Saturday, March 31, 2007

My House Reeks of Tuna

I'm sure you've heard about the gigantic pet food recall, following the news that dogs and cats across the country have become ill or died from kidney failure. The recall was for Menu Foods, which manufacters animal food for a shocking number of brands--basically every brand of pet food you've every heard of.

When the recall was initially announced, they were only able to say the illnesses coincided with a new supplier of wheat gluten, an ingredient in animal food. (Sidebar: I had never given it much thought, but this recall, along with Miss Kitty's decline in health due to chronic kidney failure, has brought to light that most commercial animal food is filled with grain that animals can't digest. Yes, even "high quality" brands like Science Diet and Eukanaba have grain as one of the top three ingredients. Pet food sites mention often that wild dogs and cats eat no grain whatsoever, and subside solely on animal protein. The second ingredient of the brand I bought for Miss Kitty for years and years, Nutro Max Lite for Over-fed and Under-Exercised Housecats is ground rice. Now I buy Innova for Rickety Old Bags with less grain in it.)

I was doing my usual perusal of the FDA website, when I read that they discovered melamine in the wheat gluten. The word melamine tickled at my brain. I knew I have heard that word but I couldn't connect it to food. I did a google search and realized why I was not able to make the leap from melamine to anything you would feed to a living being. Melamine is a resin used to make plastic plates and freaking Formica furniture. How in the hell melamine got mixed in with wheat gluten, I can't begin to imagine.

Miss Kitty's appetite really varies, so I've tried a trick recommended on one of the many feline kidney failure sites: pour tuna water all over everything. This works really well, but I am left with all these containers of drained tuna. If I ate all the tuna for which MK drank the tuna water, I would probably die of mercury poisoning in a week. Perhaps I should go to an elementary school with a giant Tupperware on tuna melt day and beg for the dregs of their institutional food service can of tuna so I can go home and try to convince my cat to eat.

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