Cats V Budgeting
We are in financial dire straits, the cost of living crisis is a harsh reality for many of us.
With the price of what seems like most items, and services going up, cutbacks have to be made.
And of course, we are all in this together, are we not?
Only there is one problem. As the old saying goes, “In Ancient Egypt cats were worshipped as Gods, a fact they have not forgotten”.
And as any cat owner knows, your house, their rules. So, how do you make them realise that sacrifices have to be made, and we all have to tighten our belts that little bit more?
And yes, because they are so adorable, you can put up with some of their little foibles, such as refusing to use the cat flap because they struggle to fit their fat furry frames through it – why should they make all that effort?
Or when they decide to lay across the paperwork on your desk, stretching themselves out to their full length, and in the process, knocking onto the floor any pens, staplers which happen to get in their way.
This behaviour doesn’t affect the bills
So, can you get your cat to economise on heating and food?
Energy prices have shot up, and we need to cut back on our heating, but again there is a problem. What cat does not like a warm radiator or the glow of a fire? There is nothing quite like a warm belly to make you feel relaxed and content.
Our cat George used to continue to lay against a cold radiator looking forlorn, long after the central heating had been turned off. Just to make us aware we had done a very bad thing not keeping the heating on. Thus dialing up the guilt to 11.
And if they do have to put up with a cold home, they can always come and lay across your laptop to get some heat. No matter that it might just happen as you are about to press send on an email you have spent the last half hour working on. Their needs come first, of course.
The advice to turn the heating off and put on an extra layer is not going to be much use for your cat. Dogs might be willing to wear dog coats when the weather is cold, but even getting a cat to wear a collar can be challenging.
And as every cat knows, doors are to be open at all times to allow easy access anywhere in their home. Explaining to them that a closed-door keeps the heat in is going to fall on deaf ears.
So, you can either keep getting up to let the cat out (on the plus side, it is good exercise). Or you can leave the doors open and put on another jumper or wrap a blanket around you and ignore the draughts.
Another piece of advice we have been given is to start buying supermarket own-brand food instead of branded products. This might be OK for us mere mortals, but what about our furry bosses?
Picture the scenario: You replace your cat’s branded food, which may consist of succulent chicken fillets marinated in gravy until it has reached that perfect tenderness, with a tin of supermarket value brand cat food.
What will the outcome be?
Your cat is expecting his usual Deluxe Gourmet Delight, instead, what they are presented with is a lump of cat meat from a tin.
Looking up at you glaring (you know they are thinking, what the ***** is this?), one of two things will happen.
Either they will maintain a lonely vigil by their full food bowl until you are sufficiently guilt-tripped into relenting and replacing the budget brand of cat food for their usual premium variety
Or, they will come and sit directly in front of you, staring pointedly in your direction while you guiltily nibble on a chocolate digestive. And they will maintain this stance until you relent and swap the food over to their normal brand.
Never mind, you don’t mind having beans on toast again.
With cats, they feel they have the power dynamic just right. We adore them and they think we are adequate.
And even though it is not great for your self-esteem to be outwitted by an animal with a brain smaller than yours. We have to realise cats are master manipulators.
Cats want us to realise that they are always right, negotiation is not on the table.
So, to answer the question earlier, are we all in this together? And can you teach your cat how to budget? The answer is a residing no.