THESE DAYS it seems I am a dog person. But long before dogs there were cats.
If my mother had agreed to my constant childhood demands for first a dog, then a cat, she could have saved herself a great deal of money.
She went for a horse instead, and while I loved almost every minute of it, it’s an expensive and bone-breaking hobby. When I did damage a bone in my back, I didn’t tell my mother because I was scared she would stop me riding.
It didn’t cost her a thing, but that decision as an eight-year-old has cost me a fortune as an adult. It turns out, if you damage your tail bone so badly you can freak out people who see it years later in an x-ray, you should have told your mother when it happened.
But as expensive as horses and a lifetime of chiropractory care can be, I’d say pound for pound it’s the cats in my life that have cost me the most. About the price of the nice, near-new car I’ve never owned. They’re lucky I’m at peace driving around in a 1995 hatchback with the world’s dodgiest interior, smelling ever-so-faintly of dog.
My most expensive cat was George. He wins by thousands of dollars due to somehow surviving being mauled by a roaming dog. It grabbed him around his belly and shook him, leaving a hole so big that when we found him, I could have put my closed fist in the wound. But somehow he made it home to me, endured multiple surgeries, and lived another 12 years.
He aged into an elderly man who required hyperthyroid medication, adding about $1 a day to his price for years and years.
Worth every penny.