This is a bit off topic for me, for which I apologize, particularly to new readers who are coming to Formerly Hot via More or Redbook or Self. I normally write about life as a Formerly, that weird tween phase of adulthood where you’re neither old nor young. You guys can scroll down for a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet of that.
But this is a matter of some urgency about which I feel I must vent. I suppose the fact that I’m becoming a big old easily skeeved-out whiner about stuff that formerly I’d have maybe noticed and let go with a simple “Eeew, gross!” is a sign that I’m too old to be allowed to watch television.
Has anyone else almost lost her lunch when one of those Fancy Feast cat food commercials comes on? I’m talking about the ones in which the announcer describes in far too vivid detail the tastes and textures of the “Restaurant Inspired Elegant Medleys” series of wet food for little Hortense or Fluffbug? They show the food itself, which resembles goosed-up chicken or tuna-salads, with names like Primavera and Tusany,Â arrayed on fit-for-human plates that only the wealthiest and craziest of all cat ladies would place on the floor for her cat, no matter how much said cat is adored. There’s even a garnish. The idea, of course, is that you should feed your kitty as well as you’d feed yourself, because you love her just as much.
I’m fine with that philosophy. And I love cats–I’ve had several and would still have one if my kids weren’t barely clinging to life themselves half the time.
It’s just that these ads make me want to vomit, and I’m a gal who watched my own C-section. I can’t find a video of the ad to show you, but if memory serves, you hear a romantic Italian melody as the announcer enumerates the delectable fresh-from-the-farm ingredients in the cat food, as the camera goes in on the quivering blob for the closeup. The goal is clearly to make YOUR mouth water at the thought of eating it, not your kitty’s.
That leap–you love your cat, you identify with your cat, you anthropomorphize your cat…all the way to you want to imagine her food sloshing around in your mouth–is just too huge and vile for me to make.
If you have ever fed a cat, even once, know how absolutely disgusting cat food is, and how it’s hard not to gag with ever turn of the can opener key. Why the creators of those ads think that showing a pile of cat food glistening in a fit-for-humans dish on a Crate and Barrel plate (no matter how fancy the feast) and attempting to appeal to the human taste bud would be a great idea is beyond me.
I looked on the Fancy Feast website for a video of their ad to show you, and was reminded that their whole theme is the love affair women have with their feline friends. There’s a section where you can leave your “confessions of love” (an example they offered was “we had breakfast in bed together”) and a white Persian looking apparently adoringly at its owner, with the tagline “Is it love, or is it Fancy Feast?” A little cynical, no? She just sees you as her meal ticket?
The entire campaign has boundary issues. I’m going to go with love, not sugar mama, sexual plaything or even high-end caterer. I’m idealistic like that. And as for the ads? Sure, cats are people, too. We get that. But…and this is important: PEOPLE ARE NOT CATS. Gross.