"cat food" as written by Peter John Sinfield and Robert Fripp....
Lady Supermarket with an apple in her basket
Knocks in the manager's door
Grooming to the muzak from a speaker in shoe rack
Lays out her goods on the floor
Everything she's chosen is conveniently frozen
"Eat it and come back for more!"

Lady Window Shopper with a new one in the hopper
Whips up a chemical brew,
Croaking to a neighbor while she polishes a saber
Knows how to flavor a stew.
Never need to worry with a tin of "Hurry Curry"
"Poisoned especially for you!"

No use to complain
If you're caught out in the rain,
Your mother's quite insane
Cat food cat food cat food again

No use to complain
If you're caught out in the rain,
Your mother's quite insane
Cat food cat food cat food again

Lady Yellow Stamper with a fillet in a hamper
Dying to finish the course,
Goodies for the table with a fable on the label
Drowning in miracle sauce
Don't think I am that rude if I tell you that it's cat food,
"Not even fit for a horse!"


Lyrics submitted by RedRaven

"Cat Food" as written by Robert Fripp Peter John Sinfield

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Cat Food song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentJesus Christ, all of you couldn't have missed the point of the song more. It's an ironic dissection of the modern-age consumer society.
    NTTon August 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe piano riff in the beginning is crazy.
    seigion June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt it's basic, it's about how processed foods are incredibly unhealthy and are no better than cat food.
    Treefingeron May 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCuteSparkina, you couldn't be more wrong. This song should just be taken at face value - processed foods are bad (see Pete Sinfield's solo album, the track Wholefood Boogie, to get the other side of this song)
    AlanOldieon July 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationLady Supermarket
    [This LADY metaphor is used throughout the song in the same sense that Cocaine was called "the Lady" at the time. This is Sinfield's way of characterizing commercially manufactured lysergic acid products as Cat Food! This is why, at the end of the song, he says "Not even fit for a horse" as bad acid was no more spiritually uplifting than Cocaine, which does the opposite of what pure/clean LSD would do for EGO reduction. Cat Food refers to any impure, or adulterated Lysergic Amides, commercially simply called LSD. However, no actual LSD (LSD-25) was on the streets after 1970. Sorry folks.]

    ...with an apple in her basket
    [The allusion to Apples references the symbolic meaning of the FRUIT of the "Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, anyone from this period knows this is LSD]

    Knocks in the manager's door,
    [References middle men who sold "acid" merely for money]

    Grooming to the muzak from a speaker in shoe rack
    [This sets the scene representing consumerism and what happened to LSD as it became like any commercial product, produced for profit]

    Lays out her goods on the floor
    [Again, this is dirty, a floor, get it?]

    Everything she's chosen is conveniently frozen
    [By the early 70s, in an attempt to evade law enforcement, in the US, manufacturer's began making fake (often FROZEN) mushrooms which were merely some edible soaked in water laced with poor-quality street acid: not LSD-25. The famous LSD manufacturers known to us dealers as "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love" or simply the BROTHERHOOD, using the chemical knowledge of Stanely Owsley, got off their LDS bust(s) this way, as warrants for LSD could not be used to prosecute ALD-52, which is what Orange Barrel was. This was a famous case. Owsley got off for only Tax Evasion! This also worked for arrests with warrants for "psilocybin" mushrooms that turned out to be some lysergic amide. The warrants at that time (back under actual Constitutional Law) had to be specific! This was why the Feds soon manufactured the several versions of the Designer Drug Act. Non one NOT involved (a 'freak') could understand the lyrics of other Acid Heads. Those trying to explain this in here are simply (nothing personal) clueless.]

    "Eat it and come back for more!"
    [Again, commercial reference. Everybody began to sell bad acid as "windowpane," fake "mushrooms," and so on. Commercialization an newbies meant a proliferation of street crap!]

    Lady Window Shopper with a new one in the hopper
    [This now references the next trick that the Brotherhood of Eternal Love—Owsley's group—used to keep the police at bay: Window Pane formats on gelatin. Very small, and no added impurities. However, these gelatin formats could contain badly manufactured 'dirty' acid, not only clean stuff.]

    Whips up a chemical brew
    [ As the Brotherhood released several formats pressed uniquely (branded to show purity, and also to make it harder for the police to get warrants and prosecute) jerks (in LA) with monetary motives and a lot less skill, began to produce faked 'windowpane' acid far inferior to that made by the Brotherhood. Hence the reference to a "brew"]

    Croaking to a neighbor while she polishes a saber
    [The saber, as a sword, was a calvary weapon used to HACK at the enemy. This is Sinfield calling these bad acid manufacturers, who talked and sold to the same people as the Brotherhood one had, hence "neighbors," hacks. Cute]

    Knows how to flavor a stew.
    [Hacks had enough chemical knowledge to produce interior lysergic amides]

    Never need to worry with a tin of "Hurri Curri"
    "Poisoned especially for you!"
    [This is a specifically LA-hip comment. As the Brotherhood distributed their now infamous Orange Barrels or Orange Sunshine tabs, they made 2 separate batches. The clean tabs were sold in SF and other hip places. In LA, where most of those taking 'acid' were plastic hippie, the Brotherhood (mostly from the Bay Area even though they made their acid in fashionable/artsy Laguna Beach) cut their barrel tabs with pure Desoxyn: trade name for methamphetamine. This was done to PUSH those in Los Angeles—people who were generally only taking smaller amounts of 'acid' because it was not being used for EGO-dissolution and learning, but for parties—to have more intense trips. The Brotherhood were being a bit cynical, and I know from personal experience!]

    No use to complain, If you're caught out in the rain
    [There was a well known expression in circulation at the time, that compared taking pure LSD to "...a (rain) shower on the inside..." referencing the CLEAN feeling one has after coming down from pure LSD-25, NOT street crap!]

    Your mother's quite insane
    [Try tripping with a 1940s socialized mother (at home, as a young person) while tripping on a high dose of LSD. 'Enough said.]

    Cat food cat food cat food again.
    [It is HARD to 'maintain' on impure lysergic amides, as opposed to the ease one has acting kind of normal on even high doses of pure LSD-25]

    Lady Yellow Stamper with a fillet in a hamper
    Dying to finish the course
    [Bad acid gave way to CIA-distributed cocaine as the pre-DEA, CIA operatives busted acid dealers, allowing them to distribute chemicals cooked up for distribution (no idea who made them) based on a nasty lysergic acid variant with the Sandoz label of MLD-42, a methyl-Lysergic Acid. This made the rounds in LA in 1973. The reference to the "Yellow Stamper" likely refers to branding of, in this case, street drugs using colors, tablet shapes and gelatin sheets trimmed into squares, pyramids, you name it. This is Sinfield's way of criticizing commercial production of street crap, in yet another way. The "fillet" of course references 'Cat Food'.]

    Goodies for the table with a fable on the label
    [Clear reference to the legendary effects LSD-25, now a mere fable.]

    Drowning in miracle sauce
    [Self explanatory. Bad acid is full of impurities and when people started adding speed things went downhill fast. This did not happen with things like gelatin and blotters and so these became the popular distribution format. Such a distribution method also became necessary as the federal government began tracking all pill- press purchases]

    Don't think I am that rude if I tell you that it's cat food,
    "Not even fit for a horse!"
    [As cocaine, the OPPOSITE of LSD in its ego boosting and non-spiritual aspects, were pushed on young drug users, there was a significant loss of both people wanting to do psychedelic drugs, as well as spirituality, less than there had been at least. COcaine is WELL KNOWN from its early days as a stimulant given to race horses to make them run faster (which was, needless-to-say not legal). And so this statement transliterated means that this bad acid was no better than cat food, and not even better for consciousness than cocaine: "Not even fit for a horse."]

    THIS IS THE PROPER DECIPHERMENT OF THIS KC SONG. Those who have no idea what was going on on the US West Coast with the LSD scene (ca. 1969-1973) cannot beheld to bale for their ridiculously lame attempts to figure Sinfield's lyrics out. He was a serious acid head, as were most of us up until the CIA shut down most major manufacturing.

    How do I KNOW it was the CIA? They told me...I was one of those who they targeted, but how stayed true to the vision we had, once, shared by so many 1960s luminaries. And then...there was Cat Food.
    iamdorianon June 18, 2015   Link
  • -2
    General CommentLet's take this line by line:

    Lady Supermarket with an apple in her basket
    Knocks in the manager's door;
    Grooving to the muzak from a speaker in shoe rack
    Lays out her goods on the floor (UNDRESSES AND LIES DOWN, SHOWING THE MANAGER
    HER BODILY ASSETS)
    Everything she's chosen is conveniently frozen. (COOL MANNER)
    Eat it and come back for more! (CAN BE AN ORAL SEX REFERENCE)

    Lady Window Shopper with a new one in the hopper
    Whips up a chemical brew;
    Croaking to a neighbour while she polishes a sabre (PLANS TO KILL HER PARTNER,
    ALSO MAY BE POLISHING THE "PINK SWORD" OF THE HANDSOME CABALLERO NEXT DOOR)
    Knows how to flavour a stew.
    Never need to worry with a tin of 'Hurri Curri':
    Poisoned especially for you! (EITHER LITERALLY -- A MURDERESS, OR FIGURATIVELY
    -- SHE JUST CAN'T COOK)


    No use to complain
    If you're caught out in the rain;
    Your mother's quite insane. (MAN COMPLAINING TO HIS SON ABOUT HIS PARTNER)
    Cat food cat food cat food again. (eVERYTHING THE PARTNER MAKES LOOKS AND
    TASTES LIKE CAT FOOD BECAUSE SHE SUCKS MAJOR SWORD IN THE CULINARY DEPT.)


    Lady Yellow Stamper with a fillet in a hamper
    Dying to finish the course;
    Goodies for the table with a fable on the label
    Drowning in miracle sauce.
    Don't think I am that rude if I tell you that it's cat food
    Not even fit for a horse! (AGAIN, REFERENCE TO LACK OF COOKING SKILLS)
    CuteSparkinaon May 10, 2005   Link

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