In episode 3 of Henri, Le Chat Noir, the feline struggled with fame. Soon he would contend with a more menacing foil: the spoils of fame aka big brand sponsorship. Yes, that’s right. Purina’s Friskies brand dropped a pile of catnip to support four episodes “On Cat Food Boredom.”
Mon dieu, we know where this is heading, no? This “noble and selfless act of charity” is what happens when all great stars are compromised by a whiff of Meow Mix. Should Henri have stretched the promise over a four series arc? Even “The Godfather” only went to three.
Henri considers that humans are the root of this cat food boredom. How could they not be? They are the ones purchasing can after can of cat food and ruining the world. Each day begins with the hope of a new dawn and a new culinary adventure. “And each day, there is disappointment.”
In the second installment, scoops of dry cat food come with the deathknell monotony of J. Alfred Prufrock’s coffee spoons, measuring out a daily march to the grave. It is interesting to think what Purina’s dry food department thought of this pieces. Taunted by the sound of a can opener, his dreams are thwarted when a pineapple ring is extracted from the tin.
The third episode is a biting essay on human pampering that does not extend to felines.If only he had the opposable thumbs that would help bring Giblets and gravy to his whiskers?
The selfless warrior that is Henri, he hopes to save catkind with variety cases of Friskies canned food. Perhaps Purina could have considered a Parisian themed series of dishes such as “Kitty Bourguignon” or “Chocolate Mouse.” But why would we expect new ideas when there’s plenty fo Salmon Paté to around?
“It may be too late for me to overcome my own ennui,” begins the fourth installment of Henri Le Chat Noir on Cat Food Boredom. The line that could have been his catchphrase. The humans do not understand what is at stake with cat food boredom.
Is this the first time Danish philosopher Kierkegaard has been used to hawk cat food? Perhaps. And yet, when Henri note “Boredom is the root of all evil” it comes the revelation, like the whiff of cat food released by the first crack of the can.
“Who knows what evil lies at the heart of the bored cat?” summarizes Henri. If only Charles Baudelaire were alive to answer that question.