Mangia, mangia.

maria Maria's Blog

pupThe other evening I went to a new restaurant with friends. One of the friends had been there the week before so she was our ‘expert’ so to speak. The place was quite fancy, lots of low couches and dark wood…huge bar, people well dressed…And the menu was so varied we sort of huddled around our drinks trying to decide what to order. I may add the menu was in Russian with English translation. After a lengthy discussion we followed our friend’s advice and I ended up with the Russian version of what I usually eat at Italian restaurants and it was just as good. The point I’m trying to make is that I tend to eat the same fare over and over while some of my friends pick totally unknown foods without hesitation. And I admire them for it.

On my way home with my doggie bag—no—I don’t have a dog, but I don’t eat much, I started to compare the way humans eat as opposed to our pets. Please know that cats are not part of this group. And yes, cats are pets, with a disclaimer—they are finicky eaters and tend to treat us as household help most of the time.

No, I was thinking of dogs, rabbits, ferrets, birds…we purchase their food by bags, big bags and we feed them the same thing over and over. Right now I have this mental picture of a cat in front of a just open can of premium tuna—sniffing, pacing, more sniffing and then a regal retreat to the favorite pillow with an expression of clear disdain. 

But wait for the family dog to hear the dry kibble landing in the same dish where each and every canine meal is served and watch that tail wag and the big hurry to get to the food, and gobble it up before—before what?  No clue. Rest assured if there was a restaurant for our pets, there would be no huddling over drinks, just happy tails and loud crunching.


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  1. LOL! Our cat used to want food in her dish all day, so she could nibble as she wanted. But if the neighbor cat came over to visit, as was his nature, she would immediately streak to her dish and eat every morsel available so she wouldn’t have to be gracious and share with him. Then they would take up opposite corners of the big sunny window and nap. That was their socializing. :)

    Our dog–because she’s an only puppy (albeit a 100 lb. puppy) is much the same. She only eats dog food a couple of times a day–about five p.m and midnight–eating half her food the first time, then finishing the rest at the second dinner. She’ll eat hours old, probably stale food with no problem, but while her only goal in life is to aim to please, whenever her dogfood manufacturer changes/discontinues the recipe she loves, it can take weeks before she’s eating normally again. We had no such trouble with the dogs I had growing up, but my father didn’t let those dogs in the house and we always had at least two.

    I think I spoil my pets that are “only” children :)

    But in our human household, my husband is the “what did I eat here last time?” eater and I’m the adventurous diner. I’ll try anything at least once :)

  2. I’m the adventurous type of eater, within reason. I’ll try any vegetarian combinations, but I’m less daring with meats, especially seafoods. I’ll taste anything, but usually order something chicken. After moving to a farm as a pre-teen, I saw what ‘eat like an animal’ really looked like. My sons’ pets are always spoiled, requiring special ‘sensitive’ formulas.

    1. I’m always asking a ton of questions to the poor servers…and I hardly order fish in restaurants, unless is deep fried calamari…my new book will have a vegetarian recipe. Will send you a copy when it’s ready.

  3. LOL! What you said about cats having human household help is so true. I have some friends who have two beautiful Russian Blue sisters. They consider their humans to be their personal staff. I stayed with them for a couple of months a few years ago while one (of the humans) had surgery and I became the designated provider of food and water. To this day, when I visit them, one of the cats will come meowing to me when the food or water dish need replenishing, knowing I’m a soft touch.

    Every dog I ever had (or friends had) lived for chow time and would Hoover their food the instant they could get to it…with one exception. My ex and I had a totally sweet little poodle who would gradually eat his food over the course of a day. We had to break him of the habit of getting a mouthful of kibble in the kitchen where his food and water bowls were and chew it over the shag carpet in the living room, though.

    I’m a fairly adventurous eater when going to a new restaurant for the first few times and will try new things (especially new kinds of meat) but I eventually, if not quickly, settle on a favorite and order it all the time when I go there. One of the servers at a Mexican food restaurant I frequent (more like haunt) has memorized both my eat in and take out orders and has even memorized the phone number I use in place of their rewards card. I avoid the chains when I eat out when on the road so I can have new experiences.

    1. This is interesting, every comment is from an adventurous eater..I’m obviously the minority here…and yeah…the cats…I guess the are picky eaters like MOI…Thanks for posting…

  4. I’m not an adventurous eater either. While others I’m with will order unusual food and try each others choices, if I don’t see anything “safe”, I’ll opt for the kids menu, even if it’s a grilled cheese sandwich and fruit.

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