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I did my exploration today, as per plan. As luck would have it, the two places I really, really wanted to check out were catty-corner across the street from each other, in a part of town I don't really know very well, but which is not so suburban as to be unnavigable. The thing I hate most about Metcalf is that it is 6-8 lanes of fast-moving traffic with very busy and crowded commercial strips on both sides of the road, and the traffic is usually so heavy and fast that if you need to get across to get into a shop, you MUST already know where the shop is, and be maneuvering into the appropriate lane about 6 blocks before you actually need to get off the road. If you are not sure where a shop is, you will almost certainly not find it from the street, and the parking lots off the street are so convoluted that once you get into one, it is only slightly harder to get back out that it is to get out of the Hotel California.

I went down to Brookside this morning. Brookside, a mightily genteel neighborhood south of the Plaza is one of Kansas City's posh areas that lies within the city proper. Thus, thar be specialty shops!

Brookside Barkery & Bath was the first stop on the agenda, to see about getting samples of premium catfood to see what my little hellbeasts might eat that is not Science Diet hairball-control-lite. I'd typically avoid a shop with such an annoyingly cutsey-pootsey name, but it is the nearest vendor of Innova pet food, and they carry several other brands. More about the food situation in a moment.

, I found the tights shop, and it is, in one word, amazing! You will not belive the insane colors and patterns available. They have some of the coolest damn fishnets I've ever seen. I didn't buy anything today, 'cause I'm a brokeass at the moment, but I'm remembering that place for another day when I have some cash. Address, 6324 Brookside Plaza, shop name Foot Traffic. Again with the cheezeball name which would otherwise have fended me off, but, as you can see from the website, they have the best selection of garish legwear in the city. They had some printed to look like brickwork, which given my mighty-mighty legs, would be only too appropriate.

The only place I wanted to check out but failed to find was a beadwork supply place on Metcalf Av. in Overland Park called “Nomadic Notions.” 9624 Metcalf, supposedly. I couldn't find it with both hands and a roadmap. I went up and down between the 9500 and 9700 blocks of Metcalf and couldn't spot it. There are about 4 million and 10 strip malls in that stretch, and I was just to burnt out and road-weary to bother. I'll try again another weekend. I fucking hate Metcalf Ave. and I hate Overland Park. Every time I venture into that blighted municipality, I can be assured of at least an hour of my day wasted being lost. Hell, I was an hour and a half late to a good friend's baby shower because I couldn't figure out how to get across two of the nastiest main-junction intersections in her part of town, so I kept trying to get where I needed to go on side-streets, but they all were cul-de-sacs, and it makes me feel violent just remembering it. The sundry Kansas suburbs in Johnson County could stand as the Platonic ideal for really terrible city planning.

Back to the subject of cat-food. They gave me free samples. A LOT of free samples, which is just as well, since I have one cat who is a picky bastard and one who will typically eat whatever she can get her jaws on. I found her limit today, apparently, as she would not touch the Nature's Variety Prairie frozen raw food. This was the only “wet food” I got, two little hockey pucks of frozen ground meat which you are supposed to thaw and serve. I thawed and served, and the cats looked at me like I had just foisted a ladle of cold puke upon them. Here I am, thinking “Hoo boy, they're gettin' the good stuff,” and they act like I dished them up a fine pile of excrement. Granted it was very mushy, and I thought it smelled dreadful, but not being a cat, and indeed being a vegetarian human, I'm not into the whole raw meat thing. Sugar will eat chunks of raw meat and will demolish a chicken wing, so I guess she just doesn't like her meat to come in pudding form. Griz was being his typical Prima Donna self, and not eating anything that didn't come out of a sack in hard, crunchy nuggets.

I left it there for them all afternoon, evening, and only just now threw it out, as it was getting crusty, and the cats were getting cranky and trying to destroy the house, as is their custom when they feel hard done by in the food department.

Nota bene: dessicated ground meat turns into something akin to concrete when it dries on to a stainless steel bowl. I actually had to attack it with a paint scraper.

The other samples are yet to be sampled, but I guess I'll bore y'all with the reviews as the cats taste-test.

We have Innova Lite, Wellness Lite, California Natural Adult (chicken & rice) Nature's Choice Prairie (Chicken & Rice), Felidae Cat & Kitten, and Eagle brand, “less active” formula. What I'd like to do is have them be at least halfway on raw diet, and have two or three small bags of premium dry food available to keep it mixed up, so that they don't get in the habit of thinking only one thing is suitable food. Griswald is terrible about believing only one food is acceptable, and then when they don't have his preferred at the grocery, or if they change their recipe, he just has a fit. I'm going to try to gently break him of this habit.

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