I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those fancy-pet-food people, but over Christmas Hope and Matt turned me on to this stuff called the Missing Link. It’s a supplement for dogs and for cats that’s full of omega-3 oils and freeze-dried liver and things. Because everyone was having issues with their coats, I switched all the animals from Science Diet to California Naturals, which Hope and Matt also raved about. Then I bought some Missing Link as well — and I discovered that they also have a formula for cats.The dogs have hair issues sometimes — Raymond is nervous by temperament, and the hair on his neck tends to disappear during times of stress. Owen’s hair got sort of burned-looking at the end of the summer; I thought it was just sunburn, but the vet suggested Science Diet’s sensitive skin formula (just writing that makes me feel like the biggest yuppie on earth). But it helped, so I figured if that worked, and if Hope and Matt’s vet is such a fan of both the California Naturals and the Missing Link stuff, I might as well give it a try. It’s been a hit. The dogs like it, and their coats have gotten very fluffy (which considering how much time we’re all spending in a pile these days, is a good thing). But the real miracle pet has been my cat, Patsy.
Patsy is fourteen, and, well, ornery. She’s always had coat issues — she sheds more than the two dogs put together, and the fur on her hindquarters in particular, tends to come out in clumps. I always thought this was just the way she was, but the prospect of sprinkling a little powder on her food and not having so much hair all over my house, well, that was appealing. It’s been about six weeks and not only is her coat all, well, fabulous, but she’s playing again. I hadn’t noticed that she’d stopped playing, that she’d stopped bugging me and jumping on things, knocking stuff over, etc. I hadn’t realized how sedentary she’d become, how she was slowing down until this afternoon when she jumped into a shelf I’d emptied and started fooling around with an old paper clip. She was perkier than she’s looked in ages. I even made her a new version of her favorite toy — the wine cork on a string — and we had a rousing game of chase-the-cork. She’s all shiny and gorgeous — she’s a calico and I can now see her pretty oranges and blacks again. But most of all she seems demonstrably healthier than she has in a long time. So, I guess it’s fancy food for her from now on. Who knew?
And despite feeling like a big old yuppie for feeding my pets fancy-dan food, I figure if I don’t eat processed food, and don’t feed processed food to my friends, then why would I feed it to my pets? (Of course, this is precisely the argument the pet food people use to suck in people like me.) But it’s an extravagence I can afford, and the animals seem so much happier — they’re certainly all glossier.