Monday, August 4, 2008


My friend Sydney and I do this thing, not exactly a game, but sometimes when we’re yakking we come up with a terrific idea for some kind of goods or service that nobody has yet invented. The first time we thought of something we said, “Man, we could make a million bucks off this!” Of course, we never took even the first step towards doing it; I don’t even recall what it was, just that it was good. Now, for every idea after that, we just say, “That’s our next million” and have another swig of Starbucks. I think our (virtual) millions are somewhere in the low double digits by now. Actually, one of our earliest ideas has come to be – transparent band-aids that look pretty much the same on all skin colors. Only we didn’t do it. Anyway, today I had another great idea. Here’s the daisy chain of how the inspiration came about...

Back on July 24th fellow blogger Spin a Song of Sixpence did a post about the joys blackberries (the fruit not the device) and raspberries. She mentioned that while she likes the flavor of sun-warmed blackberries, they don’t smell all that good to her. Indeed, she said they smelled a little like “cat wee.” As someone who occasionally has access to fresh blackberries and has four cats, I’m clearly in a position to my own empirical research. The whole thing reminded me of a bottle of wine I saw advertised not long ago, labeled “Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush.”

Now, I have no pretensions to being either a foodie or a wine connoisseur (although I do like to watch sommelier Andrea Immer on TV) but I have noticed that the trend in recent years is to come up with the weirdest, craziest possible names for wines. You’d think naming a nice Sauvignon Blanc after feline urine would put people off, but apparently not. The winery that makes this one has other cat-themed wines, but nothing quite so…so…um… Well, to finalize my point, I heard about some other folks who started up a winery with a nice sedate label to only a lukewarm reception. They struggled for a while, and then took a friend’s advice, renamed their label something totally outrageous, maybe even raunchy, I can’t really say because my source didn’t know what the new name was, but anyway, sales shot up!

Finally, this morning, the gadget on my homepage called Things To Ponder posed the question, “Why is there no mouse-flavored cat food?” Well, instantly I recognized my next million. Make perfectly ordinary cat food, but give it more imaginative names that trendy up-scale cat-lovers will just love to use their conversations. “My little Tigger just adores her Mouse Bits in Cheezy Gravy.” “Well my Bosco won’t touch anything but Field Cricket Delight or the Mixed Aquarium Platter.”

I think you’ll agree this one just can’t miss. In fact, I know the perfect wine to go with it.

Tuesday morning correction – Oops, I had a “mental typo” on this…it’s black currants not black berries. Thanks to Sian for setting me straight!!

Photo of Sweeney by D. Godin


Poetikat said...

Oh, your Sweeney is gorgeous! He's like all of my cats rolled into one!

I like your idea - inventive names for cat delicacies. Brilliant!

We don't say "There's my next million." We say - "Hello, Draaagons!"


Sydney said...

Deb I think we used (and still use...) the term 'that's my pet rock". I like your idea for cat food-- remember, it's all in the packaging..

In industry and idleness'
(to use Hogarth's phrase..)

Deborah Godin said...

Sydney, you're right, we said that, too! Wonder if anyone still has an original Pet Rock? Cat food is much more useful than that. Beats a Chia Pet, too.

bobbie said...

"Then I'll be rich and famous..."

But then I excuse myself by saying I wouldn't really want to be rich. Look how unhappy so many rich people are.

Sian said...

Isn't it funny that you can start out at blackcurrants ( I think black berries smell of heaven, black currants smell whiffy) and end up at mouse flavoured cat food :D

Get a good graphic designer and I think you're made...

Anonymous said...

That is a pretty cat.
Guess I am going to have to go smell the blackberries, the next sunny day!

Good luck with your next million plan.