Evidence that we are a vain and decadent people who deserve divine judgment:

Cats who used to put up with plain tuna or mackerel can now savor white-tablecloth dishes like wild salmon and whipped egg soufflé with garden greens, part of Fancy Feast’s Elegant Medleys line, or Outback Grill, an Australian-themed entree from Weruva, with native fish like barramundi and trevally.

Their canine cousins might be sniffing lustily as the pop-top opens on French Country Café, a beguiling mixture of duck, brown rice, carrots, Golden Delicious apples and peas offered by Merrick, a small family-owned company in Amarillo, Tex., or sending their taste buds to Hawaii with Kauai Luau, chicken with brown rice, sweet potato, prawns, egg, garlic and kale in a lobster consommé. The beach feast is one of the Tiki Dog flavors from Petropics, another small company.

In most American homes, menus reflect belt-tightening. Mealtimes have lost some of their luster at the high table. Down on the kitchen floor, however, the picture is rosy.

“It is now considered socially acceptable to treat pets as members of the family and to express that by spending lavishly on them, especially when it comes to food,” said David Lummis, the senior pet-industry analyst for Packaged Facts, a market research company.

Hell, some of that stuff sounds like something I might buy and smear on a cracker. Get this:

Pet owners, invariably called “pet parents” by the makers of super-premium pet foods, do not mind reaching in their wallets and paying extra, even in recessionary times.

“Pet parents”? “Pet parents”! Pet parents. More pet parents.

For the record, I have observed my dog eating his own poop. Roscoe ain’t the jet set.

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