Hooked on Treats

Published in I LOVE CATS Magazine May/June 2002
by Karin Gall

Normally, our cat is a lovable feline, but thanks to kitty treats she’s well, a bit disagreeable at times.

Dustmop is the bundle of fur that we adopted eight years ago after she crawled out from under the window well of our house. What began as a ragtag stringy kitten is now a battleship gray and alabaster-white longhaired beauty. Her gray face is marked with a triangle of white at the corner of each eye and all four paws are snowy, save one.

From the very beginning, Dustmop made it clear that food is the center of her existence, and thus it became the bane of our lives. Somehow we got in the habit of sharing tidbits of food from our plates during snacks and meals. Dustmop, it turns out, has sophisticated tastes. None of this garbage in lead crystal glass for her. No sirree, she likes tuna (people tuna, in spring water, if you please), crab, shrimp, and other delights along with her dry cat food.

That’s okay. We don’t mind spoiling her. But the person I would like to meet is whomever invented cat treats. Treats (Whisker Lickin’s Double Delights) have turned our normally docile lap cat into a rogue tiger. These Purina treats come in shrimp, tuna, chicken and liver flavors.

They’re crunchy, bite-size nuggets shaped like fish that really pack a wallop. They have a double meat flavor and Dustmop loves them! The box recommends up to 14 pieces a day for cats 5 to 10 pounds. They’re kidding, right? Would you believe she eats an entire can a day?

This cat goes nuts if you even go near the cupboard that houses the treats. Dustmop requires treats at least 4-5 times per day. Anyone that hits the kitchen door gets nailed.

“Meowwrrr, purr,” Dustmop says as she wiggles full length on the floor in front of her favorite cupboard. I walked past her to grab a cup out of the cupboard. I was late getting ready for work. I started to walk around the corner to sit at the dining room table.

“Grrrowlll…” Dustmop moans at she swipes at my silk slacks with a warning shot.

I grabbed the treats. “Honestly Dustmop, you are so spoiled. Why don’t you eat the breakfast I fixed for you?” I said, sprinkling some treats onto the floor.

“Crunch, crack, chomp, chomp, chomp,” was my answer.

My husband shook his head. “I think the treat manufacturer is pretty sneaky. These treats must have the equivalent of kitty cocaine in them or something. When Mops has them in her system, she won’t eat anything else. The good thing is that they’re crunchy so her teeth like razors—excellent qualities during mousing season.”

“Humph,” I snorted.

So, don’t give them to her you may say. Yeah, well, that’s easier said than done. You don’t have to listen to her whine and growl until
she gets them. We’ve tried gradually easing back her portions, another brand of treats, everything. She won’t relent.
I now have Pavlov’s kitty. It’s disgusting.

In my opinion, the treat company created this habit, and I think they should help cure it. They have an obligation to pay for Dustmop’s
drying out fee. Surely there is a Betty Ford clinic for cats somewhere that will admit her. And, since these types of facilities are
sure to be expensive, we’re going to need some type of government grant or financial assistance.

That makes sense. After all, some government regulatory agency must have approved these treats for market. So in effect, they need to bear some of the responsibility for Dustmop’s condition. I certainly don’t want to be put in the position of signing over all my assets in exchange for Dustmop’s treatment. If that happens, I’ll be eating cat food after I’m retired while Dustmop would have existed on the best life has to offer.

But, since I REALLY love my cat, it’s hard to deny her.

“Meowrrr.”

Sigh. “Coming, Dustmop.”

###

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