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Perspective: The cost of kittens


Several weeks ago I called a family meeting, “We have a serious issue, it threatens our peace and tranquility. I want everyone to be a part of the solution.” They all stared back at me – waiting.

Mice, we have mice.

“Look, I know you all don’t typically take on this type of work. However, if you don’t step up, I will take drastic measures.” Maya, our older dog, looked at me with a bored stare and fell back asleep. Nola, our Golden Mountain puppy, was eager, then distracted, and chased a puff ball across the floor. Frida, our guinea pig, being a prey animal, turned away from the unpleasant task of killing.

“Well, that does it, we are getting a cat – you’ll regret not taking this on. However, you leave me no choice.” With that, Marybeth noticed a good friend had rescued a mother cat who had just had kittens. We watched their little faces as they played with their litter mates, happy frolicking balls of cuteness, so of course, we said, “we’ll take two.”

I went off to the store to purchase supplies and discovered kittens come with a cost. Litter boxes, litter, beds, travel carriers, toys, food, treats, OMG $400 dollars later we were almost ready to bring them home. Then I talked with our vet: Second mortgage time.

After the exhausting and shocking shopping expedition, I returned home. Sitting in the chair I remembered Tika, purring on my lap, as Nola snuggled up closely on my foot and leaning into my leg. I thought…all creatures great and small. Priceless.

Lou Ness has been working in service to people for decades. She has headed church-based programs in Rockford and served as Director of the Rockford Police Chaplains Program. She was an early pioneer in the domestic violence community.