Pamper your way to feline financial ruin

A cat. CREDIT: GERARD CRECES
How can a human (the ultimate apex predator) justify spending $350 on a fur-covered puddle every single month?

A while back, I heard a report on the radio that the average pet owner spends about $350 a month on their pets.

I laughed – possibly swore – hoping I misheard the announcer.

“Who are these idiots?” I pontificated. “How can you even spend that much on an animal in a month?”

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In my mind, I pictured the most spoiled, dandy kitty-cats, eating salmon caught fresh that morning, wearing outfits that have waistcoats or fake pearls while they go about their business in gilded litter boxes.

Such grandiosity, I assume, is the only way one could possibly spend $350 on a pet each month.

I say this because I, too, am afflicted with this illness called cat ownership and have never come close to that amount.

As a matter of fact, I am the decreasingly proud owner of a flabby tabby by the name of Mr. Kitty.

To be sure, his full name is Bucephalus J. Kitty, though these days, he’s mostly called Buddy or Pussy Boy.

He’s a lusty man-boy of 14 years, a former chonk who has slimmed down in his twilight stretch but still has all the extra skin. If he were a piece of KFC, he would be the best piece.

But is he a $350 piece? Oh no.

Mr. Kitty is a gross cat. He drinks out of the toilet. His favourite libation of all is my daughter’s bath water, even though he hates baths.

He loves nothing more than humping various soft things around the house, almost as much as he enjoys the visceral epilogue of licking himself afterwards.

It’s creepy. He’s creepy. He’s also a great friend. But is our friendship worth $350 a month?

I’ll say it right to his handsome face: “Hell no!”

How can a human (the ultimate apex predator) justify spending $350 on a fur-covered puddle every single month?

It makes me think of possibly the most disturbing thing I ever saw.

About four or five years ago I went to a cat show at the Western Fair. There, amid row-uponrow of the fanciest of felines and most precious of pussies southwestern Ontario could muster, was a flat-faced floof wearing a frilly Elizabethan collar, looking absolutely miserable as its owner spoon-fed it wet food with a long, silver spoon.

If that is what $350 a month looks like, I don’t want it.

I don’t even think the poor, Elizabethan cat wanted it. The only one who did? The cat’s owner.

And there’s the crux of the matter. Pets don’t demand the finest things in life, and wouldn’t know or care if they didn’t receive them.

We (*gestures vaguely at society*) make house pets out to be far more sophisticated than they actually are. They still poop in boxes or in the street, regardless of their pedigree.

Give them love, give them chin scratches, and make sure they don’t starve. That’s it!

Otherwise, one day, you’ll come home to your pet humping your pillow and realize there’s no amount of expensive kibble or grooming sessions that can put the lipstick back in the tube.

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