Well, we got a pet.
I’ve been wanting a pet for quite some time, having not had one since our 17 year old cat, “Stickabudda”, passed in 2011. Our delay in getting another pet was really around Hubs being a bit pet-shy. Stickabudda had some health issues in the latter part of her life which made caring for her much more difficult and expensive. However, after much encouragement from me and M (read: us constantly talking about it, texting cute photos of pets who need a home, etc.), we finally decided to take the plunge.
Here he is:
WHY DID WE GET A PET? Pets cost money! They are somewhat anti-FI! We all know this!
It’s all about quality of life. Pets give you something else to focus on in these trying times. they are also great listeners. And petting them is thought to reduce stress levels. And he’s frickin’ cute.
Also, my friend’s friend had a cute kitten they were giving away for freeeeee. Thanks friend for hooking me up!
This guy has given us hours of entertainment for a mere $458 since we adopted him on November 21st, with more expenses to come! Yes, I did say the cat was free…but then there’s “cat stuff”. Is it worth it? So far, absolutely. I’ll give you a breakdown of costs later on in this post, in case you’re curious or possibly interested in getting a sweet kitteh of your very own. We went a bit overboard in our excitement about having a pet, but it was all pre-budgeted, at least. Tip: don’t bring your 7-year-old to the pet store when purchasing your pet stuff. Trust me on this.
Why a Cat?
We love dogs. We love cats. Why not a dog? Well, it was a tough decision, but I think it has a lot to do with my ability to cope with more responsibility right now. Hubs was more into the dog idea, but this year, as in previous years, I have many important aspirations. Often I have a feeling that there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish what I want to accomplish. I did NOT want to add another responsibility right now, in the form of doggie care. I believe owning a doggo or two is healthy and good and has many benefits. I’m just not there YET. Perhaps after a year or 2 of organizing my life and accomplishing some of the things I will feel better about adopting a dog.
What’s it like having a kitten?
Firstly, he is quite a snuggly kitten. Often towards the end of the day (or perhaps the morning, or middle of the day during holiday vacation or on weekends) I’m known to flop down on the living room loveseat to mindlessly play on my smart phone. 99% of the time, he’s on my chest between the phone and my face within 0-3 minutes. A couple of times, I observed him RUNNING to me after a loveseat flop. Having his little fur body stuck in my face and his loud comforting purr in my ears is so pleasant.
Secondly, during the times he is not snuggly (let’s say 60% of the time) he is either napping quietly in his bed, or attacking all the things. Feet, hands, fingers, arms, anything moving underneath something else, cat toys, M’s small stuffed animals, the Christmas tree, the ornaments ON the Christmas tree, my iPhone, ear buds that are still in your ears, the TV, the mouse pointer on the computer monitor, the mouse you are using on the computer, a pillow, lego parts laying about, plants, his own tail. Although we may have a large number of micro-scratches all over our bodies, I think it’s still worth it considering the entertainment he provides us on the regular.
Thirdly, you want to be diligent about some kitty training. Still not as much work as a dog in this area (ex. he took to the litter box immediately). But, we did need to do some training with the scratching post right away. This involved lots of positive reinforcement when he uses it in the form of treats, and some redirection when he decides to scratch anything other than the post. Now we are working on keeping him off the dinner table…
I feel these are the most pertinent details. Overall it’s very pleasant and not much work at all.
Kitten cost breakdown
Here’s where we spent our $458:
$192 – Vaccines, deworming & general checkup at the vet (similar bill to come in the new year for neutering & microchipping).
$51 – Cat carrier. I couldn’t find a used one that I liked, so we went full price. You could easily find a used one for less simply by not being picky.
$65 – Food since Nov 21st. This will carry us well into January. so maybe it will be around $20-30 monthly. We have been buying more expensive stuff but I try to get it on sale.
$65 – kitten harness, cat harness and a leash. We do want to take kitty on the occasional adventure. I think we overpaid on the cat harness ($28), but it’s a nice design with a padded front for comfort. Certainly could have spent less if I had shopped around a bit more and looked for second-hand items.
$20 – litter. We bought wheat litter. Expensive, but biodegradable and not dusty like clay litter. We love it. This bag lasted about a month. If you don’t mind clay, it’s much less expensive.
$15 – Cat fountain. Yes, we did this. Judge all you like, but it’s adorable. It’s shaped like a flower! I got it on Facebook Marketplace in perfect condition for less than half the retail price. Unnessary but fun. : D
$50 – Scratching post, collar, toys, kitty bed, and nail clippers. This included a dollar store laser beam that provides hours of kitty fun!
Now that we’ve purchased the essentials and non-essentials, I expect monthly kitty costs to decrease dramatically (primary costs will be food, litter, and vet visits). Vet visits should hopefully be few and far between once we get that neutering and microchipping out of the way.
Well that’s my first update of the year for the blog. I intentially did not post a laundry list of 2021 goals, because now I know better as per my previous post about goals. I may post something about what systems I’m working on creating and improving. Until then, MEOWWWWWWWWW.