Little Buddy, I’m happy to announce, has been weaned off the kitty crack.
And no, I’m not talking about catnip, which he enjoys once a week or two without yowling mournfully for more. I’m talking about Temptations, those crunchy cat treats that turn our furry little friends into fiends with one-track minds.
This is the second time I’ve stopped giving him those treats. One is never enough. Two, three, six? Not enough. More. More! More Temptations!!!
It got to the point where Buddy would meow insistently in front of the treat cabinet first thing in the morning, then get up to follow me every time I went in the general direction of the kitchen, trilling in anticipation.
If I made the mistake of leaving the bag out, he’d paw at it and meow insistently.
And one time I got an economy size tub of the stuff from Costco, fed him one or two pieces, then got distracted by a phone call. I was only away for a minute at most, but during that time Buddy swiped the tub off the coffee table, causing the lid to pop as it hit the hardwood floor and spilling hundreds of the kittycrack biscuits everywhere.
When I returned I found Bud gorging himself, vacuuming up his precious Temps like a high end Hoover. I shooed him away and carefully swept up every remaining piece, but it was too late — the little guy started throwing up everything he’d just eaten.
Astonishingly, when he’d gotten the last of it up and I was on hands and knees cleaning the mess, he began to meow for more Temptations.
That is hard core, epic crack fiend behavior.
It’s “Houston, we have a serious problem” level.
Temptations are cat junk food. They’re packed with filler, animal by-products, things cats can’t properly digest (corn, rice, corn gluten meal), and the added nutrients cited by Whiskas are of dubious nutritional value at best.
Cats aren’t drawn to them for any natural reason: Whatever chemicals they’re coated with are designed to manipulate the feline brain, and in the human world we’d call them drugs. The behavioral changes alone are enough to warrant a change.
I was doing a disservice to my little guy by feeding him that crap, so now we’re going to find something better. If you’d care to offer any suggestions, we’re all ears. Please leave them in the comments.
MIAMI — Forming a tenuous alliance to combat an existential threat to their hold on the feline illegal narcotics market, the western hemisphere’s most prolific niplords gathered for a summit at Meow-a-Largo on Friday.
The fact that Los Gatos, the Cattazio crime family and the Buddy Organization gathered under one roof without the threat of spray salvos, hissing or violent clawing served to underscore how seriously the niplords are taking the emergence of a new narcotic on the street, and the shadowy players pushing it on young kittens and adult cats alike.
The new product, Blue Sky Temptations, has taken the country by storm, laying waste to entire communities of cats with its unprecedented purity and addictive potential.
“Rumor has it a fella named Heisenpurrg is behind the Blue Sky,” said Anthony “Fat Tony” Purrtelini, the recently jail-broken capo of the Cattazio family. “We got our guys shakin’ down the neighborhoods for more information on this Heisenpurrg.”
Pawblo Escobar, the mercurial leader of the Gatos’ Medellín Hierba Gatera, shook his head.
“Is just a name, this Heisenpurrg,” he said quietly. “We don’t know the first thing about this pendejo, yeah?”
“Das right, patrón,” said Escobar’s most trusted lieutenant, Furrnando Prado. “He’s a ghost.”
Purrposition Joe, the Baltimore-based nip OG who brokered the tenuous peace between the attending parties, raised both paws, signaling the others to let him meow. Springer Bell and Brother Pawzone, two other cats from the Baltimore contingent, slapped their paws on the table to get everycat’s attention.
Heisenpurrg’s minions, Purrposition Joe reminded the other niplords, were all over the streets pushing “free samples” of the Blue Sky to get cats addicted. Tracking down Heisenpurrg, he said, should be as easy as interrogating cats up the ladder until they lead to the big bosses.
“The question isn’t ‘Are we going to find this guy?'” Purrposition Joe said, pausing to flick kibble crumbs off his belly. “The question, gentlemen, is what are we going to do about him when we do find him?”
All eyes turned toward the back of the room where a lone cat sat in darkness, a silent silhouette for the duration of the meeting.
“That’s a question for the most brutal of us, hermano,” Escobar said, looking at the shadowy figure at the end of the table.
The mysterious cat leaned forward, his face moving into the light, revealing long whiskers, grey-white fur and subtle grey tabby stripes.
“Leave that to me, gentlemen,” the grey tabby said quietly. “When I’m done with him, Heisenpurrg will be nothing more than yesterday’s kibble upchucked on the carpet. Muahahaha!”
Is that brain freeze, as alleged by quite a few people online, or a dramatic reaction to something unlike Mr. Kitty has never tasted before?
It’s a tiny amount for a tiny creature for sure, but the reaction could be kitty’s way of saying “Dayummm! That is the tastiest yums I’ve ever tasted in the history of tasting yums!!”
Apparently this is a thing, a cat video genre unto itself. After watching the below video, I concede it does look like brain freeze. As you can see, however, most of the cats immediately go back for more:
One thing we do know is most cats are lactose intolerant, so dairy products in general are not good for them. (Kittens should nurse from their mothers, and orphaned kittens should be given kitten-specific formula, which can be found in pet stores and most grocery stores. Milk from cows or other animals doesn’t sit well with their digestive systems.)
Giving your cat ice cream probably isn’t a good idea unless it’s dairy-free and a rare treat. I’ve never given ice cream to my cat, and giving it to him for a cheap laugh would be a betrayal of trust.
The people who know us best instinctively know how to push our buttons. So naturally my brother knows one of the easiest ways to get me riled up is to tell me my cat is a porker.
“Buddy’s looking like he’s put on the pounds,” he’ll say casually. “How much are you feeding this cat?”
“Buddy is NOT fat!” I’ll reply indignantly. “It just looks that way because he’s meatloafing.”
“No, I’m pretty sure he’s just fat.”
Well now he may be right. Buddy isn’t exactly fat, but he’s on the wrong side of skinny and a few bags of Temptations away from being kinda chubby. Now is the time to nip this in the Bud and bring his weight back down before it, uh, balloons.
This is by far the fattest-looking photo of Buddy I could find. He’s in a super-meatloaf pose here, looking like a chonkmaster.
This photo was taken a few days later.
(Above: Buddy in super-chonk meatloaf pose, left, and Buddy in a photo taken a few days later. The way a cat sits or stands can dramatically change the way his or her body looks.)
The problem is, Buddy has mastered the art of the guilt trip.
When he’s legitimately hungry he isn’t shy about meowing for his meals, but what he does in between meals is much worse. When I head into the kitchen for a beverage or a snack, Buddy will pad right up to the doorway and stop, looking at me with his big, expectant eyes. His gaze will follow me as he sits there all hopeful.
And if I leave the kitchen without opening his treat cabinet, those big green eyes become accusatory, as if I’ve committed a profound betrayal of his trust by not giving him the ultra-processed kitty crack he loves.
It’s the complete silence that gets me. No meows, no complaints, just dead silence and those big eyes.
Worse yet, he’ll park himself right next to me and watch me eat a bowl of cereal or a cookie, continuing the silent act. What kind of horrible Big Buddy gets a snack for himself but not his Little Buddy?
So yeah. It’s diet time.
Buddy doesn’t know the dreaded D-word. He’s about to learn. But his diet may be harder on me than it is on him.
Chronicling the adventures of Buddy the Cat and his various criminal enterprises.