I should write about the riots, although I’m frankly fed up with them. Rioting to change police corruption or brutality won’t work. It didn’t work when Rodney King was beaten, it won’t work now. We can pass feel good laws, but it won’t change anything until the government is held accountable. Not the federal government, this isn’t about Trump, not really. Okay conspiracy theories with maybe a small point aside, it isn’t about Trump. Police brutality was happening long before he took office and that it was being permitted is an indicator of corruption at the city, county, and state levels. Look there for correction.
Okay, enough of that, back to what I see as a much larger issue: cat food. Actually, people food first. Back up, Covid.
I went to the dentist the other day and was stunned by the woman who did my X-rays. She laid a stunning bit of wisdom on me:
“This whole coronavirus thing is completely blown out of proportion. It isn’t dangerous, not really, we would have known long before now. I mean it’s been around a long time. It’s been listed on the backs of Lysol and Clorox Wipes cans since long before this scare started so obviously they knew about it already.”
I wasn’t sure where to begin. How can we be 6 months in and this woman not know that coronavirus is a family of viruses? That’s why in the beginning it was frequently called novel coronavirus. The media went out of their way to make it clear this was a new one. And this interaction, in a place where people are dutifully wearing their masks and washing their hands even though at least one X-ray tech doesn’t actually understand why, partially explains why the U.S. is having problems nationally with the population doing what it needs to keep this in check. Yes, many people are good little citizens and are doing what they’re told, but if they don’t understand why they’re doing it, they may not be doing it correctly. I’m thinking of the mask fiasco. Not the people refusing to wear them, at least we can see they’re a problem, I’m talking about people wearing ineffective masks: masks that don’t seal around the edges so air is leaking out the tops, bottoms, and sides; and the masks with exhalation valves that allow pre-symptomatic people to freely infect everyone around them.
Obviously there’s more to this problem, but that’s not what I want to chat about. Aside from lack of basic understanding (our poor education system coming home to roost), we also have levels of bureaucracy in this country that would make hell proud. The food being produced, yet going to waste because we can’t divert it to where it’s needed? Insane. And is that a situation that’s being addressed? Hmm. Oddly I’m seeing a lot of articles about entire crops rotting in the ground, but very few about how farmers have found a way to get their crops to the grocery stores. Now that some restaurants are opening maybe that will sort itself out, but the grocery stores still have limits on how much of some items you can purchase.
And this leads to what I wanted to discuss, although I really should have brought this up in January. Plant a garden. If you can. Some things are pretty easy to grow. I personally find zucchini/summer squash to be absurdly easy and tomatoes to be pretty simple as well. I’m hit and miss on cucumbers, it depends on the year. Potatoes are easy if you have some that have sprouted on their own in the pantry. At this point you can’t start with seeds, you’d have to go to a nursery and buy plants. And it’s getting late even for that because it’s getting hot in some places.
Gardening can extend your budget if food prices keep climbing, and ensure that you have some produce if scarcity or limits continue to be or once again become an issue. But it takes time and effort. And if you haven’t gardened before, it isn’t always as easy as it seems. Some crops are a bitch. If you have a neighbor that gardens don’t be shy – ask for advice. Some soil is good for some crops and not others and a gardening neighbor would know. If you need to improve your soil, or just give up and go with container gardening or raised beds (I had to do raised beds), knowing that up front saves a lot of frustration.
Now we get down to the important part: cat food. Gardening will not feed your cat. Also, don’t plant catnip. I know you may be tempted to home grow a little treat for Jingles, but let me tell you: not worth it on so many levels. You’ll attract every cat in the neighborhood – for about 10 seconds – the length of time it takes for them to strip that plant of every leaf and leave you with a pathetic twig sticking out of the ground. If you manage to not attract every cat in the area it’s because there are multiple strains of catnip and you bought one that no one likes. Likely your cat included. Congratulations. Now if you see catnip at the nursery (Lowe’s had it, I bought it, and my cats liked it, so I went back and bought more) you can grow it just fine in a sunny window, away from marauding neighborhood cats. I set one down for my babies to love for a few days, then switch it for another, so each plant gets a little abuse but not so much that it can’t take it.
Sorry, this isn’t about catnip.
Cats are carnivores so you can’t feed them the fruits of your labor. If you need to stretch your budget, however, they can eat meat trimmings you have. Most cats will even love you for the thought. Some cats don’t do well with lunchmeat (very processed) and canned tuna has mercury, so maybe limit that. Cat food isn’t cheap, although I got off really easy with the accidental discovery that Jingles doesn’t like canned moist cat food, but does like dry cat food with gravy over it. When I make dinner that has gravy, I make extra for her. Weird, right? The kittens are coming around to her way of thinking, mostly because they want to be like her and it’s annoying her immensely. That’s going to leave me with a flat of moist cat food, I just know it. Oh well, the strays will appreciate it.
Anyway, the point of this is that we may be dealing with the coronavirus issue with related inconveniences and oddities for a while yet so plan accordingly. Consider planting a garden so you have fresh vegetables and save money over the summer that can be put toward stockpiling cat food. Plan ahead.