When you go to the shelter to adopt, you complete an application. At our shelter one of the questions is “what do you think the approximate yearly cost of a pet is?”
This is a very curious question.
I have always calculated food and routine vet costs but those are not the only costs. There are (always) hidden costs that go beyond anything you can imagine.
Morgan cost me my favorite vase (priceless) and my favorite ceramic duck (original cost $25 but it’s not replaceable). I have other vases and ceramic ducks but she chose the ones that were most cherished and targeted them for elimination. Perhaps she didn’t want any competition.
She has started to chew on things. At two years old she should have all her teeth. She seeks out and chews on electrical cords, preferably the charging cords for phones and Kindles. Perhaps she needs orthodontic work ($$$).
I have friends and relatives who have lost shoes, boots, sofas and other leather items to chewing canines. Perhaps I’m lucky.
Jake targeted my carpets. He lovingly checked them all out and then peed on the one that was most difficult to clean (original cost $400 but the replacement was $900). He was so effective that we pulled it out, threw it away and put down hard flooring.
There was a period of time when he was fostered by the beloved husband prior to our merger. It was a short two years but the beloved husband remembers it as a dastardly decade of human abuse. Jake preferred to rearrange things, never quite breaking them but almost.
He is the reason we keep a supply of sleeping pills ($12) on hand. They are useful after his 3 a.m. choir practice (he has a very loud Bob Dylan style of singing). He also requires general anti-anxiety meds ($5 co-pay).
Both meds are for the humans. They don’t make sleeping pills for cats. Believe me I checked. He doesn’t need anti-anxiety drugs. HE’s the one who causes it.
Because he is diabetic and uses human insulin, I have become increasingly outgoing with people who look like they may possibly be diabetic. I have received many donations as humans are often moved to an insulin pump freeing up the large insulin supply they have in their fridge.
It makes me very popular at parties with my creative opening lines. “Hi there, like sugar?” or “Is that an insulin pump in your pants or are you glad to see me?”
Hazel is a true cat. Her cost is her ability to eat enormous amounts of food after which her human owners feel very guilty for allowing it. More anti-anxiety meds.
It’s worth noting that my cats preferred cheaper brands of food for many years. Now they are gourmets. They love, love, love Rachel Ray’s new brand and Purina’s Beyond. Both are more pricey but also healthier. Cha-ching, cha-ching.
Mollie was the most expensive cat to adopt. Aside from the low $75 shelter fee, she brought home kennel cough and promptly gave it to Jake. A round of medications didn’t work so both cats spent a week in the animal hospital ($250).
After she recovered, she was spayed (another $150). Her total bill in the first month of living with us was $475. That’s not including food, litter and special spray to remove hairball stains (which really doesn’t work all that well).
Cost of having (
mostly, occasionally, always!) delightful pets – mucho $$$; wonderful unconditional ( mostly, occasionally, always!) companionship – priceless!