January 21, 2010

Happy Eating

Did you already know this, that you can buy a big THING of Panera Bread's cheddar-broccoli soup and just bring it home with you and put it in the fridge and heat some up whenever you want? The Panera counter girl acted all blasé about this, as if it weren't worth having my eyebrows as high as I had them or my voice as quavery as it was. She just put some of the crusty soup-bread in the bag with the soup and told me what the total was. HAS SHE NO SOUL?? The heavens were opening up above her head and SHE DID NOT EVEN LOOK!

Speaking of eating, I mentioned the other day that our cat Mouse is acting all weird about her food and that like an idiot I Googled it. One of the less alarming possibilities was that as an elderly cat she could be having some trouble chewing things, and I remembered that when we visited the animal shelter awhile back there was a Cat Room for the elderly cats who needed to have soft food because of their teefies, so I got her some cans of food instead of her usual dry. She is EATING THAT STUFF UP.

But, uh. I mean, we buy the Iams dry food the shelter/vet recommended so we're used to paying $30 for a bag of cat food without flinching (much), but this Iams wet food is 50 cents for a small can. She just ate nearly a full can for breakfast. Does this mean she is going to be eating $1 a day in cat food, and that I am going to be one of those people in line who has several teetering pillars of cat food cans? And here is the next question: will I be choosing kitty's menu each night, standing before the cupboard wondering if kitty is more in the mood for salmon pâté or for lamb and rice? Well. I guess that would be all right.

44 comments:

Brandy said...

It's actually kind of fun choosing a menu for my dog when he gets a can of wet food. I am trying to teach him to pick one of two by touching it with his paw. We'll see how that goes.

Stephanie said...

I went through a whole rigamaroll with my cat as she is a barfer. Very nice the cat barf. We tried everything from organic all natural dry and wet food to only wet food and only dry food. Then after about a year of buying CRAZY expensive food, we realized that she was eating too much too quickly. So now she gets a tiny handful of dry food and about half a spoonful of wet food about 5 to 7 times a day. It sucks to have to do it that much but tramping in barf sucks too! She's also gained weight since then. So now she gets whatever we have a coupon for and is happy with it all!

Linda said...

My cats are almost 12 and I think I'm going to start being that lady, too. But I buy most of my animal supplies from Pet Smart - it provides a fun outting, is right by our school, and my grocery cart is already packed to the gills. There's no way I could fit food and litter in there, too.

I'm wondering if I can mix wet food w/ dry and the dry will soften up some? That way I can make the more expensive wet food last longer. I've been contemplating, but have yet to do anything.

Fran said...

You could try dampening her dry food with a little milk or something too. Canned food is very expensive. We used to put half a can on top of our dog's dry food to get him to eat it all. Now we are using brown rice mixed in his food and that is working but he doesn't have elderly teeth issues so that probably doesn't help you much..sorry!

cardiogirl said...

Hey don't they make gravy for dog food? I wonder if your cat would like that over her dry food.

Word verification is psese, as if the cat is saying, "Please, betch. No dog gravy."

Shelly Overlook said...

Did you know they sell big containers (2 in a pack) of Panera's broccoli cheese soup at Costco now??

Corina said...

I recently adopted a 12 year-old cat from the shelter who happens to be missing several of his teeth. They recommended I add water to his regular dry food to soften it. That seems to work well for him. I have to put out fresh twice a day instead of the big vat of dry food I used to leave out for days for my other cats . . . but it's SO much better than dealing with stinky (and expensive) wet food. That is reserved for special treats.

Leeann said...

I was going to suggest the same, to wet the food and let is soak for a while. Then, use a can of cat food and add a quarter of it, mixed in the soaked dry food. Keep the can in the fridge and it should last you four days.

Tess said...

I sort of enjoy choosing the wet food, just like I enjoyed picking out baby food. I dunno. I guess I just like meal planning, even if it's for dogs. Heh.

Also, I had some friends who used to buy cans of green beans when they were on sale and cut some of the soft food with that.

Gretchen said...

Before my cat got extremely elderly and could eat only canned food, I would give her a little can of food once a day and leave the dry sitting out so she could munch a little during the day.

Kim said...

Panera soup makes me happy to be alive.
And yes, I do that whole canned food routine for our dog even though I realize that says a lot about me.

Rachelle said...

Our oldest cat is 17, and she's on a wet-food only diet, because she can't chew (or see, actually) but she still plays and purrs, and is in no pain, so we're not ready to let her go.

We tried her on Iams wet food, as well as the Science diet, but both made her exceptionally stinky, plus she got to the point where she'd actually starve herself before she'd eat any of it, so we've finally accepted the fact that she has low-brow tastes. We buy her cans of Friskies at Wal-Mart. She eats about a can a day (of the smaller cans) so about 60 cents per day.

Everyone's happy.

Jessa said...

Whenever I feed the dogs wet food, I have a dialog with them about which flavor they would prefer and whichever one gets the best dog butt tail waggle is the winner. Usually it's whichever one is said in my best "you are so stupid and cute but I love you baby voice" that wins.

Kathi A said...

My cats eat those small Iams cans too....I think they're 3 oz? You can buy a 24 pack for around $10 at Target. That should be a pretty good savings compared to 50 cents a can.

ColorCodedC said...

Swistle! They've been doing this thing in Food Network magazine the past few months where they pick a famously-awesome, secret recipe dish at a national restaurant...and try to recreate it. This past month they did Panera's cheddar broccoli soup!! I mean, of course, it's better to have Panera cook it for you (obviously), but with this recipe you can have it whenever you want! :-)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/almost-famous-broccoli-cheddar-soup-recipe/index.html

Jen said...

The cat we had when I was in high school ate one can of wet food a day (half in the morning and half at night). My mom tried doing the dry food with warm water for her but she wouldn't have it.

My mom now has two picky dogs now and she feeds them some sort of dehydrated vegetable mix along with some meat. Her dogs eat next to nothing and we butcher our own meat so it ends up being relatively inexpensive.

Swistle said...

ColorCodedC- !!! I am going to have to try that!

Jess said...

I don't much about cats, but dogs often prefer the wet food because it tastes better. The preference is so strong that our kennel, for example, will mix wet food in with dry if a stressed dog doesn't eat for three meals straight. So perhaps your cat is just being picky? In which case maybe you could do like our kennel and just mix a bit of the wet food in with the dry and see if that creates a happy compromise?

Michelle said...

Shelly beat me to it, but I forgave Costco for not carrying Martha's tomato soup again this year, ONLY because they started carrying Panera's broccoli cheddar. It is identical to the stuff in the restaurant.

C (Kid Things) said...

My 12 year old cat's the same way. We recently switched him over to canned food, and he's in kitty heaven. Still pukes the stuff up, though, which is gross.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

You can do that with Panera's Forest Mushroom soup as well. Isn't that AWESOME?!?! :)

parkingathome said...

Her teethies may just need wet food for a while and then get back to better. We have a bowl of dry food out all the time and give the kitties wet food for dinner. Maybe if you do this, she'll go for the dry food when she feels up to it.

As far as choosing dinner, we sometimes hold two cans out and whichever one they smell at is the one they get. Then they choose!

Mimi said...

I don't know how the prices are, but I think I would probably buy cans of kitty food in bulk from amazon or somewhere else online just so I could avoid the teetering pillars of cans in line that you described.

jiveturkey said...

I really want to help you with your cat food problem, but now all I can think about is Panera's cheddar broccoli soup.

(Actually, I bet the cat wouldn't mind some cheddar broccoli soup.)

Jenipurr said...

Even cats with no teeth at all can eat the dry food. I had a kitty who was almost 19 who hadn't had any teeth for about 5 years and he had absolutely no problem with the kibble. So if your kitty really is having problems chewing, it could be worth having her teeth looked at (and she may need a few pulled).

artemisia said...

I am glad the kitty is eating again. I totally see myself cooking the dogs meals when they get older. I will be That Woman.

Alice said...

i'm actually SUPPOSED to be giving my cats more wet food, because it has more protein and fewer carbs than the dry food, but the morons actually PREFER dry food. well - that's not true. they freaking ADORE the gravy on the wet food, and lick that all off, then leave the rest of the stuff there to get all dry and crusty. it's charming.

Miss Grace said...

Wet food from costco.

Alternatively, add a little water to her dry food.

Maureen said...

I used to work at a vet clinic, and we would use baby food (like chicken and turkey) to get the finicky eaters back on their feed. I haven't bought baby food in a long time, it might be more expensive than wet cat food now, for all I know. If you find some inexpensive jars, you could mix a bit with the dry food. Good luck!

Mel said...

I agree with Jenipurr...get Mouse's teeth checked out.

My last cat had to have about 4 or 5 teeth pulled (he ended up down to 1 fang which was quite silly looking), a good cleaning on the rest and then antibiotics for a little then he was back to regular food. But I did end up giving him a quarter can of wet food from then on to help with his fluid intake to ward off urinary tract problems...

And if a cat is puking I would be getting them checked out too. Sometimes it is just the food, but when they get older there is so much that could be going on.

My Sister in Law is a vet so I am passing along all of the unsolicited advise that I've been given! ;-)

Cherish said...

We have three kitties so we put down a can every morning and keep a bowl of dry filled at all times. We've also noticed that they prefer the seafood varieties, so I just buy all of those and put down whatever each morning. But I did, for awhile at least, stand there and decide each morning what I thought they might like.

Marie Green said...

I like the suggestions of adding a little wet food or water to the dry. I personally think the wet food makes their poo extra-stinky.

Also, I'm glad to see you have your blogging mojo back, at least a little bit. I was getting worried.

Nowheymama said...

Just don't start serving the cat food in a little crystal dish that you clink with a fork, OK?

;)

Christina said...

I just learned about the Panera thing this summer. I was having lunch there w/ a friend and b4 we left she went and ordered the big container of tomato soup and it came w/ bread. She brought it home for dinner. I had no clue, either!

I forget the name, but there's this in-between cat food that we used to get for my cat that had eating problems. It's in a plastic tub and it is little pellets that hold their shape, but they're mushy - sort of like a play dough consistency. Maybe see if she eats that? Would be cheaper and avoid the 800 cans at the counter ordeal..

Lis said...

I sometimes put water in my cats dry food. They are insane and think it's a special treat.

When I had a cat that only ate wet food though, I did let her pick what she wanted for dinner. I'd get out two cans, put them on the ground and tell her what was in each of them, and then she'd rub her face against the one that she wanted.

Buttercup said...

No cat to discuss, but I will say that I had a similar experience at Panera when I found out I could get a bread bowl as part of the "you pick two" combos. French onion in a bread bowl + little salad? It's like they know me.

Lora said...

I'm totally a cat lady now.

I'm all "oh poor thing puked. I'll let it dry out and get it with a papertowel when I get home from work" or "oh no! Tyler went outside the box. My poor, poor sick kitty. I have to hold her more"

Could you imagine if a PERSON was doing that in my house? Like if my husband was pooping beside the toilet? And I was all like "oh, the poor man must be associating the potty with pain." Or if he was puking on the floor three times a day and I was just patting his head and kissing his mouth and saving the clean up for later? Or (God forbid my cat get to this point) if he started peeing in the bed and I would say "oh! he must really love me and miss me soooooo much! he's peeing in my bed to show me that he wants to spend more time with me!"

point is. $1 a day isn't so bad, in the grand scheme of things.

cassie said...

Mix some dry food with a little hot water and let it soften. Drain it if it needs it and mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with the wet food. Then you'll only go through one can a day! And the uh..after.. won't smell as bad.

goingloopy said...

My picky cat with thyroid problems gets canned food at least 3 times a day. She is perfectly capable of eating dry food, but she is spoiled and she is loud as hell and she's still so LITTLE that I FEEL BAD. Of course, she's never been big (unlike the other three cats, who are, well, fat, fatter, and OMG THAT CAT IS GINORMOUS). She eats more than the other ones.

That said, she likes Whiskas the best. The Purfectly Chicken, in pouches. Second favorite is the new Whiskas in the square tub thingies. Third is 9 Lives Super Supper. Whatever you do, don't buy the "Purrfectly Fish," that shit looks and smells like industrial waste.

I hope your kitty gets to feeling better. Be warned though--if you start the canned food, you're stuck. She will expect it ALL THE TIME.

Superjules said...

My cat will only drink running water. High maintenance award, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Lora @ 9:36 PM -- You are so on the money. Holy Cracker! I love cats and cat people.
, Gail

nil zed said...

as a former Panera's employee, I can tell you it's easy enough for the Costco soup to taste EXACTLY like the soup in the restaurant. We got ours in frozen too. It's made in house sized vats in a factory somewhere, put into giant boil-n-bags and reheated in a special boil-in-bag reheater thingie. So, for Costco they just package it up differently.

Really guys: broccoli cheddar soup = make a cheese sauce, add cooked broccoli, add milk, broth or water until it looks/tastes right to you. It's hard for me to love the Panera Broc Soup: long before I worked at Panera, this was my usual way using up leftover cooked broccoli, or using broccoli that hadn't been cooked soon enough and so was not as green as it had been. So, yeah, I'd rather have the french onion soup, with EXTRA croutons and cheese on the side.

Rougeneck said...

I feed my cat ridiculously expensive wet food from Fancy Feast. And I TOTALLY don't just grab any random flavors: I consider and contemplate the flavors I purchase. Even more mildly twisted, I don't buy him flavors of food that I don't like to eat. So for example, I don't care for salmon so I don't think my cat has ever had salmon. He's mostly a chicken, turkey and beef kind of kitty like his mama, with the occasional bit of tuna thrown in. This strategy applies to dry food too. It's quite possible I need an intervention.

momstinfoilhat said...

Oh, no, I did not need to know that about their broccoli cheese soup. Which is heaven on earth, by the way.