A Cat’s Life

Jun 05

Meet Julian. He’s a cat. Not just any old cat, but a beautiful British Blue.

According to his owner/slave, Audrey, he is great looking but dumb (she says this lovingly). Think of Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Birds fly to the windowsill of the lovely apartment he chooses to grace with his presence, but they fly away when they see . . . A CAT! Meanwhile, little do they know that Julian wouldn’t eat, or even play with, anything that hadn’t been at the very least washed, but even better, sterilized. The birds are safe. So are flies, ants, and god forfend, mice. Julian lives, you won’t be surprised to know, in an upscale building on Sutton Place.

Julian is a special cat, but I have come to the conclusion that these days, all cats are not only special to their owners, but are treated like children. When I had two cats, lo these many years ago, I loved the little critters. But in those days, the only time you took a cat to the vet was when something was wrong. Not now!

Julian goes in for regular checkups every 3 months. Three months! I, a human, and most others of my breed, have an annual checkup every year (Hint: that’s why it’s called an “annual”), and some medical experts are now saying that once every 2 years is fine, if everything is the cat’s pajamas with you and your bod.

My gentleman friend has two beautiful tuxedo cats of indeterminate origin, George and Ira, brothers named for the Gershwins. The cats hide everywhere, and make themselves at home wherever, the prerogative of felines the world over: George in the sink, Ira on top of the cabinets. Or it is the other way around?

In any event, they are taken to the vet twice a year. Since you can’t corral two cats into a carrier at once, they go separately, which means  four trips to the vet each year. Which leads me to the question:

When MUST You Bring A Cat To The Vet:
Well, obviously when it’s having digestive problems. But also when you see signs of “Stressed Cat Syndrome.” Julian wouldn’t be caught dead with this, but then, Julian is not your average feline. Signs of stress in cats include physical symptoms, which will be clear enough to the naked eye, but also include less obvious behavioral issues such as aggressive actions, lethargy, excessive scratching of the furniture, hiding more than usual, anything out of the ordinary. Hey, you know your cat. When something is off, get thee to a vet. Do not pass Go, or collect any more hairballs.

BTW: How Expensive Is It To Own A Cat These Days?
A site called ManyPets analyzed data from a 2020 survey conducted by TD Ameritrade/Harris Poll and found out what the following groups spent per year:
Millennials: $1,195
Generation X: $1,100
Baby Boomers: $926
“Expenses include necessities that help keep cats healthy and happy. These include regular check-ups and high-quality food, along with things that are more fun than necessary, like Halloween costumes and over-the-top toys and treats. Some expenses such as pet insurance can mitigate other costs, like unforeseen emergencies or health treatment plans.”

Before the Boomers? No data was available, but it was very little money, unless you went in for Fancy Feast rather than plain old cat food and indulged in many other feline frivolities. No one had ever heard of pet insurance, Halloween costumes for pets, or Stressed Cat Syndrome. Although even back in the Dark Ages, say the 1940s or 50s, people loved their cats and knew when something was wrong. Some people even mentioned them in their wills, and many still do.

Are Cats More Pampered Than Ever Before?

I couldn’t find the specific answer to this on my friend Mr. Google, but a new study suggests that “the extra time being pampered by their humans during lock downs has made many cats more affectionate. This may be a surprise for some, given cats’ reputation of being aloof.” Aloof? Not they want to be petted, they’re not.

One writer on an online site called Quoria says that he “spoils his cats with quality food and bottled water, and gets their nails trimmed by pros.” Okay, fine, but that’s more than some humans, although not this human, get to enjoy.

How about discipline? Can Cats Be Trained? To Do Anything?

We’ve all heard the phrase “herding cats,” but can you actually teach them to behave? Well, yes and no. One pet owner says that, “You can lay down the law to a dog, but with cats, it’s more of an extended and continually updated process of negotiation.” I suspect that with Julian it’s a lost cause. But then, he’s purrfect (forgive me) just as he is.

Are you listening, Julian? Maybe you should rethink your god-given job of catching the creepy critters that crawl into the corners of your condo.

OTOH, don’t bother. You’re in the will already, and I hear that it will buy a not insignificant amount of that special cat food, litter, and play things you just have to have.

You’re not living “a dog’s life,” that’s for sure, and why the hell should you!


  1. Diana /

    My Mischief is a spoiled, manicured, condo living kitty who dines on Fancy Feast and snacks on an even more expensive treat called Churu. He has health insurance and goes for wellness checks 2x a year that the expensive insurance doesn’t even cover.
    I would not have it any other way. It’s his life and I am just here to serve. 😻

    • Pat /

      Health insurance and wellness checks, wow!
      But you got that right: when it comes to cats, you are there to serve!

  2. Dick /

    Well. my age is unlisted, too; although last month I ran across the 90th finishing line. I shall follow your blog into this next decade…….

  3. Pat /

    It’s a STARTING line you run across, going forward into whatever (no numbers, please)decade you’ve entered. So glad you enjoy the blog!!

  4. Lucille /

    My cats are so pampered there’s not even a word for it! But with me, it’s mostly how I treat them: lots of petting and scratching. And, of course, I talk to them as is they could understand. Maybe they can!

  5. Pat /

    Have they started to answer back? If so, I’d love to hear about it. It’s the purring that’s so soothing, though.

  6. Ellen Kolegar /

    I had a cat years ago and am surprised you haven’t mentioned the pleasure of hair balls all over your rugs. But maybe it was my own fault for not providing the gourmet food she required.

  7. Pat /

    I did mention hairballs, but not as a pleasure! After reading about in online, it seems that some cats eat better than humans. But let’s not get bitter about it.

  8. Pat /

    The Post must be aware of my blog: here’s their current take on cats:


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