Original post date: 19 October 2014
No such thing as a free lunch? Without begging I differ.
Whilst I would love to see fresh chicken meat making a more frequent appearance on the menu, it is Purina Cat Chow what I mostly find in my feeding bowl. Purina is a brand from the Swiss company Nestlé that started out with selling condensed milk and food for small, not finished yet humans. It made it’s fame with chocolate products such as KitKat and Nesquick and is now the world largest food producing company. And you thought Switzerland only produced clocks, cheese-fondues, banks and guards…
I’m not complaining about the Purina food. Au contraire: I love it! I could eat it every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner…which I do.
They even have a loyalty programme. In exchange for selling your soul to the canine creatures of the marketing department you “earn points”, which – once you have enough – are redeemable for fantastic products without which your life would be incomplete.
Your phone number is worth 100 points, you get 500 points for signing up to a mailinglist, and even simply logging in adds a whopping 10 points to your tally.
And it is all worth it! Who could live without a yoga mat (think cats, think yoga. Naturally.) for 118.000 points? A downloadable picture for your desktop-background will set you back 1000 points, and a mousepad (insert quirky reference to mice here) is all yours for only 25.000 points. By the way: those pictures for your desktop are called “digital downloads”. Seriously. As if there are also non-digital downloads. Silly Swiss.
Loyalty programmes come a dime a dozen (just have a browse through all the plastic-fantastic cards in your wallet), but what I like about this one is that even buying a bag of food earns you points. So I can literally eat my way to a vacuum cleaner for sucking up my hairballs (1.500.000 points). And since eating one bag of food is worth 1500 points, by then that sooper-dooper-pooper-scooper (21.000 points) definitely will be needed.
Now, the thing that made me scratch my head, was a flea. I was also pondering about the following:
It takes me almost a month to eat my way through one bag. Even if I would start to behave more like Garfield or Simon’s Cat it would drastically set back my napping time – not to mention my waistline – if I tried to do it in two weeks. Regardless, if we count two weeks per bag of 1500 points, then it would take 500 months before my hairballs could be removed from the – by then undoubtedly well-stained – carpet. That’s almost 42 years!
42 years! What in the name of life, the universe and everything do those silly Swiss think the average life expectancy of felines is?!? The answer is of course that it greatly depends on lifestyle, diet, yadda yadda yadda, but 21 years is a good ballpark number. Isn’t it therefore very strange that they do not allow you to register for their loyalty programme unless you are 18 or older? That leaves me with about 3 years to earn points, if I’m lucky! I tell you: the only thing that these age-verification things do, is teaching me how to subtract 18 from the current year.
But back to the points (oh my, I’m so funny). Of course, there are rewards that don’t cost as many points as the vacuum cleaner. However, the other rewards you can choose from (there are 13 in total) require quite a bit of nibbling as well, have a look:
The Big Nestlé/Purina Munch-o-Meter
Yoga Mat: 3 years 4 months
sooper-dooper-pooper-scooper: 7 months
Vacuum Cleaner: 41 years 8 months
Throw Blanket: 3 years 1 month
Navy Zip Hoodie: 2 years 9 months
Hanging Scratcher: 15 months
Catnap Pillow: 1 year
Free bag of food: 10 months
Feeding Bowl: 10 months
Mouse Pad: 8.3 months
Picture Frame: 7.6 months
Desktop Picture (download): 2 weeks
The most interesting reward from this list – according to moi, of course – is the free food. Once I have Oliver Twisted my way through 20 bags of food in 10 months time, the 21st bag is on da house. Ya baby! Another way of looking at this, is that Purina is giving away another 5% discount on their food. Baby ya!
Now, if you want to enrol yourself in this fantastic loyalty programme, tell your pets to use this link:
You don’t even have to be owned by a feline nor canine. Just sign up. Consider yourself thanked. After all, I don’t have 42 years and each referral is another welcome 100 points contribution towards my free lunch.
And maybe, one day, some day, even a vacuum cleaner.