June 29, 2006
Bringing a cat or dog into the family has a big financial commitment attached - you don't even know how much it will be until after it happens. However, there are costs that you can plan for in advance, such as spaying, neutering and vaccinating your pet.
One way to reduce those costs is to go to your local shelter and have them perform these procedures. The care is still top notch; they are just closer to cost than other for-profit vets.
For example, at the Animal Protective League in Cleveland, the costs are as follows:
- cat neuter $26
- cat spay $45
- dog neuter $56 (under 40lbs) $77 (40-70lbs) add an extra $1 per pound over 70lbs
- dog spay $68 ((under 40lbs) $98 (40-70lbs) add an extra $1 per pound over 70lbs
And you can get packages of vaccinations that save you even more money.
June 28, 2006
Did you see the Wall Street Journal article by Karen Richardson on Monday about how stocks in pet-related companies seem to survive tough markets? The article made some points I thought you'd be interested in reading (note that the link is to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that syndicated the WSJ article, instead of the actual article in the WSJ, which is subscription-only):
"Spending on pet medical care is less discretionary than general consumer spending"
You bet! We might walk to the corner store if gas prices keep going up but we certainly wouldn't think twice about taking our pets to the vet if needed
"Even after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, spending on pet health care spiked, a phenomenon analysts attributed to a "cocooning effect" of people spending more time at home with their families -- and with Rover and Kitty."
Perhaps we also re-evaluated what was important to us and we saw our pets differently.
"Vets also don't need to buy expensive malpractice insurance. An unlucky vet can be sued for property damage, but not malpractice, because animals are considered property under the law. That also means less government regulation."
This is true now but I would bet this won't last another 10 years - at least one state will give pets some limited status above that of a fur coat.
In summary, pet-related stocks might make a good investment with tough economic times ahead.
June 27, 2006
I promised you yesterday that I would tell you about how I adopted Lily just so you get the idea of how it works.
John, Ellie, Erin and I headed down to the Animal Protective League on Saturday afternoon. There were so many extra cats to adopt, their portable cages lined the hallway by the front desk. We wandered from cage to cage to cage examining the cats while Ellie exclaimed "Kitty!" every time. Pretty well all the cats looked content and relaxed - it must have been snooze time.
We wanted a female cat (we thought a female would get on better with Barnes, our neurtered senior citizen), older than one year (less likely to scratch the girls when playing with them), and short-haired (Barnes's lovely long fur is not much fun for him in the summer).
We eventually got to the back room which is lined with cages but couldn't help but wonder how on earth we were going to choose a cat. I was thinking it would have been handier if we could have done a search on the cat database with our requirements and printed out a list of their locations so we could have checked every single one but I think that technology is pretty much out of the reach of any rescue shelter.
To cut a long story short, we finally found Lily (aka Carrie, her APL name) and we all agreed she was the cat for us ("KITTY!"). We got her out of her cage to pet and cuddle her just to be sure and she was a purring machine.
Back at the front desk, I filled out the paperwork including an adoption contract, stating among other things that:
- Lily might have infectious diseases from being at the APL,
- a recommendation to take her to the vet within 2 weeks of adoption (they have a list of local vets that do that first visit for free),
- I agree to keep her as a primarily indoor cat (yes she'll go outside if she wants but absolutely will be indoors most of the time, just like Barnes), and
- I'm responsible for any of Lily's vet bills
And then I got a few supplies from their pet store (a bag of the food she's on, a litter box, and a catnip toy), paid for her, and took her home. Very simple.
The adoption cost $75, which is very reasonable given that you get a beautiful and friendly companion who has been:
- spayed: all the cats and dogs are spayed or neutered when they arrive at the APL
- vaccinated: she had a FVRCP vaccination, which is a combo shot for Feline Viral Rhinotrocheitis/ Calicivirus/ Panleukopenia/ Chlamydia and since she was a stray and not in bad shape, I suspect she had a number of shots already - to be tested by our vet
- had a flea treatment
- and been tested for feline leukemia virus, which will always be negative if they are being adopted out
So there you have it - now you see how easy it is to make a big difference in a small cat's life.
June 27, 2006
Last week I talked about my visit to the Animal Protective League here in Cleveland and mentioned my family was going to adopt a cat.
Well, we went down on Saturday afternoon and adopted Lily (her name was Carrie but since she was a stray, we figured it was just a placeholder until we could think of her real name).
She is the sweetest thing you ever did pet - very petite and loving - and didn't even flinch when Ellie and her friend Emily squealed at her as most 2 year olds do (under adult supervision of course). She's sitting on my lap purring up a storm right now, which is quite the change from Barnes sitting on my lap as he's 14 pounds and Lily is less than 4!
Tomorrow, I'll write more on the process of adoption for those of you wondering about it. I'm a newby to adopting any animal (Simon and Barnes came from a friend) except for when I was little but I wasn't involved in the process so much back then.
Related Links: Are you thinking of getting a kitten or cat?; Adopt-a-shelter dog month
June 24, 2006
Drum roll please... the results are:
From TV show or movie: 12%
From someone else's pet: 6%
Baby name book: 6%
Came with name: 18%
Out of thin air: 59%
Well, we just joined that last group by naming our new cat Lily - more on her later. John came up with it all by himself. It suits her, she's quite petite and very friendly. A perfect Lily.