Pets and More Pets

By Sky

We already have a cat, but my kids have decided we also need a dog. Luckily the pleas of the youngest are still limited to pointing at dogs and saying “woof woof” plaintively, because the other two bring it up every time we see one.

I think I have persuaded DD and DS1 to settle for some betta fish for now, but I started to wonder if I should have campaigned for a virtual pet when I started reading about tank cycling and betta sororities. I manage sibling fighting all day as it is!

What pets have you had? What low maintenance pets would you recommend? Have you had any exotic or unusual pets?

What about pet care? How much do you think is reasonable? Does your pet get holiday gifts and go on the family vacation?

And most importantly, who does the work? Are there any Totebag children who walk the dog and clean up the mess, or is it all on the parents? (I know what the answer will be in my house, so we are not getting a dog!)

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72 thoughts on “Pets and More Pets

  1. The dog deaths caused more heartbreak for us then the cat deaths. No more dogs for us!

  2. We (actually me) had the dog before we had the kids. He is our firstborn, but he has had to shift down the totem pole since the kids came along. He has done this graciously and without complaint, but I know in his heart he would be happiest if he was still an only child. I can’t even think of how it will be when he is gone. We have been through 4 cities, 6 apartments/houses and a thousand other changes together. I won’t get another dog for a long time. Maybe when the kids are out of the house. I am not sure I will ever feel the same about another dog now that I have kids.

  3. we have 3 cats and 2 goats (country livin’)

    DS helps out some with their care. I hope as he gets older for him to take on more of the pet responsibilities.

    We had 2 guinea pigs before DS was born. Loved their little personalities! Their cages made quite the mess, lots of clean up involved (hay and wood chip bedding).

  4. Growing up started with a dog, added a cat and from then on had one cat and one dog until I left for college. I took the dog with me to college. My ex and I had two dogs for a while. When we split I took them both, then the older one died. When I met my current partner, we merged his 3 cats with my 1 dog 20 years ago. After my dog died, we have been a cat family. We currently have 3 inside cats and a neighborhood stray that has adopted us outside.

    Our cats are part of the family. They get stockings (little ones) hung at Christmas and get a new toy each year – usually by then the old one is close to demolished anyway. We probably spend too much on them – food, litter, vet bills – but they are very outgoing and friendly and we’d really miss not having them.

    Our DDs don’t do a lot of care for them – some feeding, a lot of playing, but rarely a litter box or other type of clean up after them. They are usually involved in the vet visit though and the loud yowling that goes along with it.

    One DD wanted a gecko/lizzard, but our cats are just too inquisitive and the outcome would not be good. Cats seem to be easier to maintain – we have our litter box in the garage with a pet door to access it. We can put out dry food and they will eat as they are hungry.

  5. I had a dog from birth to age 10, and I fed and played with her (she was too big for me to walk alone). I also had a couple of fish, which I fed regularly (I think I was 4-5 years old?). Then I went through hamsters. I fed and cared for their cages (about 8-10 years old) From about ages 11-17 we didn’t have any pets. In college I had a hamster, and a dog. That didn’t end well for the hamster. After college we added another dog. Both of those dogs had very spoiled lives. My mom and I split care and costs for them.

    Currently, we have 2 dogs and an infant. Everyone gets along as well as can be expected. The older dog is much more complacent about things, even though he gets less attention than he did prior to the other dog and the infant. The three adults in the house share the care of the three 4-legged beings. Usually one person preps dinner for the adults, one person feeds the dogs, and one person feeds the baby. In an elegant dance taking place in a 10×10 kitchen. DH and I do the shopping, and DH or my mom do poop patrol. DH or I will take our dog to the vet, while my mom takes hers. Our dogs are our fur-children and we treat them as such. They have soft beds, lots of treats, and as much attention as we can give them. The baby even likes to pet them (or grab fistfuls of fur, which we actively discourage).

    As DS grows, he’ll grow up with the younger dog and probably remember her. Hopefully he will learn to care for animals by feeding her and loving her. In her lifetime, he’ll never be big enough to walk her without assistance. She’s 50 lbs of muscle and isn’t the best at walking on a leash.

  6. I’m not usually a cat person, but Meme, for your lovelies I’ll make an exception. Absolutely adorable.

  7. We have an 11 year old cat. He is low maintenance and lives outside. He does not like people, except maybe my DH. I feel indifferent toward him. This week my 8 year old has assumed the responsibility for feeding him, and that is going pretty well.

    My kids have been begging for a dog for years. I feel bad that they don’t have one and hope to one day get one. My issue is that we are not home very much during the week and a dog would be alone most of the time. We all leave at about 7 a.m. and return at 6 p.m. every week day. That’s a long time for a dog to be alone. We can’t come home in the middle of the day to let a dog out. We do have a fenced yard, but I’m sure a bored dog would dig up all my flowers and chew everything else until the whole back yard was a mess. If the dog is a barker, it would disturb our very close neighbors if left outside during the day. Also, as the kids get older (currently 8 and 4) I see more of our evenings being devoted to extracurricular practices/games too. Have other totebaggers with similar schedules successfully incorporated a dog into the family? It’s a big commitment. My last dog lived 15 years!

  8. We have on cat (that looks a lot like your Cinna, Meme!) We had one for 10 years before cancer and then liver failure took her away, and we got our next cat immediately. She loves us, but does not like other cats, so I suspect we’ll be one cat for a long time. I like that cats have no cages, and can come up to us when they want attention (v. being ignored in a cage by busy kids.) Care for an indoor cat is fairly simple, although this one likes to scratch furniture and is driving me nuts with that one. I don’t want the work of a dog, even though I think they’re great, so we don’t have one.

  9. Tulip, you could try Soft Paws – they are like press on nails for cats and attach with superglue to keep them from tearing up the furniture.

    We had the vet put them on the first time or two ($20 in Manhattan) and then our cat put up with us doing it ourselves.

    Cheaper than new furniture!

  10. kind of off topic but what do you guys think about de-clawing cats? we’ve always just done the front claws

  11. We have chickens! I do all the work so far, but I hope once things get a bit more established the lovely snowflakes will take over. Right now they are pretty insecure in a cardboard box with a wire basket on top – until they can be moved outside next week, so I don’t really want the children moving things around. In a few months we should have blue and green eggs to boil and send with my children to school – major totebag points.

    We had a dog before kids, who died when the oldest was a toddler. Clearly we were on a lock step path with many people – the college dog, the mid twenties marriage, the early thirties children, the death of the dog. I love having a dog around, but our last was pretty anxious – which was difficult every time we had people over (not aggressive, but barking and hiding).

    My husband keeps telling me we can’t have anything else that poops and needs to be fed.

  12. I think it is interesting that we never had a vacation as a child that we couldn’t bring the dog along – camping, relative visits, etc. We also left our dog in the house all day, without problems (of course, we came home right after school). It really surprised me when as an adult how much work a dog was for me that it wasn’t for my parents. Some of it was naivete, but some of it was truly living in a different world than my parents.

  13. Ada – right now, we are at the same point. And it’s not the responsibility, it’s the square footage of the roof over our heads. Just too many heartbeats in one place right now. I anticipate our older dog will pass away in the next year or three (he’s 14, and the lifespan of the breed is typically 15). At that point we’ll either have another kid, or one will be imminent (hopefully). My fear is that the younger dog, utterly in love with her older “brother” dog, will be lonely and miserable. I just don’t know if my house could take (potentially) 2 kids and 2 dogs.

  14. We have no pets, having failed even at keeping fish alive. My husband is allergic to cats so that is out and I’ve said no to the dog until I retire. I honestly do not want a dog at all, but my oldest has been begging for one since she was about two so I’ll probably relent eventually. I just do not want one more thing to take care of right now.

  15. Declawing cats, while not illegal in the US (it is in much of the rest of the world) is completely out of fashion. Shelters require you to sign a pledge that you will not declaw the animal. The reason is that the operation doesn’t just remove the nails, it is an amputation up to the first knuckle. Declawed cats can’t scratch the litter correctly, have litter box issues, and often have gait and balance issues that worsen as they age.

    Just in case you are not familiar with this product (versions for dogs and cats of varying sizes) – get your pet a Furminator. This is an amazing grooming comb that gets at the under fur, reduces shedding in all animals, aids in keeping the house neat, and helps prevent hairballs in cats. A funny story (source confidential) – the Patent Office has as one of its functions reviewing patents granted, even if there is no civil challenge, for appropriateness – in this case, can you patent a style of comb? Instead of paying lots of experts, the manufacturer brought into the hearing some four legged friends and a couple of professional groomers, who proceeded to comb one side of the animal with ordinary combs and the other with the patented product. Sometimes a hearing officer needs no more than commonsense visual evidence.

  16. I have three cats, a puppy ,one child and for the summer four kittens . The kittens go to their permenant homes in September right as school starts. The puppy has been ten to a thousand times more work than the four kittens and their mom. We fostered the puppy and the kittens in lieu of vacation this year for the local humane society and decided to keep the puppy and the mom cat. The animals have given my child experience in taking care of , and restoring to health something small battered and helpless and have paved the way to new furniture for me after Christsmas . We are presently training everyone how to treat upholstered furniture so the new stuff will not get trashed . I will never again give into the impulse to take care in a pet just for the summer but I don t regret having done so. I love coming home to all the critters , human and otherwise at the end of day .

  17. We had a rescue dog, who we adopted as an adult, when my children were young. Perfect dog. I didn’t have time for him, given the toddler, baby, and a full time job, but he seemed happy in our home. Younger DS does not like dogs, so I will occasionally foster a rescue dog for a week or two, but a permanent dog is not in the cards. This is fine, as having a dog is a lot of work!

    Unfortunately, I am allergic to cats.

  18. I volunteer at a dog rescue organization, so I get to play with and care for dogs, but I get to go home at the end of the day to my dog-less house. This is an option for people who like dogs but cannot have one at home.

  19. We have a cockatiel and a conure that have been with us since before kids, another cockatiel and a budgie that are my daughter’s and live in her room (and she takes care of them with supervision from me), two rabbits, and two guinea pigs. The rabbits and guineas are kind of messy, and also the rabbits like to eat books, but the rabbits especially are full of personality (it surprised me how much personality rabbits have) and the kids adore them. The kids, especially the younger two, are good about cleaning cages on request. I usually feed the furry bunch but again, the kids will upon request or if the pigs wheek piteously (this is why all the mini sweet peppers, which are a treat for both and vitamin C supplement for the pigs, disappear over the weekend).

    If anyone’s interested, here’s some pet pictures, including one of parents’ dog (also greatly beloved by our family). https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/slO8NIigTVZPP0kRLuAww0O9lHnFbURmYh7oHIvAHMW?v=grid&ref_=cd_ph_share_link_copy

  20. We have a two year old lab. We got her from a breeder friend who socializes her puppies extremely well and she has a great personality. I am not a dog person and Mr WCE claimed he would make time for all dog-related stuff. She mostly lives out in the yard during the day and sleeps in the laundry room at night. She hangs out with the family in the evenings. She is not particularly well-trained- likes to pull on a leash and jump up on strangers- so I put her in the yard on the rare occasion people are over. The kids sometimes feed her- our rule is that whoever lets her out of the laundry room in the morning should feed her breakfast. The kids have trouble getting the lid completely back on the garbage can in the garage where we keep the dog food, but that will get better with age. DS1 cleans up piles as his primary weekly family chore. Mr WCE or I have to go around and check for piles he missed, but he’s getting better.

  21. My daughter would really like to get mice. I am really looking forward to her returning the mice she’s currently petsitting. They are sooo smelly!

  22. My DD has made noises about getting a dog but what she wants is a cute puppy that remains a puppy. I have said no because no one in our house wants a pet bad enough to do the work of caring for one. I had tortoises and a dog growing up. At various other times there were fish tanks and birds. My granddad would come over with birds in a cage and lo and behold pets were added to our house. I ended up with a fair bit of responsibility for these pets that I didn’t really sign up for.

  23. I didn’t grow up with pets, and I’ve always felt that I can take them or leave them. DH had a cat when we got married (he originally got the cat mostly for mouse control, as he was living in a very rural area before we got together). We enjoyed the cat, but we didn’t replace him when he died several years ago.

    Now, though, DD, who is an animal lover, is lobbying hard for a dog. I’m sort of surprised to find that I am entertaining the idea rather seriously. For some reason, DD tells me that she most wants a King Charles dog. Does anyone have experience with that breed? Or recommendations for another gentle-tempered dog that isn’t too big? (We live in a small-ish house with a tiny yard.)

  24. We have two dogs, three pet cats and a gazillion feral cats. The dogs have free choice food and water. I check the water a couple times a day, and the food periodically. The cats are harder since cat food is dangerous for dogs, they have to actually be fed, rather than having food just available. DH and I are a sucker for a certain breed of dog, the kids are the voice of reason about a new puppy now.

    The dogs spend the day with whoever is around. When a tractor is working the fields around the house, the younger dog will follow the tractor up and down the field all day long. The older dog has more sense.

    The younger dog will spend the early morning with me in the office until she goes to herd tractors.

  25. We had 2 birds and 6 chickens before our move and the 2 birds came to the UK with us. Let me tell you, it is not cheap to bring your pets with you overseas and it comes with a whole lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump. All the birds are pretty low maintanence as long as you have feeders and waterers and large enough cages and coops. The 2 birds were DH’s before marriage so those two just ignore me but fly to DH for head scratches. The runty chicken who was the lowest in the roosting pecking order was the sweetest thing ever and would always run to us for attention.

  26. The 2 birds were DH’s before marriage so those two just ignore me but fly to DH for head scratches.

    If they don’t actively resent you and plot to push you out of the flock, you’re doing well.

  27. We are cat people. Our first cat was originally our neighbor’s cat, but after the neighbor got a new husband, teenage step-daughter and a big dog, the cat decided she would rather live with us. Our relationship with that cat started when it used the dirt patch by our front door as a litter box. One morning I happened to have the TV on to some morning show and a cat psychologist was being interviewed. He said that cats don’t sheet where they eat, so we started to put food out. Not only did it stop the annoying behavior, but we ended up with a cat too. That cat had medical issues that required an Oncologist in the Bay Area, and an Internist in LA. We felt the cat had better medical care than we did. When we moved the cat came with us.

    A while after cat #1 passed,we got our second cat from the local animal shelter. Unfortunately, she picked up kennel cough there, and that increased the cost and responsibilities for her care for her whole life. I used to have to give her monthly allergy shots too.

    I was at dinner once with a vet and the question of de-clawing came up. She of course thought de-clawing was inhumane. When I asked her about the best way to address clawing up furniture, she suggested leather furniture. She said that the smooth leather doesn’t provide the texture that cats want to claw.

    So last summer (a couple of years after cat #2 passed) we were ready for cat #3. We had our leather couch & loveseat from Costco, and we were looking for our first kitten. We wanted to at least start with a cat that didn’t have any medical problems. We had cat #1 until she was 17, and cat #2 until she was 14, and we thought we were good prospects to adopt a kitten. We didn’t want to go through the local animal shelter because of our prior experience. We heard about a local rescue group that adopted out kittens through a local pet shop. My son and I went to the pet shop and played with a kitten and talked to/were interviewed by the pet shop manager, and started to fill out the adoption paperwork. I had no problem signing the will not de-claw statement, and then I got to the must be indoors statement. Our plan was to have an indoor/outdoor cat. There are coyotes around, so of course we make sure the cat is in at night. But our observation of both cat #1 and cat #2, both of which spent some time 100% indoors and also indoors/outdoors was that the cats were happier and healthier when they could spend some time outdoors. So we left that petshop with no kitten and tears in our eyes.

    We ended up getting a kitten through a rescue organization that works with feral cats. They go to the wild cat colonies and spay/neuter the adults, if they find a pregnant or recently delivered mother cat with kittens, they have someone foster the mom & kittens and then adopt out as many as can be socialized. Our cat was fostered by a family with 4 daughters. The cat is definitely partial to me. I asked our vet if she thought that preference was because of the fostering, and she said that cats prefer quiet people, which is often why they seem to be attracted to the allergic person in the room, because that person is often more quiet and cautious around a cat.

    We say that our cat’s “Papa was a Puma”, and she is big. She is also trying to take over our household. We can no longer keep toilet paper rolls hung next to the toilet. She will unroll and shred an entire roll. She will even go and get a roll out of the cabinet where I store them to play with. She isn’t a lap kitty, but she will hang out near her people, however she will stretch out her full length on me. Unfortunately she will sometimes bite. She will be sitting peacefully on me while I’m surfing the web on my iPad, and then she will decide that my hand is moving to much and she must “kill the hand”. I need to consistently work with her to eliminate that behavior. She will sometimes hide under our bed and playfully jump out at our feet as we are getting ready for bed. So, is our leather couch claw mark free? No, as a kitten when she would gallop across them, she would leave some marks. But I’ve only once seen her try to sharpen her claws on it, and I stopped her. The denim glider chair is her preferred piece of furniture to claw, but she is getting better about using her scratching post instead.

    When she bites, we remove ourselves, say “uh-uh” and if handy use a squirt gun. Any advice on how to eliminate/reduce biting behaviors?

  28. HM – It’s actually better since the move as my DH arrived later than I. The birdies were stuck only hanging out with me for a few months so in an emergency they’ll let me handle them, which never used to happen at home. Maybe in a few more years I’ll reach lowest member of the flock status. I can only dream of that day. :)

  29. When I was a kid, we were adopted by a stray cat. We fed her and got her fixed.

    She was an outdoor cat, but wanted to be an indoor cat, or an indoor/outdoor cat. When we had dinner, she would show her displeasure with being outdoors by climbing the screens of our kitchen (we had an eat-in kitchen). My dad fixed the screens she destroyed, and didn’t want to have to do that again, so my mom took some fingernail clippers to the cat’s claws. She did that a few times, and the cat pretty much stopped climbing the screens.

    By then, she also had my sister pretty well trained. Most nights, right after dinner, my sister would go out and spend some time with the cat.

  30. I never had more than a goldfish growing up, and DH had a family cat. DD also was one who petitioned for a dog since the age of 3 or 4, and when she was 10, we got one. I was the primary care giver, although DD helped as she was able. I was home during the day so was able to do all of the walking, feeding, training, etc. with help from DD (DS was about 6 and not at all interested in dogs). I think it would be very hard on a dog to be left at home alone for most of the day; I think a cat might be a better choice – but I’ve never had a cat so I’m not positive!

    We got our first dog at 12 weeks of age, and I did not want to go through the young puppy stuff again. We got our current dog when she was about 7 months, which has worked out well for us. I would definitely not get a puppy if you are not around a great deal!

    Of course both dogs came to prefer DH – I guess because he is the alpha male, or does only fun stuff with them! I am definitely second in line!

  31. Winemama – since you have goats I recommend following the Instagram account “Goats of Anarchy”. It is by a woman who has rescued several goats and keeps them on her property in New Jersey. It is a lot of fun to see their antics!

  32. I trim my cats’ front claws once a week, the back claws and dew claws every other week. My furniture is not at risk, but if I sneeze too hard or there is a loud noise they will extend their claws as they bolt off my lap, or grab at a leg or arm on the way to the floor and I get scratches if I don’t keep on top of it. As for biting, we have the usual harmless warning nip if we pet too hard or too long (after they can’t use their words to tell us), and Cinna tries to roughhouse with a forearm as if it were a kitten, but I don’t play along and put him down if he treats my hand as a toy.. Behaviors can change, however, so I am vigilant about biting. A tip that is often used with cats that go after the hand is to have a log-like soft toy and give it to the cat to bite. Something like this

  33. Similar to Nell, our kids would love a dog but we haven’t gotten one since we’re all out of the house most of the day. The kind of dog DH would want (some type of retriever/lab mix) wouldn’t do well by itself for long periods. Also, we’re at full capacity just taking care of our two kids. I could see us getting a dog when the kids are gone. Both kids would be unhappy with us as they would like a dog now.

    I would like to have a cat or two but both DH and DS are allergic to cats.

  34. Meme: Thank you for the advice. We have a suitably shaped fish stuffie to add to our arsenal of anti-biting techniques.

  35. We have had snakes and currently have a Betta fish. The snakes were hardier and more fun to feed. The Betta chased off the snail meant to clean its cage, so suffers from water illnesses of and on as we work to clean or disinfect the water constantly. Currently, the fish hides in its play set, we think because it has been over eating. Our son loves this fish and does the majority of the care giving that can be done without a chemistry PHd. All of our kids school stories have had pets in them, so pets are important.

  36. My family all love, love, LOVE dogs. I’m indifferent. But one time I saved the life of one of our dogs by rushing him to the vet, so I still get kudos for that. We have two dogs currently, both purebreds. We have relatives who give us the stink-eye because we didn’t get rescue pets. The kids are responsible for feeding and picking up poop in the backyard, but they still sometimes have to be reminded of these duties.

    One of our dogs is either mutant or the breeder scammed us since he is almost twice the typical size for his breed. I’ve been tempted to have the dog’s DNA tested, which apparently shows breed.

    I’m sure we will always have dogs or other pets. Our kids like to talk about the pets they will get when they move out on their own. I’ve seen many young people get cats when they move to their first apartment, but my son insists he’ll get a dog. My daughter says maybe a rabbit.

    When we both were working long hours, before kids, DH would take our dog to grandma’s house every day so she could babysit. Later on, we had a nanny who would watch our dog along with our kids.

  37. I did not realize declawing involved amputation. I thought it was like what my mom did with nail clippers, but putting the clippers all the way against the flesh (my mom just took enough off that the cat couldn’t use her claws to climb our screens).

  38. We’re down to one 18-year-old cat. I hated to leave her for the Glacier trip, but I prefer to remain married, so we went ahead on vacay. She survived — we have a great cat-sitter who’s a vet tech and really loves animals. But after the kitty finally goes, that’s it for pets. I hate leaving them. My parents gave up on pets when I left for college and spent their dotage watching the squirrels in the back yard. That’s my plan, too.

  39. So many people have pets! I don’t like pets. I would like a cat that didn’t shed and didn’t need a litter box, I guess (indoor/outdoor?), but we have many people in the family who are allergic. I don’t like dogs. My sibling and my in-laws both have dogs and they are smelly and shed all over the house and lick you and give the kids rope burns from their leashes. No thank you.

  40. DD used to ask about a dog a lot, but she got a stuffed animal she really loves, and the dog questions have pretty much stopped.

  41. SBJ – the point of these toys (the ones I linked to can be purchased in a three pack cheaply) is that you have one always in your pocket or by your seat. Whenever kitty bites at your hand, you withdraw the hand, whip out the toy and present it instead. Good luck.

  42. SBJ, I don’t like to be a downer (I love cats!) but you do need to take cat bites very seriously. My last cat bit me when she was elderly and starting what turned out to be a rapid decline with kitty alzheimer’s, and I didn’t really think anything about it even though my hand was red and swollen the next day. A doctor friend took one look and sent me to urgent care for a tetanus shot and round of antibiotics – apparently IV antibiotics and hospitalizations are quite common following cat bites. I had owned cats for years and had never heard this, Also, within hours, the health department had called to schedule a visit to see the offending animal, all 5.6 purring pounds of her. She was quarantined for 10 days, even though I produced shot records and she had not been outside in all of her 16 years.

  43. I’ve considered the softpaws, but it seems like such a commitment. Our cat actually is ok with me handling her paws and clipping her nails– I should probably get more regular with it.

    SBJ– She has a marked preference *for* leather furniture. Sigh. There’s no accounting.

  44. It’s true that cat bites are considered more serious than most bites, from an infection standpoint. In general, all cat bites get antibiotics, only some dog bites do. Dogs tend to tear, while cats puncture.

    As a parent, I worry much more about my kids getting bitten by a strange dog, however. I have seen a number of facial bites from dogs that “would never ever hurt anybody!” – that I get nervous when my kids are around dogs. We spend more time on good dog manners than we do on “stranger danger” in my house.

  45. Completely off-topic: In a few weeks I’m going to meet up with an old high school chum. Said chum will be with her 10-year-old daughter. I’ve never met the daughter, and I’d like to give her a little gift. She’s apparently very into crafts. She builds entire little villages out of stuff. She expressed (via Facebook) interest in some lovely old cloth dolls that my great-aunt made for my sister and me 60 years ago. Anyway, I know squat about crafts and not much about 10-year-old girls anymore. The gift would need to be fairly portable because they’re going to be traveling for quite awhile. Any suggestions?

  46. Embroidery thread and needles, some of that special cloth with the fairly open weave for embroidering, and a how-to book on embroidery? Small size, easy to pack, and she’s a good age to learn it.

  47. Good thought! Maybe I’ll wander around Michael’s and see if inspiration strikes.

  48. Regarding declawed cats…our neighborhood stray has been declawed. While he can climb trees, he definitely gets the short end of many fights. He does start most of them, so I don’t feel as bad for him as I would if he were purely a defender. As he has aged he has become more mellow and fights less – he is neutered and was clearly a housecat that someone put out. He cannot come in our house because he sprays his territory, which currently includes our fence and car tires.

    I am the claw trimmer in our house. We start when they are kittens and do it weekly, even if we barely trim them, just to get them used to the process. As adults, it depends on the cat. One cat it is almost weekly as he will sharpen them into long talons. The other end of our spectrum is about once a month, as our girl cat doesn’t seem to grow them quickly or sharpen them much.

    Ours mostly sharpen where we “ask” them too. One cat likes a cardboard scrathing block, but will use any cardboard he can find, which is sometimes detrimental to the tri-fold poster board for school. One cat like a jute wrapped item, the current one is a fish shape. The third cat likes a PVC pipe that is about 6 feet long covered with carpet. He has to be able to get his whole body on it or its a no-go and the stairs become his first choice.

  49. Rhett – This has been a long time coming, if this turns out to be the big correction we have been anticipating. Do you know anyone who is likely to panic and bail, as so many did in 2008-2009? Or are totebag level investors all in it for the long haul, even those who are recently retired or semi retired?

  50. Or are totebag level investors all in it for the long haul, even those who are recently retired or semi retired?

    Many that I know in real life are very loss averse. So, I’m not so sure.

  51. our “middle child” cat certainly has 9 lives. we rescued him as a kitten in 2006 (MIL found a litter of abandoned kittens). When he was very young, he stopped eating. I happened to be home early from work that day and rushed him to the vet, he couldn’t walk, he was slouched on the floor, I thought he was dead at first. He had to have an injection in his femur and be be nursed to health (feeding him cat milk and sleeping on a heating pad). Since then, he has had issues with urinary crystals that is a recurring problem, we had to switch him to an expensive cat food made for the problem that requires a rx from the vet. He was in kidney failure last fall, I didn’t think he would make it to xmas but he has improved greatly, without surgery. We had to hook him up to an IV for fluids at home several times a week.

    He was my baby before we had DS.

  52. I was wondering the same thing meme. I bought a little last week and I hope more today.

  53. Off topic – I can’t get enough of the story of those guys who took down the terrorist on the train.

  54. I’m digging that story, too, Rhett.

    Regarding the market, we didn’t think to buy until you guys posted here. Awesome! I’ll put a bit into the market this morning.

  55. Re the market: we are essentially fully invested with a long time horizon. No short-term selling here.

  56. I really like the old guy. How humiliating for the terrorist to be taken down by grandpa.

  57. I think this may be the opportunity I’ve been waiting for to move some retirement money into the market, but I think I will hedge my bet and not move it all now.

    Apparently the devaluation of the yuan is triggering this. The concern is that it will lead to a devaluation race among Asian countries.

  58. North of Boston – You asked about a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. Wonderful dogs! We have a three year old Cavalier and he is the best – sweet tempered, goes with the flow, playful with the kids but likes to nap most of the day, always happy, rarely barks. They are great with other kids and pets. They need a trip to the groomer every month or so because their hair grows quickly. The only real downside to the Cavalier is that they can have serious health problems, so you have to find a reputable breeder. Good luck!

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