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.
Day 1: I meowed for treats for two hours and 37 minutes this morning, to no avail. Has Buddy the Larger suffered a stroke? This could pose serious problems for my snacking requirements.
Day 2: This must be a joke. A bad, totally-not-funny joke that’s gonna end with my teeth and claws delivering the final punchline. I WANT MY TREATS NOW.
Day 3: This new kibble is tasteless. Blue Buffalo Wilderness, my ass. More like Brown Cardboard Inside. Thank God I still get turkey. Oh, turkey, I love you.
Day 4: It has been 93 hours, 22 minutes and 17 seconds since my last treat, a creamy, moist morsel of manufactured goodness that activated the reward pathways in my brain like only the finest kitty crack can. You got any on you, bro?
Day 5: By employing my own talents of stealth and acrobatics, I’ve discovered not only is Big Buddy withholding snacks from me, they’ve all disappeared from the snack cabinet! What horrible sorcery is this?
Day 6: Last night I helped myself to some of Big Buddy’s pasta when he left the room to refill his beverage. It’s awful, rubbery stuff topped with sauce made from tomato, that infernal vegetable. Yet I gulped it down. What’s happening to me?!
Warm salutations and greetings to you, my friend! I am writing to your most esteemed personage having just been informed by my attorneys that I stand to inherit more than 5,000 pounds of premium catnip, including Meowie Wowie, Purrple Haze, Kitty Kush and Mewbury OG.
However, due to the Byzantine inheritance laws of my homeland of Nigeria, I am unable to come into my considerable catnip fortune without an American bank account, which is needed to pay the inheritance fee to the Nigerian Office of Catnip Inheritance.
This is where I must humbly ask for your assistance, good sir or madame. It is my fervent hope that we may come to an agreement in which you allow me to make the inheritance payment from your account in exchange for a large portion of my inheritance. Would 2,000 pounds of catnip be acceptable recompense to you for this favor?
Yours truly, your friend,
Grand Prince Four One Nine, Nigerian Royal Family Cat
Wow! Five thousand pounds of catnip! This sounds almost too good to be true! If I were you I’d build a big vault for all my catnip and go swimming in it daily, like Scrooge McDuck does with his money!
I don’t know where Nigeria is but it sounds like a wonderful country. I stole my human’s bank information and have attached it to this email. When will I get my 2,000 pounds of catnip?
Dearest Most Magnificent Buddy,
Warm salutations! It is my life’s honor to count you among my friends and execute this business deal together. Good fortune smiles on us both, and soon we will be bathing in rivers of catnip, the envy of all other cats!
There has been a small hiccup with the Ministry of Inheritance. In order to process my payment, I am required to submit a small processing fee with the Royal Processing Fee Bureau of Nigeria. It is only a paltry sum of $2,000, but again I am only able to make this payment via an American bank account.
If you would be so kind as to authorize the payment, you shall be reimbursed of course and we will be basking in our new catnip fortunes shortly!
With great affection and respect,
Four One Nine, Feline of the Nigerian Royal Family
If you can repay the $2,000 right away, I’m happy to help! I’ll look out for the check and the catnip in the mail!
Most Marvelous Benefactor Buddy,
You, Sir, are my most valued and trusted friend! They say American cats are fat, lazy and selfish, but they are wrong, for you are not selfish at all! I have let it be known in my village that Buddy of America is a wonderful and wise cat. They sing songs about you and your generosity.
We are almost in possession of our catnip, my friend! All that remains is to cover the shipping fee and the Royal Nigerian Export fee. They are paltry sums, merely $4,000 and $3,500 respectively. I have already had my servant mail the $2,000 reimbursement for the processing fee, and will similarly return the funds promptly upon paying the export and shipping fees from your respected American bank account.
I received but a small sample of the Meowie Wowie this afternoon and raise a toast in your honor!
Your Loyal Friend,
Four One Nine, Cat Royal of the Family
I’m fresh out of cash. What if I could scrounge up some cans of tuna and some old toys? Could we bribe the clerk to waive the export fee?
I haven’t gotten my $2,000 reimbursed and still no catnip! I know you probably forgot to write me back, but can you please tell me what the status is?
You tricked me! No catnip, no reimbursement, no village cats singing songs about me!
It just so happens I have a cousin in your country. He’s gonna pay you a visit!
Dearest Most Esteemed Honorable Buddy,
Your, ahem, cousin presented himself just minutes ago. Please, on my behalf, thank him again for not eating me! I did not know lions could be so merciful and had already emptied my bladder by the time I realized he would allow me to live.
Here is your $2,000 and the first 200 lbs of catnip you are owed. The rest will be delivered in installments for the next 24 months.
Lastly, I am instructed to inform you that, per your cousin’s direction, the music teachers have been drafting paeans to your majesty, and the kittens will stage a three-act play about how awesome you and your cousin are. But mostly your cousin.
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.