In Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye”, Elliot Gould plays the role of detective Philip Marlowe. He was woken up in the early hours by his hungry cat. He discovers that there is no leftover of his favorite cat food for kitty.
He leaves to find Courry’s dummy cat food. There is nothing in the local store. At home again, he tries to trick the cat by putting on another Courry brand and then getting rid of it. The cat, of course, wins the nonverbal stare by saying, “What do you think, stupid?”
As soon as this column hit my doorstep last Saturday (the column where I discussed pet food shortages) three people called me with their version of the shortage. I offer my sincere thanks.
The first person who did not want to be identified. Her edited writing follows.
“Three years ago, I adopted Axel from the Moscow Humane Society. He was rescued as a two-week-old cat from an abandoned shed. He was weaned to Fancy Feast Ocean White Fish and Tuna pate. When I adopted him at 10 weeks old, I was told that Axel had gotten used to that sign. Specific business of food.
“Once in a while I would try to introduce him to other types of cat food. Don’t go. Once he went for three days without eating the fine food I gave him. Well, I relented and bought him his favorite food.”
“For the past several months, I’ve had a hard time finding the only cat food that Axl eats. This is causing me some stress! In fact, last week I’ve been eating one packet of cat food and have spent most of one morning driving to Safeway, Rosauers and Walmart In search of his dinner. Nothing – the shelves were empty of any kind of cat food. I finally registered 24 cans at Winco. My relief was tangible!”
The second response came from Meg Kelly. She wrote, “My dog loves Merrick’s canned food with his food at every meal, pets are people too and she has run out for a few months now and now seems to have completely run out.”
She went on to say that she really liked the store and didn’t mean any criticism towards the merchant. Instead, she worried that they might have trouble getting the product.
The final response from Will Beans came with the photo above taken on October 25, which shows empty shelves in his Safeway store in Port Angeles, Washington. He took the pictures a couple of days before the shaft was put into operation. My first response was, Wow!
On Monday, at the Rosauers in Moscow, I walked the pet food aisle. There were already some empty shelves for some foods. Most of these foods were canned, not dry foods.
Overall, I think it’s easy to say, I stand corrected. There is an immediate shortage of pet food, at least here on a regional level.
The Eastsider in Los Angeles published a story and photos on October 20. Hollywood grocery stores are barefoot, but specialty pet stores still have panties. Reporter Barry Lank got a response from Dana Brooks, president of the Pet Food Institute, describing the problem.
Availability of transportation and drivers, as well as weather incidents, can affect the movement of components and finished products across the country. This could be further compounded by regulatory and commercial developments that ripple the supply chain, such as government incentives for renewable diesel affecting the pet food ingredients market and delaying cargo ships in America’s ports.”
Well, blame the weather. Blame those regulations, regulations and business issues. Oh yeah, take a hit on the renewable diesel, too. And don’t forget those cargo ships at anchor. I think you can translate this well.
Powell He is the Communications Officer at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, which serves this column as a community service. For questions or concerns about animals you’d like to read about, email email@example.com.