Do cats depreciate? Like cars?
We have two cats, and it’s no mystery that Maggie, our tiny calico, holds my heart in her wee paw. Don’t feel badly for JoJo; she wakes up each morning with a fresh slate, glad to meet us all for the first time.
I’ve always been that theoretical cat person, as dogs are a little manic for me. I have that area nicely covered off in this house, and I prefer living creatures that need me very little, and perhaps like me even less. I can sit and work for 9 or 10 hours straight without realizing the day has flown by and the cats can lay around snoring for similar stretches with similar outcomes. Try doing that with a dog.
They are pretty low maintenance. The one who is a food hound is Maggie, who somehow maintains her youthful figure despite stealing and snacking on chicken, cheese, asparagus, bananas, green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, steak, spaghetti, corn and hot peppers. The hot pepper was a mistake. JoJo dutifully eats what’s in the food bowl.
I am of the school that dictates that cats are, basically, free. Our cat growing up, Nooly, wandered up the driveway. Maggie was from a house with a sign that said Free Cats. Apart from the initial vet bills, cats have many free years in them. Mine eat expensive food, their only extravagance; once you’ve seen a cat skootch across the carpet to scratch its bum, you can’t unsee it.
Maggie and JoJo, at 11 and 9 years of age respectively, haven’t cost us much. In return, they allow us to live here, lie beneath them when they sleep, and clean up their hairballs. Hence the surprise when I was away awhile ago, and got a text from Christopher, 20.
“We had to take Maggie to the hospital.” My heart thudded. I dialled home.
“What? What’s wrong with her?”
“She was breathing funny. I looked at her, and she was panting, and her sides were all weird. Don’t worry, we took her straight to the vet. They said they needed to do an xray, but don’t worry, I told them to do anything they had to do,” he told me. My oldest can be quite heroic in things he deems emergencies. My only concern was he was being heroic with the Visa card I leave behind for things I deem emergencies.
Upon my return, Maggie was fine. I poked around the countertop, searching for the vet bills.
“How much did it come to?” I asked Christopher.
“Well, the first emergency visit, the xray, the pills, the follow up checkup, I’m not sure, but I knew you’d say yes to all of it. It’s Maggie.”
When Maggie was younger, we’d had a discussion about the value of a cat. The boys had pushed me to put a price on what I’d sell Maggie for. They decided there was no price. I decided that I’d give $12,000 hard consideration. The number was pulled from thin air. Her nickname is Six Pounds of Trouble in a Fur Coat. Who would pay anything for a cat like this?
In the years that followed, this became the threshold of Mom’s horridness. I would consider selling a cat that was with me 24 hours a day. I would consider selling a cat that missed me so much when I went away that she faked her own death.
They hadn’t seen Maggie looking at me as they told the vet story. She blinked at me slowly, reminding me it might as well be her name on that Visa card.