December 11, 2021

Great Cats! Should She Be Canned?


Great Cats! Should She Be Canned?
Canny kitties can always find a good can | Abeer Zaki on Unsplash

Shall I slag off the bravery and gumption of adventurous journalist Olga Afanaseva and ask, “What kind of a burning question is the quality of cat food?”

No, no I shan’t, because on November 28, Afanaseva herself tested ten brands of feline vittles to determine which would best nourish our darling comrades for a report in Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The journalist chose to aid creatures who serve many not only as moral support, great entertainment, and part-time therapists, but also as independent and stubborn role models in a world hostile to those who are not afraid to turn up their tails and chase the fresh stink of the day.

The food ranged in price from 20 to 90 rubles (about $0.25 - $1.25 USD) and included brands such as Kitikat, Whiskas, Felix, Royal Canin, and Proplan. Gastroentologist Anna Mateevna assured Afanaseva that the cat food is prepared with meat, bones, and offal from the same farms that provide the fixings for human recipes. In the United States, she added, there is even a law that requires any cat food to prepared with ingredients that are suitable for human consumption. How is that for good stuff?

The journalist’s explorations revealed that some brands were, truly, unpalatable for human sensibilities. One smelled appetizing but came away leaving her wanting for taste; another was like “cheap dumplings with soy,” and the fancier brands tended to be more neutral in flavor. Others, however, were just as delicious as the meat pâté you might find in a more refined grocery aisle.

Veterinarian Alexander Samsonov gave an expert opinion on why much of the food came off as so tasteless, even if the aroma might be appealing. “The [meals] are not salted, no spices are added. We can say that food for cats is made of better quality, nothing is masking the taste of meat… Economy class pouches (food bags) add a lot of flavors… The food smells more appetizing, but cats often give off an allergic reaction to this and the treatment costs a pretty penny. Premium food will be almost tasteless, and there is a lot of protein. But they still try to make the aroma attractive to the animal - hence the various sauces.”

Afanaseva’s conclusion?

Her cats eat better than she does.

Perhaps this is deserved! We mustn’t forget that, as divisive in today’s society as the creatures might be, they do know how to sniff out a good rat.

 

You Might Also Like

Akhmatova's Cat Goes Missing
  • October 20, 2021

Akhmatova's Cat Goes Missing

After a brief scare, the oldest cat at the poet Anna Akhmatova's museum in St. Petersburg has returned safely back home. 
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955