So I go to the pet store, park next to the owner’s Jaguar my monthly cat food and treats bill is paying for, and I ask about Purina Kumquat and Quiona cat food. He says he’s got some in the back. A few minutes later he comes out with a 20 pound bag of Purina Cat Chow. Written in red marker is “Kumquat and Quinoa.”
“How many do you need?” he asks.
I tell him I need three, but that’s not the issue right now. “Why is Kumquat and Quiona written in red on a regular Purina Cat Chow bag?”
“What’d you mean?” he says.
I said,”Look at it. Somebody wrote ‘Kumquat and Quiona’ on that Purina Cat Chow bag.”
So he looked at the bag and said, “Well, sure. At the plant. It’s somebody’s job. This is a special order mix.They use regular bags and write ‘Kumquat and Quiona’ on the bag. It’s a special order. From Tangiers. Best Kumquats in the world are from Tangiers. What? You need three?”
Now I’m intrigued. “What about the Quiona?” I ask.
“I’ll be honest with you,” he says. “It’s only so-so. But the Kumquats make up for it. Best Kumquats in the world are from Tangiers.”
Then I notice that the price of $29.75 is crossed out and $43.50 in written in red marker. “Whoa. Hold on there,” I said. “Why is this stuff so expensive?”
“Well, you know, it’s a special order. Kumquat and Quiona. Kumquat’s from Tangiers. Best in the world.”
“I guess,” I said, “but it still seems kinda high.”
“Well, I mean, Tangiers is way, um, way over, ahh, you know, there.” He waved two fingers in a direction I think was NorthWest.
“But the price printed on the bag is crossed out and the higher price is written over in red marker.”
“Like I said, it’s a special order. That’s the Purina special order pricing system.”
“A red marker?”
“Or blue sometimes, yeah. I’m almost positive these bags are hand-labelled in Tangiers by Tangerines. Very rare these bags. You can sell the empty bags on eBay to Purina collectors.”
So what could I do? The cats had allergies and this was the food they needed. While the owner went to get two more bags, I used my phone to transfer some money into my checking account from my mom’s nursing home account. Then I made a note to transfer her to a cheaper place. I'm sure they've fixed up that one that was on the news last year.
I loaded up the food, tossed in a dozen catnip stuffed toy mice and nine batteries for the laser pointer. Mom will understand. She had three cats in a one bedroom apartment when she had me.