Cat tales

NZ Lifestyle Block - - From The Editor -

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.

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