Cat Food Sandwich

OK, admit it: you look at what the person in front of you on line is buying at the supermarket. Which cut of meat, how many frozen items, their favorite snack foods, what sort of beer do they drink… it’s grocery store anthropology.

Maybe you shouldn’t judge a person by what’s in their shopping cart, but let’s face it, someone buying salmon fillets, Swiss chard, and couscous is having a different dining experience than the one with Birdseye Creamed Corn, Tater Tots, and Steak-umms.

Delitghtful with romaine lettuce, a slice of red onion, capers, and a bit of mayo.There is one thing that always catches my eye: people who are buying cat food and bread — especially senior citizens. I can’t shake the idea that they’re going to have cat food sandwiches, especially if they are buying few other items.

It’s unclear where this idea of senior citizens eating cat food started, but it’s a trope that continues to appear every time old people and money is discussed. Social security drying up? Seniors will be eating cat food. No cost of living adjustment? Break out the Friskies.

Anyone who owns a cat knows how hard it would be to eat that vile stuff, which alone should be enough to convince you it never really happens. All I know is that when I’m a senior citizen, I will sometimes go in the store and buy nothing but bread and cat food just to see if anyone reacts. Maybe I’ll throw in a box of Saltines for good measure.

6 responses to “Cat Food Sandwich

  1. I always get a little disturbed when I see this, if only because a former teacher of mine, who was a former CPS caseworker, once told me that impoverished families will sometimes turn to eating cat food.

    I can hardly stand the smell of wet cat food, so the thought of eating it once- let alone adjusting to the rank smell/taste- just takes me aback.

  2. I remember a commercial when I was young. It was a public service announcement highlighting the idea that seniors need assistance. It was of a little frail old lady opening a can of cat food, and then sitting down to eat it.

  3. I know that spot. It’s the one where they make you think the elderly woman is feeding her cat — and then the do the switcheroo and she’s feeding herself!

    Surprisingly, I could not find the video, but YouTube seems to have plenty of video of clips of folks eating cat food:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=eating+cat+food&aq=f

  4. 1- Have you priced cat foods lately ? Some are just as expensive as ‘real’ food.

    2- Back in college, I used to shop and as the clerk rang out the last item, I’d ask, ” You’re a professional- be honest- Is this enough toilet paper for the amount of food I bought ?”

    I tried it ONCE since I’ve been married- my wife walked away.

  5. I had a self-conscious moment at the store recently when the only two items I had were toilet paper and a box of Fiber One.

  6. PaulID- if it makes any difference, this would have been before he was a teacher, so in the 70s or 80s.

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