Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Sometimes real life is so strange that it couldn't be anything but true - even when you don't want to believe it yourself.
At my house we have pets and we have children. I like to believe there are certain distinctions between the two.
The pets sleep on the floor; the children in beds. The pets have fur; the children wear clothing. The pets go outside to do their business; the children use the bathroom. The pets have pet food; the children people food.
Or so I thought.
Events from the last few days have me wondering. Sad thing is, I created the whole issue.
I don't know what it was. Maybe I had too many tasks on my plate. That's usually the time when I'm apt to take on some crazy extra project. However it began, it ended with me making a 15-pound casserole - for the dog.
It was healthy enough. I used lean ground turkey, brown rice, carrots, peas, onions and a dozen scrambled eggs. Meals fit for a queen, or at least an 80-pound Labrador retriever. I placed the mixture into storage containers, and filled my dog's dish with the last cupful.
She lapped up her good fortune and will love me until the day she dies.
I figured the dog-food debacle was the end of it. I made people food for my dog; how much crazier could things get?
There are a lot of things I thought I'd never do. Making dog food is one of them.
Eating dog food is another.
The day after I made the pooch her casserole, my son and I got to talking about packaged dog food and what it might taste like. One thing led to another and before you can say "kibble" I was nibbling on a dry morsel. It tasted a lot more like bread than meat - very airy, similar to a beefy crouton. While the experience didn't induce my gag reflex, one taste was enough - of the dog food, that is.
Trouble is, we also own a cat.
We had to be fair; and the experiment had already started. I discovered dry cat food is comparable to the dog food. Not unpleasant. Not a culinary experience. I thought we were done.
Since I'd made our dog such a supreme treat with her casserole, I figured our pet feline deserved something special. I purchased a few cans of the fancy cat food, opting for seafood varieties. We opened one and our cat took gentle licks. He seemed to like it, in a finicky, cat sort of way. The remaining cans sat on a shelf in our pantry.
Until last night, when I came into the kitchen and found one of them opened. It was sitting on the kitchen table, right in front of my son. He was holding a fork.
I was aghast, which could be a surprising reaction for a mom who's sampled both dog and cat food with her children.
But this was canned food! Somehow that made a big difference to me. And, my son was not just sampling; he was eating.
"That's cat food!" I cried out, thinking maybe he hadn't read that label.
"But it has morsels of real crabmeat, shrimp and tuna!" he said, pointing to the words on the label. "With gravy."
"It's cat food." I repeated, thinking maybe he hadn't understood me the first time.
"But it's good," he said. "Try some!"
I turned away in horror. "Did you warm it up?"
"Great idea!" he answered, making me regret my question. "Can we get more of this?"
"No need," I said with a sigh. "I'll try making the cat a seafood casserole tomorrow."
"Awesome," he grinned, aiming his fork for another mouthful.
I winced. Sometimes real life is so strange that it couldn't be anything but true - even when you don't want to believe it yourself. Maybe tomorrow will be one of those days.
Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer. She appreciates your comments and can be reached at
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