An Orijen Story

Let’s talk kitty kibble. Our longhairs, Cali and Neko, eat a variety of McDonald’s-caliber wet food and the exceptionally healthy Orijen Cat & Kitten hard stuff. We typically buy the 5.4-kilo (12-pound) bag, which will last for months. On Sept. 25, 2021, with the last bits eaten, I walked from our apartment in University Heights to Pet Me Please in neighboring Normal Heights. But, uh-oh, so much time had passed since our last purchase that Orijen changed recipes. Ugh.

Cat & Kitten is gone. Where was one, there are now three: Original Cat; Kitten Formula; and Guardian 8 Formula. The store clerk claimed, and surely packaging means to suggest the same, that Original is closest to what we previously purchased. But he warned that the new recipe is different enough. Lovely. We ended up feeding our putty-tats the equivalent of wet fast food following formula changes made to two different manufacturers’ better quality canned brands; our beasties refused to eat the revised recipes. What they get now costs less and isn’t as healthy (grumble) but they like it.

The pet store stocks the 1.4-kilo (4-pound) Original—by weight costing considerably more than the bigger bag, which is unavailable because of supply chain issues. I would buy the smaller size regardless, not knowing whether our beasties would willingly eat the new formula. Gasp. Orijen also raised the price by 20 percent! If I was going to pay so much for so little, Cali and Neko would eat this hard food. I would give them nothing else if they balked and walked.

On the way home, I stopped at John Adams Elementary School, on 35th approaching Madison, to shoot the Featured Image—using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/1600 sec, 28mm; 3:47 p.m. PDT.

Opening a new bag of kibble really excites the cats. Would they turn up their little noses to the new flavor? The old food was hard and compact, with a color similar to dark chocolate. The new grub is somewhat softer texture, with a lighter hue that is more like milk chocolate. The reaction? Our two fussies heartedly crunch a bunch—so much that next week I’ll be wanting to stock up with the bigger bag.