I Am A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of The Feed Store

Prior to moving to the Manor, I shelled out money for standard dry cat food, whatever cans of wet cat food happened to be on sale at Grocery Outlet, and some sort of Normal cat litter. There was also a little finch seed-mix for the bird who thinks she’s a human, and algae wafers for the sea serpent. Occasionally various toys for these folks would be purchased. And, naturally, there were the periodic panicked trips to the vet. The realm of eccentricity had undoubtedly been entered, but not rulerso extensively that there was any serious question about whether I might not be better off in a Home.

Which is clearly the case today.

For, today, a year or so into the Manor, I am a captive of the demonic feed store that squats like Satan directly across the street.

There, for the cats, I purchase this grain-free Taste of the Wild dry cat food that costs as much as cocaine, a cat litter that consists of precious stones gathered from the beaches of the Aegean Sea, and cans of wet “cat food” composed solely of ingredients like flakes of wild salmon, or ahi tuna sprinkled with shredded crab . . . which is basically the sort of fare people eat after they’ve waited a year or so for a table at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry there in Napa.

There is still the finch mix for the bird, but now there must also be a different-one seed mix for the wild birds . . . which I broke down and started buying after I noticed one such bird desultorily kicking through the squirrel mix, because there just wasn’t enough there that she found suitable. The squirrel mix is of course for the squirrels. The squirrels also require mass quantities of whole peanuts in the shell, which they share with the scrub jays. The latter have buried about 10,000 of these nuts out in the yard: they are winged doomsday preppers.

Then there are the welfare recipients. These require wet cob, which is a sumptuous mix of corn, oats, barley, and molasses. Also, alfalfa. Also, a salt lick. Also, later this year, a Shelter, because I cannot go through another winter of them staring at me with those doe eyes, through the wind and the rain and the sleet, even though it is a Known Science Fact that they do not Suffer in such elements.

Meanwhile, the mixing of the sugar-water for the hummingbirds. And still the algae for the sea serpent.

There are many ancillary costs. Such as the $75 I recently expended to have my boots resoled, because I wore them out walking back and forth to the feed store. Which also offers many toys and related doodads that somehow end up here after nearly every visit to that accursed edifice.

Last Friday I went totally insane and marched across the street to the feed store intending to return with a cat. This adolescent feline, caged, had been pleading with me over the past week or so to induct him into the Manor. Ultimately, I altered my brain chemistry sufficiently to agree to this. However, it developed that some other nutbag had walked out with the fellow a mere two hours before I weaved into the place. My condition remains so severe that I informed the feed-store ladies that if for some reason this cat reappeared, I Must Have Him.

In the normal course of things, I don’t budget. I am missing that gene. I just get some money, and then I spend it. When it starts to run low, I do a little work, to get some more money, and then I spend that. Rinse, repeat.

However, as an experiment, I recently totaled up how much I spent on these people over a month. And discovered that they are consuming about 117.1% of my disposable income.

I need a Grant. Or a Keeper.

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35 Responses to “I Am A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of The Feed Store”


  1. 1 possum April 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    The title must be a rhetorical question. All us who feed the local creatures are owned the same way.

    • 2 bluenred April 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      I think it’s sort of just acknowledging one’s condition. Sort of like, “Hi, I’m Bill, and I’m an alcoholic.” : /

      • 3 possum April 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm

        The similarities at remarkable. Thank goodness there are lots of you out there. Keeps the Possum family well fed.

        • 4 bluenred April 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

          I’ve been waiting for the possums to return, but so far this spring they’re a no-show. When they do amble by, I don’t think they eat of any of the mountains of stuff I put out for the other people. I actually have to go across the street to the Demonic Edifice right now: I will ask if they have a special possum mix. No doubt they do, and no doubt I will buy it. ; )

  2. 11 mieprowan April 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I offered to foster more kittens the other day. This is kind of like volunteering to work for the cocaine dealer.

    • 12 possum April 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Spring has sprung and the breeding season is upon us. Kittens galore. 🙂

      • 13 mieprowan April 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Well, oddly enough, the age range I’m looking at (5-8 weeks) haven’t been showing up at the shelter yet. This is a Mystery.

        The idea is to get them out of the stressful shelter environment until they are twelve weeks old and can get their first shots, and in the process socialize them during this critical period. This doesn’t necessarily work out in practice, when things are crowded. I had the last bunch around until they were four or five months old, and all got spayed and neutered, and then the shelter cats really thinned out late in the year, and the ones I didn’t keep were all adopted quickly.

        But I do find myself watching the shelter webpage, page, in case any of them are ever returned. This may not be a good idea.

        • 14 possum April 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm

          Some shelters are not so enlightened as others. You are on the right track and may need to educate others.

          • 15 mieprowan April 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm

            No, they’re excellent. There just haven’t been any young kittens so far this year. Usually by now they are overrun.

            • 16 possum April 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm

              Maybe climate change is making things run late.

              • 17 mieprowan April 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm

                I figure it’s one of two things. Either their ten years of subsidizing spay/neuter is finally paying off, or it’s indirectly related to the rabies epidemic of the last few years, which has resulted in their suspending their TNR feral cat program and instead trapping and euthanizing ferals, because they are terrified that the rabies will transfer from the skunk population into the feral cat population, which is huge.

                To the extent that there are fewer feral cats, there may be more of a market for available kittens, because people like cats for rodent control. But that’s just a shot in the dark, and of course it would be much better if the former is the case. Usually these sorts of efforts do work, and much sooner, but humans here are resistant.

                • 18 possum April 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

                  Lots of studies say TNR has no effect on the population.

                  • 19 mieprowan April 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

                    When feral cats are removed from one territory, more feral cats tend to move in. I don’t know that anybody is arguing that TNR reduces numbers of feral cats, or that anything will do so other than instituting a program of shooting them on sight.

                    What TNR does is affect the quality of the population. Neutered cats are quieter and they are given shots when neutered, which brings down the disease vector level somewhat. Ultimately a large regional population of neutered cats might well gradually decrease populations in numbers, but the sticking point is trap-shy intact cats, who then operate to fill any available niches.

                    TNR thus represents an effort to deal with the problems presented by ferals, and public resistance towards treating them like other species of wildlife that are shot or otherwise killed without as much outcry. Resentment towards TNR seems to be mostly about thinking that if people are going to go to the effort of trapping them, they should not be putting them back. These people do not generally work at high-kill animal shelters. Most people who do work at high-kill animal shelters don’t work there for long, either. It’s bad for one’s mental health, to say the least.

    • 20 bluenred April 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      So—you too need an intervention. ; )

    • 26 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) May 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      That deserves to be on some list of greatest quotes.

  3. 27 sally April 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    OH, MY GAWD– I have always loved bluenred for his many, many manias and because he obviously so loves all creatures– and also because he can write an incredible blog like the above. BUT NOW I am in love with ALL you crazy creature lovers who overspend budgets and have written the mad bits I just read. I feel inadequate as a wildlife savior for not many creatures venture into this wasteland I now occupy. I do buy an expensive Audubon brand bird seed for the few weird things that fly about me– and you must forgive me, for in my dotage, I can not bear the pain of losing another cat in this lifetime. And who believes me when I say I am often visited by the many ghost cats I once loved –even Old Scum. They purr for me and occasionally lick my fingers, but they require no feeding. Bless all of you for your divine goodness… Namaste -xoxox.

    • 28 bluenred April 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      I think it is probable that most or all of the regular readers, or at least commentators, on this here blog, are people who are Controlled by animals. (And you’re without doubt one of them.)

      And, as Pike says in The Wild Bunch: “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    • 29 mieprowan April 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Sally: one of the upsides of all this is whenever I feel inclined to whine to myself that I don’t have a life, I have to stop and think, “Well, for something that isn’t a life, this surely involves a lot of life.”

      A small thing, but it’s ours. I love it that you had a cat named Old Scum. That’s as good as blueness having one named Bites.

  4. 30 jumar63 April 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I have recently begun my yearly tadpole rescue. Not quite in the scope of mammals, but it’s effort to scew the frog/toad population to the plus side. my family thinks I’m nuts!

  5. 31 sally April 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    One of a thousand green, squirmy tadpoles
    In one of a thousand murkied water mudholes
    Trapped with modern weapon and clever plan,
    The sneak attack with a pork’n’bean can.
    The fascinating creature lay still, but untame,
    Though we touched him and offered him a name.
    He showed tolerance of intolerable human fun,
    Accepting ‘Shakespeare’ as his place in the sun.
    We flipped little sippery back to his home,
    To black oozing mud and bubbling white foam.
    Into green, green four-leafed watercress,
    Back into the bilge of his total happiness.
    Still much aware of our unwanted nearness,
    The mite flexed his tail, bold and fearless.
    As the many others scampered away disturbed,
    Shakespeare now suffered our touch unperturbed.
    Did he remember when lying in the palm of my hand,
    A strange kinship of some since forgotten land?
    Was there understanding on a small bug-eyed face,
    of the love of a human for one of the tadpole race?
    mmc 1955

  6. 33 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) May 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    My cats will only consume Purina Naturals. Anything else I give them, even if it is fancy and more expensive, they eschew. I have no idea why.

    We recently started purchasing special food for the local birds, because the regular stuff we were giving them caused them to swing the feeder wildly, depositing its contents on the deck, where they would then begin to peck through for the pieces they actually liked. It’s kind of a wonder our apartment managers didn’t yell at us for the “mess” since they considered a moonflower plant too destructive to twine up the railing.

    As for your deer shelter, you could always install a cat door, if you could make it raccoon-proof. I think it’s really sweet that you have adopted deer.


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