How would you describe 2019? Maybe you’d describe it as nice. That’s good for you. Maybe you thought it was interesting, or exhausting. Maybe you’d describe it as an oozing hole, a viscous brown liquid seeping from a gaping, round wound. Maybe you’d say it was a lot like this picture of the new Fancy Feast Savory Centers, which has been haunting me, personally, for months.
I was scrolling through Twitter one afternoon this fall when I first saw it. Like a slimy, brown Eye of Sauron, the image trapped me in its terrible, cycloptic gaze, filling me with dread. At first I thought the image appeared only to me, a sort of celestial punishment for some terrible sin I had committed. What my crime was, I wasn’t sure. I don’t even own a cat. But then my colleagues started seeing the oozing hole, too.
“Something about its menacing pink darkness both revolted and compelled me, because I simply could not believe that a cat paté with a pulsing gravy orifice at its heart was a real thing,” says Cut writer Bridget Read, who was also subjected to the ad even though she also doesn’t have a cat. “But I think complaining about [the ad] has only caused her to seek me out even more.”
Indeed — sadly, regrettably — horror begets horror, as does targeted advertising, and the more people bemoaned the hole, the more people were exposed to it. Writer Kelly Conaboy said she only started seeing the ads after some of her colleagues, who will remain unnamed, shared the terrible link with her.
“I don’t know what I did to deserve this, other than be a loving co-worker,” Conaboy said. “I’ve never even had a cat. The oozing hole will haunt me now forever, and it is one of many things I hold against, in particular, Madeleine Aggeler and Bridget Read.”
None of us had cats, though. Maybe cat owners would better understand the appeal of what Chewy.com describes as “the dual textures of smooth paté with thick, savory gravy your furry friend will love,” and I would describe as “the view from a Chipotle toilet bowl.” Alas, people who live with cats seemed equally troubled.
“Cats eat plenty of disgusting things, but the oozing hole terrifies me on a primal level and I would be afraid to feed it to them,” said Intelligencer writer and cat owner Sarah Jones. “Also, I have to consider how it affects the litterbox situation.”
“While I regularly give my cat literal trash as toys, I would never give him — nor allow him — to put this meat paté and liquid slop in his pristine temple of a body,” said Cut writer Amanda Arnold.
Still, the paté did have its defenders, like beauty director Kathleen Hou, who described it as being like a lava cake, and said that if she were a cat, she might like it.
I know it’s messed up for me to show you the hole today, just as you’re trying to embark on a better, brighter year. In many ways, though, looking upon the gaping meat hole is much like what the experience of living through 2019 was like — you’re just trying to live your life, when suddenly, you’re confronted with something terrible, confusing, unsettling, leaking, oozing. Maybe 2020 will be better?
Happy new year, from the Cut.