L’alimentation royale

So Mercury Renegade (as Cat Daddy thought it was called) is over, and the white supremacist cult leader has been toppled. Not a bad week, and don’t we all deserve it after the cirque de merde that has been 2020 so far?

Meanwhile, here at Le Château, it’s all about the monarchy and a certain someone’s food. Not long after Lily’s Kitchen were taken over by Nestlé Purina, I wrote to them to ask whether the acquisition would result in any changes their ingredients or formulations.

A lady called Kat (I’m not joking) replied with the following words:

“Please let me assure you that Lily’s Kitchen remains a stand-alone business with the same fantastic team and purpose. We won’t be making any changes to the high-quality ingredients we use or the way we do things – the support we now have from Nestlé Purina means we can continue to grow, and ensure as many pets as possible around the world can enjoy our proper food.”

Now, had I been talking to one of my wily students, I would have said, “Nice try, but you’ve not fully answered the question.” But it didn’t occur to me to think that someone from lovely Lily’s Kitchen would try to double-cross me.

When I opened a pack of Fisherman‘s Feast (formerly Fabulous Fish) for the first time, I noticed the completely different colour (dark brown new formula versus yellow old):

No changes, my arse.

I wrote back to Lily’s Kitchen regarding the colour change, all the while continuing to feed it to Catorze as I had nothing else. This time it was Kate who replied to tell me that the recipe now includes chicken stock – a change that was in the pipeline pre-takeover, so they say – which accounts for the darker colour.

This was not good news. I realise that it won’t seem like a big deal if you own a normal, healthy cat, but now isn’t the time to be messing with Catorze’s food. Especially as the vet once told us that a change in protein (from, say, fish to chicken) could be enough to trigger an allergic reaction.

And I know, I know: it’s my responsibility to check the ingredients panels. But, after reading that first message from Kat, I didn’t think I would need to. Now, of course, I am kicking myself for being so stupid. I can imagine my wily students in this situation, smirking at me and saying, “But we didn’t actually lie as such.” YOU DIDN’T TELL ME THE WHOLE TRUTH, EITHER.

Cat Daddy and I then made an emergency dash to Pets at Home to see if they had any old Fabulous Fish left. They didn’t … but we were able to find some old stock of Marvellously Mature for older cats, which is poultry-free (but not for long: be warned that the new formulation, called Senior Recipe, contains turkey). In a blind panic, we bought the entire stock to tide us over whilst we decide what to do next. Do we want to wait until Catorze is well again, and gradually phase in the new Fisherman’s Feast with the old Marvellously Mature? Or should we cut our losses and find a supplier whom we can actually trust?

Anyway, the twofold moral of this story is as follows:

⁃ Read the small print.

⁃ Do not trust anyone, even if their name contains some form of the word “cat”.

23 thoughts on “L’alimentation royale

  1. Some cats have allergies and I get so annoyed that pet food manufacturers don’t get it. I can’t feed one of my cats fish. Dang! Fish is in a lot of the pate meals. I have to be very careful. They might call it “poultry delight” or some other ridiculous name but you open the can and you can smell the fish. Not only is there fish but it smells like the fish they scrapped up off the floor of a boat. Good luck to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. It is annoying, isn’t it? I realise that it’s up to us to check, but if the product has a particular name, as you’ve said, and if the recipe has never before contained the offending substance, it’s understandable that we might not.

      They’ve since told me that they added chicken stock “to make the food more palatable” and I replied and said, “What made you think it was unpalatable before? Did cats complain?” 🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I fully agree with you. These days you also have to read the teenee tiny print as well that tells you that the food was made in Maylasia, Indonesia, Vietnam or some other country where you have not the slightest bit of knowledge of what they are actually putting into the food. As a result I always pick one of this one of that so Xenia get variety. I refuse to buy anything not made in the US or Canada.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, in this case not only did we have to read the teeny tiny print but it also relied on us to keep a copy of the old formulation’s ingredients and compare the two. Most people wouldn’t bother, especially after receiving their email worded as it was.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not the favorite subject around here. Simone will eat most anything. However, Her Royal Highness, Colette, was here first and seems to thrive on a local store brand. Any efforts to introduce anything else are not well received. Madame goes on a hungar strike and when she does take a morsel of something else, she sends it right back up again until the human surrenders. However, she will allow offerings of salmon or tuna from time to time. I had thought of making my own but as a strict vegan, the thought of having to cook viande, turned my stomach. I do monitor the label as Her Majesty does not take kindly to change or modification in any way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. HRH will have her way. She is a tiny calico (Isabelle) but don’t challenge or startle her. She was a rescue, about seven months old, when I walked into a local SPA. I was looking for my black cat which of course they didn’t have at the time. This little female jumped onto a chair near where I was, snaked out a paw and wraped it around both my arm and my heart… what more could I do?

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      3. I’ve no doubt I would have not been able to resist monsieur Le Roi. I don’t believe I’m allowed to go near a rescue center unchaperoned… Madame Colette forbids it and she is in charge here.

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      4. HRH Colette, hates cats and is very slow with trusting anyone. Fortunately, she has been most specific in training her human and fortunately, this human is known for her patience… 😉 Of course that patience extends to both four and two legged creatures. The human hasn’t a shred of patience with inanimate objects. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pet parents need to DEMAND truth in labeling and INSIST that it become law! @Lou Carreras has a very important point. My Shar Pei died in 2007 due to consuming (high end brands of) food manufactured in China, which was subsequently globally recalled. She was a young active HEALTHY purebred dog. You are right to keep pressing for the truth, as your little Roi can’t advocate for himself, although I do think that he could put the fear of Bastet into them 😼

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you. It’s only been within the past year that I have even begun considering getting another woofie…meanwhile, I enjoy reading about a certain petit chat noir avec l’aire louche, mais innocente…😹

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Years ago my vet told me that fish flavors seemed to lead to more urinary problems so I don’t feed fishy flavors…except when I need something exotic in form to coax a reluctant eater. Some won’t eat fish because they aren’t used to it. One of them has a URI that seems to be becoming chronic, and he is off his feed cause he can’t smell it.
    Hopefully Catorze isn’t reading over your shoulder as you type this, or he will definitely know Something Is Up !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, that’s interesting! We give him fish only because he’s always liked it best. The rescue even stated on his rap sheet that he had a preference for fish-flavoured dry food. After the vet’s advice about not mixing/changing proteins we stuck to fish only.

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