Remember when you were in grade school and one of the kids would get to the drinking fountain and drink while everyone else waited? Finally someone would yell, “Hey! Leave some for the fishes!”
I thought of that today because a few weeks ago I stopped by Lowe’s to check out their marked-down plants. They mark down the plants at the end of the season or the ones that are drooping and past their prime. This particular day there was nothing on the shelves, but a basket behind the cash register was stuffed with droopy green plants with a few faded flowers hanging off the ends.
“What are those?” I asked the nursery-man.
“Oh,” he said giving a quick glance, “those are Gerbera daisies. Or at least they were.”
“Are you marking them down?”
“Yeah, they’ll be a dollar.”
I picked out two plants that weren’t all that droopy and set them on the counter. “For a dollar, I’ll take a chance,” I told him.
Just then another lady stepped up. “What are those?” she asked. I filled her in. She went to the basket and looked over the contents.
I asked the nursery-man if they do well here in Las Vegas. A couple of years ago I bought a gardenia — full price — and after months of babying it, the thing finally died. It was then I discovered that gardenias do not grow in the desert, Period. So before getting these plants, even at the marked-down price, I wanted to know if they actually had a chance. He assured me that yes, they do indeed grow here.
I turned back to pick up a couple more and discovered that the woman behind me had taken every last one and put it in her cart. I was totally nonplussed. What an inconsiderate hog! I hope every last one of hers died.
And you’re saying to yourself, “what does all this have to do with cat food?” I’m glad you asked.
Yesterday I stopped at PetSmart to grab some pill pockets for my recently diagnosed cat with diabetes (and more on that another time). As I was checking out, the cashier said, “would you like to buy a can of this gourmet cat food for ten cents?”
I looked at the can. “Is this a promotion or something? Why is this marked down?”
“They’re nearing the ‘sell by’ date and we’re clearing them out.”
“Well, sure, I’ll try one.” What the heck, if my cats didn’t like it, not a major loss.
This morning Black Jack, the spokes-cat, started begging for more food. Never mind they’d had their full complement of canned food and dry food. He insisted they were all still hungry. Four pair of eyes stared at me in hopeful anticipation.
“Okay,” I said, “try this.” I opened the can to discover tiny shreds of chicken in broth. It smelled delicious. I apportioned it between the four dishes and they fell to with gusto.
“I guess you liked that,” I said as Lop Ear made the rounds and cleaned up whatever was left in each dish. I looked at the ingredients: chicken, chicken broth, tuna, chicken liver… gee, maybe I should spread some on toast for my breakfast.
And although the can was small, it was sufficient for each cat to get a sizable snack. I wondered if they had any more, so I called PetSmart and unbelievably, they did!
Quick like a bunny, I grabbed my keys and headed out. When I got there, I race-walked across the parking lot and right to the cashier.
“Do you have any more of those little cans of cat food that you had yesterday?” I asked. The cashier grabbed a box from under the counter and slit it open. “How many did you want?”
“Uh, how many are in the box”
I hesitated. “I don’t want to be greedy,” I told her. “Other people have cats, too.”
“Yes, but somebody’s going to buy it. Might as well be you.”
“I have more over here,” the other cashier called.
“Okay, I’ll just take this box. Ten cents a can, right?” At least I wasn’t taking ALL of it — someone else would have a chance at getting a bargain.
The cashier rang it up. “That’s two dollars and fifty-seven cents with tax,” she told me.
“How much would it be regular price?”
“It’s one-nineteen a can, so… (she checked the register tape) $28.33.”
“Yikes, that’s some bargain!”
So I now have nearly two dozen cans of gourmet cat food sitting on my counter. I plan to intersperse it with their regular Friskies. I’m afraid if I use it every day, they’re going to start thinking that this is normal and when I run out, they will go on a hunger strike until I return to the gourmet food at $1.19 a can — and that’s not gonna happen.
But now that I think about it — when did cats ever go on a hunger strike? So yeah, go ahead, kitties, scarf it up — enjoy the good life, at least for the next couple of weeks. But Mom’s not a millionaire so don’t get used to it.
But I’m thinking that once in awhile maybe, just one can … spread on a piece of toast.