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):
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”.