THOUGHTS WHILE DOWNWIND OF THE CAT-FOOD FACTORY

There were two things everyone knew about

the cat-food factory: one, it smelled really bad,

even driving by; the other amazing fact:

the taster was a human being. If that’s hard

to believe, tell me—would you expect cats

to run the laboratory kitchen at the plant?

.

A cat’s brain is the size of the brain of an octopus.

Would you assign lab work to an octopus, for all

its prehensile limbs? No, a human palate and brain

are needed to determine flavor and consistency:

Is there enough hog liver in this batch? The proper note

of muskiness? Have these fish guts fermented sufficiently?

.

We imagined the need for expertise even greater

when developing the elegant brands, huge salaries

tempting Parisian chefs to oversee the fancy little cans.

We never met the cat-food taster, but I always thought

while driving by: To us it’s a nauseating odor;

to him it’s a craft, a calling, an art.

 

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