Alsatian Dog food

Chinese restaurants in the U.S. use cat meat in their entrees.


[Smith, 1983]

One evening several friends went out to a local Chinese restaurant for a celebratory meal. Half way through the meal one of the party suddenly started to cough and choke. Thoroughly alarmed they rushed her to hospital and she had to undergo minor surgery to remove a small bone stuck in her throat.

The surgeon who removed the bone was somewhat perplexed as he did not recognise the type of bone found. He therefore sent it off for analysis and the report came back saying that it was a rat bone.

The public health department immediately visited the restaurant to inspect the kitchens and in the fridge they found numerous tins of cat food, half an Alsatian dog and several rats all waiting to be served up.

[Collected on the Internet, 1999]

Okay, at this chinese restaurant where I live, it's called moon palace, they suddenly closed down. Everybody wondered why they closed down, but then we finally heard the truth. When the health inspectors went to inspect the so-called "clean" facility, they found cages and cages of cats. So they were like "okay" and then they went to the freezer. FROZEN CATS EVERYWHERE! Happy eating!

Origins: How old is old? The rumor about Fluffy's or Fido's being slipped into Chinese food by unscrupulous restaurateurs has been traced by British researchers to the earliest years of the British Empire in England and to the 1850s in the United States. [Jacobsen, 1948]

How ripe small towns actually are for rumors was amply demonstrated a few years ago. In a town of thirteen thousand inhabitants, which was gradually blossoming into cityhood, there was a restaurant operated by three Chinese. It was the most successful eating place around, patronized by businessmen and citizens morning, noon, and night. Everyone agreed that the food and service were good. But without the slightest warning business suddenly took a drastic drop. The once-prosperous proprietors became miserably unhappy, for they could not understand what had happened to all their patrons. Then they found out that someone, maybe a competitor, maybe just a person who nursed a real or imagined grudge against Chinese, had initiated a rumor that the police had found three skinned cats, labeled rabbits, in the restaurant's refrigerator.

Ancient slur or not, wherever this rumor goes it affects how the locals feel about the Chinese in their midst, and it often impacts a restaurant's fragile bottom line. As an example (this rumor has turned up in so many cities, it would be impossible to list them all), in 1995 the closing of two Chinese restaurants in Columbus, Ohio, awakened the sleeping rumor yet again. Calls were fielded, both by the local paper and the board of health, about whispers that these closings were the result of dead cats' being discovered in each eatery's meat locker. Never mind that just the previous day the local paper had run a story about the closure (for business reasons) of all 51 restaurants in this particular chain — the cat meat rumor would not be denied.

In 1996, county health department officials in Knoxville, Tennessee, stepped forward to issue a strong denial about frozen cats' being found at a particular local Chinese restaurant. It seemed everyone had heard the rumor, yet no such complaint was on file. Indeed, this particular restaurant had always met Health Department regulations, a claim supported by inspection records.

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