Sunday, May 22, 2011

Freeze Dried Haddock: An Endorsement

We have a cat named Max. I try to refrain from talking about him too much on this blog, because my irrational love of this fuzzy mammal starts to make me sound like a crazy cat lady. Plus, this is supposed to be a food/archaeology blog. I will start this blog post by clarifying a few things. Yes, Max is incredibly spoiled. No, we only have one cat, he does not eat at the table with us. I promise he has no clothing and I try to avoid anthropomorphizing him.

Believe it or not this blog post is about food (sort of).

At a very, fancy, very ridiculous pet store in Chapel Hill, we discovered Max's favorite treat. This is something I need to tell other cat owners about as a public service. Firstly, I need to make a point of saying we do not make a habit of frequenting this ridiculous yuppie pet store. Max has plenty of toys and he eats a regular mainstream(ish) cat food. We first went in there when Max was a small kitten and I was feeling empowered by my ability to finally buy cat stuff (I wanted this kitten for a long while before I obtained him).

Wow, look at that kitten

Now we mostly just go there to get this product. It is called Simple Catch for Cats and it is a giant bag of dried haddock chunks.

As far as I can tell, these chunks of fish have not been processed much at all. Just caught off the Icelandic coast and dried. Then packed up for my fuzz to enjoy. Warning, they smell like fishy grossness and handling requires hand washing.

A piece of haddock, an incredibly hard picture to take. I am fending off the cat with one hand.

Before you judge me too harshly for feeding my cat wild caught Icelandic haddock, know this is a sometimes food for him and a bag lasts a very long time. When you read this illustrated reaction to the treat being offered you will understand why we do it.

Note: Max is normally a fairly aloof creature who deigns to allow us to occasionally worship him. Crazy abandon is reserved for haddock treats only.

Max getting haddock fillets:
1.) The bag rustles and no matter where Max is in the house he hears this and is able to tell the haddock is on the move. He does not react like this from the movement of any other plastic bag, including is other (less desirable) treats. Max immediately comes running meowing intensely.

2.) The bag opens and the intensity of meowing increases. Max immediately begins jumping and attempting to decrease his distance from the bag.

3.) A treat is removed and Max jumps to obtain the treat.

Note the look of intensity

4.) Rather than immediately eating the treat in an exposed position, Max takes the precious fish away to somewhere safe and munches happily.

Cat thought "I am so exposed up here, must retreat to lower ground"
So much safer down here... (from what, we may never know)

5.) Max returns to either the human or the bag (if the human has been so stupid as to leave the bag accessible) to attempt to obtain more. He has been known to attempt bag capture. Presumably he is trying to take the bag somewhere safe where he can work out the problem of opening it in peace.

See the cat in the right of this picture, he is waiting for me to let down my guard so he can carry off his prize.

6.) Human must hide the bag, preferably in an airtight container. Max is not very intelligent, but he is just smart enough to find it and feast.

This all sounds funny, and I assure you Derek and I find it really amusing, but to Max haddock is no game. It is a serious procurement of food and it is wonderful to watch.

That is why all cat owners must find out how to get this. If you live in the Chapel Hill area, Phydeaux, by the Whole Foods carries it. If you have a dog, I believe the product is also marketed to dogs. I cannot vouch for the canine reaction. I can say, I gave some of this stuff to a friend for his cat and Orange Peel was also smitten.

Oh by the way, in case anyone read this, then thinks this is the kind of blog where people might pay me to hawk products, it isn't. I am not entirely sure anyone reads my nonsense. But in case someone does this was not sponsored, I just love watching my fuzz go crazy and think every cat owner should have that chance.


  1. I just bought some dried pollack (for myself) at my local Korean Supermarket. I usually buy it at a Russian supermarket, but this store had it and I bought it. Turns out, no salt at all, not a fan. Was trying to find a use for it, so I googled it's uses. Got this blog post. Offered up a bit to my siamese. Ringing endorsement. It was only $3.84 for the tray. Good to know it won't go to waste.

    1. I am so glad another cat got to enjoy freeze dried fish! I will have to look into my local Korean market as a source. Great idea.