The One and Only Ever I Promise Post About Cats

The ugly secret here at Yard Sale of the Mind: I am both a big basketball fan (go Warriors!) AND I like cats. So, there you go, I said it. BUT: up to this point, I’ve never posted anything about either for the very good reasons that:

  1. There are way too many sources for information and analysis on sports on the Web. Nobody needs to hear what I think about it.
  2. Ditto times 10 on cats. And if people can be said to be crazy about sports, people can be said to be psychotic about cats.

Sports I’ll continue to stay away from, other than to say that Bogut is underrated and Curry is a Destroyer of Men. As far as cats go, here’s my one and only post ever on this topic, and I will go back and read and then post on some soul-crushing education history or Hegel soon to purge the very thought of cats from my, and, I hope, your mind. Here goes:

I had cats as a child. This was back when cats were viewed as pets and pets were viewed as not people, meaning, you got a cat for free from somebody who didn’t have their female cat fixed fast enough, fed it, slapped a flea collar on it if you were going to let it indoors, and otherwise let it run around outside until the inevitable fatal run-in with a car or coyote or something. Circle of life, and all that. Cats tended to last a couple of years, with notable exceptions where the unusually bright cat figured out cars and lived to be 12 or so.

I only had one of those – a big, fluffy orange tabby named Dominic, of all things. All my other cats lasted a few years, tops.

Then I went to college – cat free life. Then semi-accidentally got a couple a few years after graduation. Then fell in love with a woman quite allergic to cats. So found other homes for the cats, and really haven’t thought about it in the intervening 30 years. My wife is much nicer than any cat, you’ll be surprised to hear.

4 of our 5 kids are quite allergic. Only out youngest, David, seems immune. He has wanted a cat for a long time, but we never got one because the other members of the family would be constantly watery-eyed and, sneezing and wheezing.

Then two things happened: 3 years ago, our oldest son Andrew died – our youngest was very close to him – and then this year the other 3 kids left home to go to college. I began to wonder: is there some way to get David a cat and still allow everybody else in the house to breath normally?

Curse you, Internet! Surfing around, found out about supposedly hypoallergenic breeds of cats.  One in particular – Siberians – appealed greatly to David and me. Big, fluffy, smart, athletic cats are way better than wimpy little lap-puddles.

So we found a breeder, took the entire family to visit, to see if full immersion in a house with many cats in it for many years would trigger allergic reactions. The answer: no, not really. At least for my family, Siberians don’t see to trigger a reaction. So, this could work!

The problem: Siberians are both rare and desirable, which means the Free Market will find out what the market will bear, and charge that. Weeell, did I mention cat lovers are psychotic? It’s a cat, for crying out loud!

20 years ago, I developed a micro-economic theory that we will here glorify with the grand title of Nice Guitar Equivalency Standard. Goes a little something like this: when evaluating a frivolous purchase, imagine how nice a guitar you could get for that much money. We are living in the Golden Age of reasonably-priced nice guitars – if you spend anything more than, say, $500 on a guitar, chances are you’re not buying the actual musical instrument for the extra dollars, because diminishing returns kicks in around there with a vengeance. The extra money is not getting you better sound or better playability at that point, at least not in proportion to how much more the guitar costs. A thousand dollar guitar is not anywhere near twice as good as a $500 guitar, in other words, and a $2,000 one is not remotely 4 times as good.

Throw in a decent amplifier and a case, and, for $1,000, you’re ready to rock and roll with no need to feel the least bit defensive about your rig.

Now, this is all a mental exercise – I’ve never spent anything like that for a guitar, and have never even bought a dedicated guitar amp. Now days, I play the piano a 100 times more than I pick up a guitar. But, as a rule of thumb, if you’re spending a $1,000 on something, you could get yourself a screaming guitar – and that’s how I’ve talked myself down from any number of stupid purchases over the years.

Let’s just say it didn’t work this time, and leave it at that. My head may explode if I think about it much.

OTOH: just look at these two!

The cat and my son. Yes, they are both very cute.

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

8 thoughts on “The One and Only Ever I Promise Post About Cats”

  1. You were talking about nice guitars and then threw in an apparently extraneous comment about something called an “amplifier.”

  2. My son is allergic as well. Siberians! I’ll be damned. I don’t suppose they’re shed-free as well? That’s the hurdle I’d have to clear to get it past the wife.

    1. Thanks. Now I just have to keep the cat in the house for the next 20 years, and everything will be fine! It’s not like a little curious, high-energy cat would make a break for it or anything…

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