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Rated: E · Column · Animal · #1021920
Buying food for the family is a breeze until...

Let’s face it. I hate grocery shopping. I keep a running grocery list going between shopping trips, listing each item according to its placement in the store, so when I finally have to go shopping I can rush through the store at warp speed. If I’m lucky (which is about 50 percent of the time) I remember to take my shopping list with me.

List or no list, I can whip through each aisle in less than a minute, snatching produce, cans, jars, bags and other assorted packages along the way. I’d have been a natural to be a contestant on that old game show “Supermarket Sweeps,” where families raced through the store aisles competing to see who could grab the most groceries in a five-minute dash. I could give even their top competitors a run for their money…that is, as long as I stay out of the pet food aisle!

That’s when my ‘race to feed the face’ comes to a screeching halt. It’s not like choosing food for the family, where I can just grab ‘something’ in the category and keep moving. Oh no! Here I have to actually make choices and decisions. First I have to select the proper dry cat food. Do I want the mature kitty cat food, or maybe the dental diet food, or should I get the vitality formula? One kitty is old and sedentary while the other one is young and very active. Hmmmm. Their urinary tracts seem to be properly maintained right now so I can probably pass on that, but they DO stay inside, so maybe I should pick up some of the Indoor Kitty mix. Neither one of my cats will eat the brands with big chunks, but they’ll both eat the dogs’ food that has morsels bigger than their heads. Go figure!

OK. So I’ll grab a bag of Indoor Kitty and a bag of plain old Adult Cat blend. I’ll mix it with the hairball formula and tartar control food at home to make sure they’re getting everything they need. Now on to the canned food. There are forty-six flavor combos to choose from. The male likes the sliced varieties in gravy. She just likes the gravy. The female likes chicken and turkey while he likes the fishy flavors. Neither of them cares for the beef mixes. How nice of them to agree on something. Do they think that makes my job any easier? And if they think I’m going to buy that ‘gourmet’ stuff that gets served in fine crystal dinnerware, they’re nuts! When they start earning money doing those commercials I’ll consider it, but until then, it’s store brand or nothing!

Now onto the other side of the aisle to choose the puppy treats. I have two large dogs so their regular food gets purchased at the feed store. But they, too, have discriminating taste when it comes to their treats. The male is pretty accommodating and will eat just about anything, but the female pouts if you try to pawn off the single flavor store brand biscuits on her. She wants the kind with a variety of flavors. And just any old variety pack won’t do. She wants the kind that has the peanut butter ‘cookies’ in the box. But…if I buy the appropriate “large dogs” size, they’ll devour them long before it’s time to go shopping again. And if I buy the “small dogs” size, they both gulp them down without so much as a crunch and then stand there waiting for me to give them something to ‘eat.’ Great! Here’s the peanut butter variety pack, but only in the large and small dog sizes. Now what do I do?

Begrudgingly, I place one box of ‘medium dog’ Five Flavor and one box of ‘medium dog’ Peanut Butter biscuits into the cart. As I walk by the Begging Strips and kibble-burgers, rawhides and bacon squares, I glance at my watch. It was twelve minutes of when I hit this aisle, and it’s twenty-three past now. I quickly toss two kinds of kitty litter onto the bottom rack of my cart and speed off to finish the rest of my shopping. I scour the last six aisles in four minutes flat.

At the register, I plan tonight’s menu from the food items on the conveyor. Twenty cans of cat food, three bags of cat food, two bags of kitty litter, two boxes of dog biscuits…Let’s see…a can of Spam, a bag of popcorn and a jar of pickled beets. That’s a balanced meal, right?
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