There is an advert on the television at the moment which puzzles and disturbs me in equal measure.
To the strains of the sultry "Fever" a woman has a romantic candlelit dinner with her cat.
It's not even a new theme. This particular brand of cat food has used the same premise - glamour puss has hot date with furry four legged puss - for nearly two decades, at least. I am perplexed. Do the advertising executives have client meetings where they point at a pie chart and claim that the huge segment shaded in red is their target audience, women in their thirties who are unable to form meaningful relationships with others and have consequently developed an inappropriate fixation on their cat?
In my opinion they fall between two stools here. If you have the kind of mental disorder that makes you want to seduce your pet and you've gone to all the trouble of putting on a sexy little black dress, dimming the lights and carefully selecting your mood music then surely you're not going to ruin it all by serving up a small tin of horse meat? A grilled chicken breast is a minimum requirement, I think. Maybe some smoked salmon. If, on the other hand, like me, you don't actually fancy your feline and just buy it anything that happens to be on offer then you are unlikely to shell out on a tiny, overpriced tin of "gourmet" cat food no matter how sexy the advert makes it sound.
I simply do not know exactly who this advert is designed to appeal to. I mean, I like cats, but I don't choose them as dinner companions. Men may have their faults but they are not as prone to dragging the food off the plate to eat from the floor in preference, licking their arse to indicate boredom or yakking up the gourmet fine dining on your duvet later. They also tend to arrive with flowers or wine, rather than a half dead rodent clamped in their jaws, growling fiercely when you say "let me just take that for you".
But perhaps I am missing something somewhere, and an evening with Mr Fluffy is worth getting your hair done and shaving your legs for. Tell me truthfully - would you ever choose a pet for your dinner date?