12th October, 2005 The label on the catfood said 'Mince with Chicken' which was bad enough but then it said 'Now with vegetables'. The cats are not impressed. View large

Dear Sir,

Have you ever seen those catfood ads that have 'Natasha' or 'Princess' being offered a plate of food and, showing due deference to her paymaster, applying herself with determination, if not gusto, to the contents of the bowl?

An observation: Those bowls do not contain vegetables.

A cat has no interest in broccoli. Peas have a roll-factor that can result in them being batted under the couch but eaten? No. Carrots, even sweetened with honey, hold no allure to the average tabby. Don't believe me? Try it. I guarantee you looks of reproach and catty regal distain.

Which brings me to Whiskas Mince with Chicken. Obviously my first thought was if it is only 'with chicken', what else is it? 'Minced what?' is a fair question, I suggest.

But then I noticed the further banner 'NOW with vegetables'. It begs the question:

Why?

Why feed cats with stuff they would never eat? When was the last time you saw a cat in straw hat tending a row of turnips with a Dutch hoe? Could it be that, having watered down the chicken with non-specific mince you are now further diluting your capital costs with low grade mangel-wurzels?

But it does explain one thing: the neat line of vegetable bits found along the edge of the cat bowl. Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man...

Thief!

Yours sincerely, with feeling,

J. Cosmo Newbery.



REPLY: The following came with a $10 postal note:

Blah blah blah

Extensive market research ove the years continues to show that customers not only want their pet foods to be nutritious but also reflect the food cues present in their own diet. (My emphasis. Look out cats - biodynamic tofu is coming to a dish near you!).

The inclusion of vegetable in some varieties have been received very positively by many of ourr customers, however wew were disappointed to hear that your cat does not like the new recipes.

Blah blah blah