Every day this year I’m challenging myself to publish one blog post and write 1000 words towards a short-story. This post is part of that challenge. You can check out my live word count here and send me encouragement or give me a kick up the rear. You can also check out all of the blog posts so far.
There are certain milestones in everyone’s life when you feel time working against you. When you realise that you’re drifting further from the youth culture that you were once so closely attached to. When you start thinking all music sounds the same and is being played far too loud to be able to appreciate the melody.
Snapchat was the first time I realised age was creeping up on me. Before Snapchat (BSC) I was a young man, passionate about technology wanting to try everything and jumping on every app, every new smartphone, every new social network and gadget. If it was new I had to get it, be involved.
Snapchat was the first time I didn’t get it, and still don’t. It was the first time I felt I’d crossed the yearning chasm of youth and was looking back from the other side. It was the first time that I realised Facebook was for the old people (anyone over 25) and that I would never again feel the excitement of feeling a part of something new; instead I would be worried about things like privacy, GDPR, and wasting time.
I gleefully spoke to a group of teenagers about Facebook, expecting them all be experts but instead discovered that not only did they not have accounts, but they preferred Instagram to socialise with their friends. It’s just for photos!
Yes, there are things like Trump and Brexit which I will never fully understand and took me by surprise, but they didn’t knock my consciousness like the Snapchat revelation. But Snapchat wasn’t the last time I would be knocked sideways by my failing youth.
And yesterday it happened again.
I was walking through my local supermarket looking to buy a box of cat food. You know, meat in a can, standard cat food, the type domesticated felines have consumed since the Sphinx was built.
I entered the cat food isle, came to the relevant shelf, and out of the corner of my eye saw this:
It’s cat soup. Soup…for a cat. Ramen for a Russian blue. And not just “normal” cat soup, “Classic Cat Soup”. You know, the type of soup your grandma’s cat ate.
I thought, this is very strange. Has the world developed at such a pace that felines now require a tepid meaty broth to the usual meat and dry kibble? Surely this is a trial, a marketing test to see if customers are willing to buy that’s cats fish soup. Surely in a month’s time the marketing director of Sheba will be called back into the board room and chastised for coming up with such a ridiculous concept, “It was worth a punt, Julian, be no-one’s buying it.”
But no, all the big cat food brands are making the same type of product. I struggled to get it through my head; there is enough demand for cat soup for all the big cat food brands to justify making the stuff. One of them even has noodles in it. Cat noodles.
How did this happen? How did millions of years of feline evolution result in cats suddenly requiring soup in 2019? Trump. Brexit. Russian invasion of Ukraine. Cat soup.