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There's no need to be embarrassed about asking for a doggy bag

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Wherever I go I usually ask for a doggy bag. Even in top restaurants I have no qualms about requesting one. And the funny thing is I don't have a dog myself.

No, I haven't had one for years. I have several cats though, who are always somewhat grateful for the treats I bring home. They're fussy eaters. They don't like cheap stuff that comes from a pouch. They like do Whiskas but they usually prefer properly cooked restaurant fare. In America, it's common for people to ask for doggy bags and the food isn't even for their dog.

It's for themselves, for later. I have often seen people ask waiters to wrap up a slice of cake they didn't quite manage to finish.

They don't feel embarrassed. Nobody should feel embarrassed. After all, it's your food and you paid for it. Why not take it home?

Lollipop

Of course I don't ask for a doggie or cat bag every single time I venture out to a restaurant. I tend not to do it at weddings (although I do usually try to bring home a slice of wedding cake wrapped in a napkin).

At Rosanna Davison's wedding I took home a pink lollipop for myself and a green one for my five-year-old son. I told the bride and she was delighted. I think I too would be pleased if people took home edible souvenirs from my wedding. But obviously I would draw the line at taking meat off other people's plates at business lunches. And I can't ever remember doing something like that at a funeral.

Some people do comment when I ask for a doggie bag. "Is that for your tea later?" somebody once asked.

"Of course not," I replied, "I'm a vegetarian."

I am in fact a strict vegetarian but that doesn't mean I like to see meat thrown into the bin when I know two cats that would enjoy it very much. I guess I just have a hatred of any food going to waste. Even on holidays in Spain I will sometimes wrap up left over pieces of meat from family members' plates (I draw the line at taking meat from strangers' plates) and go to the harbour where there are many stray cats in order to feed them.

Sausage

The only problem though with all this meat collecting is that sometimes I forget that I've actually put a piece of chicken or a salmon slice in my purse and find it days later. It's not very pleasant when I go looking for my lipstick and I fish out a week-old sausage instead.

When I was working as a cabin crew member with Aer Lingus we used to throw away an awful lot of breakfast sausages, and I would try and save as many as possible for the cats and put them in a plastic bag.

But one day I filled a plastic bag full of sausages and put it in the wrong crew bag (our bags all looked the same). When I went home I realised what I had done. My colleague must have been quite puzzled when she opened her bag. I never admitted to being the culprit.


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