Snare’s new diet is a Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein cat food. A 3.5 Kilogram bag is $82, including tax. Stix now also eats this brand. A single bag lasts about three weeks. Turns out, I’m spending over $1,000 a year ... on cat food.

As a cost cutting thought, I wondered if our cats were over eating. So I went to the manufacturer’s website where I got this information. A nine pound cat, which both ours would qualify as, eats about one cup of food per day. A 3.5 kilo bag (the $82 kind) has about 28 cups of food. Under this scenario, that bag should only last us two weeks. Good grief, they’re not over eating, they’re under eating. But they seem happy and healthy, so under eating it shall be.

I recently ran out of cat food, and headed to one of the two area veterinarian clinics, where you have to buy it, to get more. It’s not available at local supermarkets. They were out, and had some on back order. Oh oh. This can’t be good. And the explanation is, that, like many things, the supply chain has been affected by COVID. 

So, I hopped in the truck and headed to the other vet clinic, and was beside myself when I walked in, and discovered a 3.5 kilogram bag for $56.91, or $62 taxes in. Fantastic! The price had dropped $20 a bag. No wonder the other place was out, there must have been a run on buying at this new low price. I decided to play it safe and just purchased the single bag.

I remarked to the lady behind the counter that it was nice to see such a drop in the price of the cat food, because, after all, I was feeding two cats and was spending a lot just to do it. She seemed to agree, nodding her head as she processed my payment. I grabbed the bag and headed home, pretty happy I was looking at a savings of about $250 a year.

When I got to the house, I headed downstairs, and just before ripping the bag open to pour it into the cat’s food container, I noticed it. You have got to be kidding me. The bag clearly says Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein. Same bag, same size, same colour, same markings, same labelling, different animal.

I had purchased a bag of dog food.

I considered pouring some in anyway to try and deceive the cats into thinking the dog food was cat food. I decided against it. I’ve also decided against getting a dog, even though it’s clearly cheaper.

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