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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cat Poor

We’re cat poor.

I imagine many of you know exactly what I mean. Oh, you might not be cat poor, but maybe car poor, or dog poor, or gun poor, or clothes poor—you get the idea. You have so many of a particular item that its cost is outrageously out of proportion with your other expenses.

Folks dump cats our in our area, and my wife hates to see any animal abused. I don’t know how many times we’ve sworn ‘no more cats!’

Guess what?

Next morning, a soaking wet kitten wanders up meowing pitifully. Naturally, we have
a new boarder.

It’s nice to have one or two cats around. When they’re small, they’re cuddly and bouncy, darting here, jumping there, pawing at first one thing, then another.
As they get older, they’re not as cute. They eat more. Some grow surly. Whenever you go outside, they rush to meet you, curling around your ankles, doing their darnedest to trip you.

It’s next to impossible to maintain a neat yard, for they sleep everywhere, doo everywhere, leave their hair everywhere, leave piles of feathers from unlucky birds everywhere, and strew half-eaten rats about everywhere.

If you provide sleeping quarters for them, you have to include litter boxes, which they not only fill up regularly, and I mean regularly, and cost to refill. And then you have to buy plastic bags in which to dump the used litter and carry it out to the road for the garbage truck. Contrary to the widely held myth that cats are clean, they can soil an area faster than Obama can blame Bush for the next crisis.

Naturally, if one becomes ill, there is the visit to the vet. Suddenly you find yourself involved in shots, preventive tests, and necessary treatments. More expenses.

Cats are expensive, make a mess, take time to clean up after, tie us down, and seems like they always are trying to trip us.

And that is something to look forward to?

Without them, I’d save money, the place would be clean, we’d have extra time and wouldn’t be tied down, and as we aged, we wouldn’t have to worry about tripping over one and busting a hip or arm.

In the last six years with about the same number of cats, food and care have escalated by twenty-six percent. Another fifteen years, my bill will have jumped by 100%.

Retired teachers have not had a raise in the last six years; social security recipients in the last three. If this continues, I’m going to have problems in the next ten or fifteen years.

I would imagine there are millions out there just like me, making it today, dreading it in the years to come.

With no changes, in the coming years, I’ll have to choose between air conditioning and cats; food and cats.

Party’s over.

Essentially the same relationship exists between 50% of the American citizens and their local, state, and federal governments.

When the financial meltdown comes, and as things are now, it will, what will that 50% do when there are no more handouts? Cats can survive. They can forage.

You say it won’t happen?

You know yourself, governments spend like the proverbial drunken sailor, but when he’s out of money, he has a ship and bunk at port.

Unless you’ve been hiding with Alice down in Wonderland, you are aware of the country’s 14 trillion mess; of Beaumont’s Ford Park’s fiasco that will never be forgotten. Now Beaumont’s neighbor, Port Arthur, is falling into the same trap.

They’re buying an armored car, but, their selling point is that the taxpayers only have to pay a hundred thousand, saving three hundred that the government will provide.

That is the core problem defining our wasteful spending.

The feds will give us our tax money to buy something we could well do without, but because they give such a large chunk, our ‘leaders’ (a laughable use of the word) decide to spend our tax money on an object that would indeed be nice to have, but which we’ve done without for decades and will probably collect dust in the garage except on days the city puts it in a parade.

Port Arthur and Beaumont’s leaders can’t complain about federal waste of money. They waste taxpayers’ money with the best of the Washington spendthrifts.

Forget the armored car. Put that hundred thousand to work on infrastructure; instead of cleaning one block a month, hire unemployed to clear ten blocks a month. That helps more of the citizens.

Unfortunately, you can’t put clean city blocks in a parade.

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