WE LOVE HATE MAIL - JULY 2022
ATTACK OF THE CRAZY CAT ENTREPRENEURS
Firstly, I have to say that I like cats. Not all cats. For example, I didn't like my mother's cat Lacy who would wait on a kitchen chair for my toddler nieces and nephews to run by and swipe at their eyes.
And I honestly don't understand the whole Dog OR Cat thing anymore than I understand the whole "Bubble Yum" vs. "Bubblicious" schism from days of yore.
ANYWAY. I was in the shop whether I wanted to be or not and a group of people came in. A woman asked me, "Have you thought about catering to other animals?"
"It's funny you mention that. We started out as Two Salty Iguanas Pet Outfitters but we went bankrupt. Turns out there's not a lot of iguana owners in Maine's mid-coast, although I have to say demand for mealworms was brisk. Then we tried "Tarantula Town" and we went bankrupt again and my wife started seeing other men."
"You should at least have some cat stuff..."
"We do." I pointed to the 36sqft where we carry cat stuff. "It's in our 'Kitty Korner.' We carry a lot of Maine-Made toys and Maine-grown catnip... "
She looked at me like I just picked my nose and wiped it on her arm. "Your shop should have at least half cat stuff..."
"Are you from the Maine State Department of Forced Pet Equality?!?!" I asked, taking out my checkbook.
"Ha... Ha... Ha..." The lady said drily. Her daughter looked like she was going to cry. Or poop. The lady put an arm around her daughter and took a deep, Yoga-like cleansing breath.
"Look lady. My shop is 500 square feet, and I get 1-star Google reviews all the time because my cat section "isn't big enough." My whole shop isn't big enough. But my shop is in a tourist town and people just don't travel with their cats."
"HA! GOT YOU! WE TRAVELED ALL THE WAY HERE FROM VERMINSBURG PENNSYLVANIA WITH OUR CAT!"
"And so..... what? YOU would buy a 30lb bag of cat food from me? A fetching toy for your cat? A smoked femur bone? A long-lasting treat? Tie-out stake and cable? Harnesses? A large bed? Maine-made collar and leash? Chew toy? Stuffed Toy? A life jacket?
"Please explain to me how I financially justify expanding a limited cat line at the expense of my successful dog line and still afford to pay the unmerciful rent here."
Her business lesson to me was over. She gathered her crumpled daughter and silently made for the door without even checking out our fantastically whimsical Kitty Korner.
"Cat got your tongue?" I offered as they exited.
A customer laughed somewhere in the store and I went back to packaging mealworms.
~ Don (Not a Dog)
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