Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dear Sir or Madam

The world outside reminds me of a black & white picture. The tree branches are heavy with several inches of snow. There is that special hush pervading the air, a deep stillness that only exists after a snowstorm. The large backyard of the B&B has been transformed into a winter wonderland.


Yesterday, I overheard a woman at the grocery store telling another customer, "It's always interesting to see what other people have in their carts." Yes indeed-y, you've guessed correctly. As the storm rolled in, we were part of that crazy mass of humanity shopping for necessities.

And as the woman said, it WAS interesting to notice different folks' interpretation of "necessities." I saw more than one person lugging beer to the check-out counter. An old gentleman reached eagerly for a rotisserie chicken, happy that dinner would be served quickly and easily that night. Meanwhile, Drew and I were in line not for milk or beer or anything even remotely interesting. We were clutching a large bag of cat chow and an even larger sack of kitty litter. Pathetic, I know, but kitties must eat and relieve, even during a storm. ;)

"Drew!" My heart gave one, painful thud before falling to my shoes. "Do you think this stuff was made in the U.S.?" I saw him grimace. My husband had had the proverbial school-week-from-hell - quizzes, tests, and a dreaded paper had left him sleep deprived and wild-eyed. And here I was, topping his week off by dragging him away from a warm living room and a very large TV to a congested grocery store. Drew was not happy.

I tipped the bag of cat show over and scanned all four side. I found a "Printed in the U.S." and nothing else. Drat.

"Drew, what about the kitty litter?" My husband, who at that moment wanted nothing more than a warm bed and ten hours of sleep, said the bag didn't say.

Double drat.

That's when I noticed, in tiny letters, a line suggesting that I call a pet adviser with questions I may have. I hooted. "Hey Drew, I should call this number right now and ask where this food was made!" He gave me an exasperated look, sincerely hoping I wouldn't.

I brought the food and litter home and looked up Purina's website ten minutes ago. Under their "Quality Assurances" page, I found a bullet point with a very interesting statement. I'm genuinely curious now, which led to me email Purina. I'm waiting for a response...

Can you tell me where Purina® Cat Chow® brand Cat Food Indoor Formula is made? I've made a New Year's resolution to boycott Chinese products for one year. I looked under your Quality Assurances page and found that "99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities." Why does it say 99%? Is 1% imported from another country then?

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