Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Son Lied to Me Today – How to Deal with it.

First I expect the kids to lie to stay out of trouble – most people do, children and adults.  However, that does not mean my children get away with it.  Usually they lie about little things like who left the hall light on.  It is usually, “Not me”, “I don’t know” or any other answer like, “I forgot”.  We tell them I don’t know or not me don’t live here and get them to turn off the light or fix whatever the issue is.

When my daughter started grade one she also started taking things from school and telling us a friend gave it to her, or it was a prize from school we quickly questioned it.  We confronted her and made her tell the truth.  Part of what we did was go into the school and talk with her teacher to find out the truth – in front of our daughter.  She had no choice but to confess to taking things and telling lies.  It was quickly and firmly dealt with.  We consistently followed up to make sure she did not start stealing again. 

We explained to our kids that telling us the truth is very important, and that telling a lie results in a much worse punishment then owning up and telling the truth in the first place.  Also that once they lose our trust it is a very hard thing to earn back.  My kids know that telling the truth is important to us, even when we don’t like the truth.

So I was quite upset when my son lied about a big thing tonight.  My daughter came down stairs and told me my son had a big red bump on his head.  She tends to tell on him a lot, but this time she did the right thing and I told her so.  My son comes down the stairs with his bangs hiding a great big red bump.  We asked what happened – I don’t remember.  I don’t think so.  We quickly figured out he had been injured about two hours earlier when he had been playing outside.  So now came the fun part of trying to piece together what happened. 

We could tell my son was reluctant to tell us what happened.  Usually when he gets hurt he is the first one at the door telling us he has been hurt.  I mean even bug bites he is at the door looking for sympathy and attention.  We have some “bad” kids in the area who like to hurt the other kids.  Our son knows that we don’t want him playing with them.  We thought maybe he was playing with one of them and was injured by one of them.  That he was reluctant to tell us because he knows he is not to go near those kids.  Nope, he was not playing with any of them.  Once we confirmed that he was not hurt by another child we concentrated on getting the real story.

The story we eventually heard was that he slipped and fell and hit his head.  That it was just an accident because he was running.  No way was that story the truth, not where the big bump was.  I asked very specifically if he had fallen off the fence and hit his head, and he said no.  However we let it go and my husband checked him over to make sure he was ok.  He was made to sit on the couch with an ice pack until bed time.

 I waited until he was in bed, safe.  He had gotten away with it.  Not likely.  I had a little talk with him explaining that I knew he was lying and why.   I had a very good idea of how he had hit his head but needed him to tell me.  After about a half hour it all came out, exactly what I expected.  He decided to climb over the fence instead of using the gate, slipped and fell head first onto a cement pad in our neighbour’s back yard.  He knew he was not supposed to be climbing the fence, that’s why we have gates.  So he hid the bump and did everything he could to keep us from finding out.

He was expecting a full out punishment for doing something we have been telling him for years not to do.  Instead he got me explaining to him how dangerous not telling us about the head injury was.  With the fences we have around the back yards he could have really hurt himself, get a concussion, or died.  It took a lot but I think I got through to him that he has to always let us know when he has been injured.  Even when he thinks he will be in trouble.  It is way more important to be safe and healthy.  Also I was very blunt about the type of injury he had and how much worse it could have been.  Most importantly I let him know that by hiding it he could have made things much worse.  If we had to rush him to the hospital and had no idea how he got hurt or when, how could we tell the doctors what they needed to know?  I also calmly explained to him how upset I was that he lied to us.  I think I got through to him because I was more concerned about getting him to understand, then punishing him for the lie.  There are still going to be consequences for telling us lies, but it is far more important to me that I can trust him, and know that he understands why the truth is so important.

I am still very upset that he lied to me.  Getting angry with him, or punishing him this time would backfire.  Being calm and worried about how injured he was and how much worse it could have been was way more effective this time.  To be blunt, I think that scared him far more than any possible punishment I could have given him.  It was also very important for him to realise that he cannot get away with lying to us.  We knew he lied, and figured out what happened all on our own.  There is no benefit to lying to us, but there are to telling us the truth.

Emergency with Windows security issues SCAM

We just got a phone call from “Windows” telling us that there was an emergency with our Windows.  That there are security issues.  First they had our phone number and last name – big deal you can get that from any phone book.  Second – if there was an issue with windows security how would they know to contact us?  Why would they. 

Next the guy would not tell us anything but that there was an emergency with our security.  We don’t depend on windows security – we have our own software we use to protect our computers.  Also if someone was contacting us from Windows they would know how many copies we have, what computers they are on and all the “registration and any special identifiers we have to access our computer”.  This was a scam to try and gain access to our computer.  They are trying to get our info to access the computer and our banking info, emails and more. 

PLEASE DONT FALL FOR IT IF YOU GET A PHONE CALL.  ASK YOURSELF – WHY WHOULD THEY CALL ME!  HOW WOULD THEY KNOW MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER BUT NOT MY WINDOWS REGISTRATION INFO?  If you did not register your windows program – then they would not have your name or phone number.  Also if they were from Windows the phone number would not be “unavailable”.  The person would identify who they are, their job title and why they were calling – not that they were from Windows and that there is an emergency. 

Also if on the odd chance that Windows did actually call someone they would tell the person to go to the Windows web site (not a web site they will give you the URL for – you don’t want to open an unknown website from an unknown person trying to convince you to give our your information or download a program).

We got a second call today – same people.  Only this time there was a technical error or issue with Windows.  They could not tell us what the error was and hung up on us when we told them to tell us what exact error they were calling about.  We reported the calls to the local police.  They are getting quite a few calls regarding this.

As per the local Hamilton police – The callers are currently identifying themselves as calling from Windows or Microsoft, though they may change that at any time and claim to be calling from any company.  Do not give the callers any personal information, information about your computer or programs on the computer, and do not give them any money or information about your credit cards or bank accounts.  It is a complete scam to get people to pay them money to fix a non-existing issue.  Also they are trying to get peoples information to get into their computers, bank accounts and identity theft.  So do not give any information to these people. If they don’t know your information – they are fake and just trying to get it from you.

Also these scam artists are hitting a lot of people.  If you can get info from them such as a name, phone number or way to find them great – make sure you let the police know any info you get. However, they tend to hang up the phone instead of providing any information, not even a name.  If you have given them any information about yourself, your computer software or credit cards you need to report right away.  As a rule do not ever give out your information in any shape or form (name, birth date, SIN, bank information, credit cards, or programs on your computer) unless you know exactly who you are giving it to and what it is being used for – and never to someone who calls you or emails you.  Some people have been sent forms to fill in and mail back asking for personal, banking and other information.  Don’t fill them in because you don’t actually know who is getting them. It is just another form of this scam and other scams. 

Be smart! Be Safe!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Too many fake photos about Hurricane Sandy the Frankenstorm

We have been looking around and seeing some scary photos.  Many of them are fake or have nothing to do with Sandy.  Here are a couple of ones we have found.  If you know of anymore fake photos please let me know and I will add them so people are not being tricked.  Some of them are very good photo shop work, others just not actual pictures of Sandy but other storms or events.

Sharks are not being seen in New York or other areas - at least not real ones.  Nice job on this picture though. 
I beleive this one to be fake as well but I am not a 100% sure.

A photoshop job of the Statue of Liberty and a supercell thunderstorm from 2004 taken by photographer Mike Hollingshead.
This may be a 2003 tropical cyclone in Australia, not Sandy in the USA.
This is from the movie Perfect Storm.
This is supposed to have been faked as well.
Not sure who made, but it is a fake being shown all over the internet.
This is a picture of  Hurricane Ike not Sandy.  Still scary just not Sandy.
This is part of a video called "Flooded McDonald's" once part of an art installation by the Danish Group Superflex
This photo was taken during a storm in September 2012, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  That does not take way from the fact that these soldiers are out there rain or shine, it just was not taken when the Frankenstorm hit.  Respect!
This was a Wall Street Journal post from 2011, not Sandy 2012
Not sure who did this but it is a twitter joke, not a real picture.
There are some that are just funny as all heck.  You can tell they are fake, but that is ok - they are supposed to be funny.
As funny as this one is, it may be real!  And that is scary that this is what people stocked up on first!

View of Hurricane Sandy form the Times building in New Your

See live photos of Hurricane Sandy  - Click view from above for the latest picture from the Times building in New York.  Beautiful and scary at the same time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Surviving December 21 2012 Christmas Gift List


For the last year people have been starting to stress out about what might happen on December 21, 2012.  At times it feels like we cannot avoid hearing about it. There are many movies, T.V. shows and more on all the time.  Even my kids are hearing things about December 21 2012 at school, teachers, other parents and even other students.  My children are becoming scared about all the different things they are hearing about.  Because of this we have been talking with our children about the different possibilities of what might happen, and what things we can do as a family to deal with the different possibilities.  From this we have created a Christmas gift wish list – things we want this Christmas that we think can be useful if things go bad, but stuff we would make use of even if things don’t go bad.  I hope this Christmas wish list of ours is of interest.

Hand Crank items.

My kids really want hand cranked flashlights.  My daughter wants the hand crank flashlight and radio combo.  There are some solar items out there but I like the idea of hand cranks – if the weather is bad you can still use the items.

We also looked at old fashioned egg beaters – the hand crank ones.  We have been looking for them at our local stores for the last couple of months.  We have only found them online, so we will be picking up two of them soon.

There are many other hand crank items out there that can be useful for everyday stuff.  I have no problem using them, and not using electricity.

Cooking items

A weighted pressure canner (not cooker).  We already picked this up.  We are taking advantage of sales and canning fruits and vegetables.  Actually we are cooking complete meals and saving money already.  It is great.  Also if the power goes out – no worries about the food going bad like the stuff we have in our freezers.

We are going to be getting lots of canning jars, lids and other canning products needed.

Hibachi grill that can be used outside.  This is a quick and easy way to cook, even in the winter if the power goes out.  We can use it all summer as well.

Wood and charcoal BBQ and Smoker.  This is a great way to cook, even in winter.  Smoking is a wonderful way to cook and we would use it all year round.  Again this is a great way to cook if the power goes out.  Also we don’t have to worry about running out of propane.  We will stock up on charcoal and wood chips but if we run low we can always get wood from the forest around us.

Air tight wood stove.  This can be added to our home if need be.  Even if we had to put it into our basement and the chimney out the basement window in an emergency.  It would keep our home warm, and we can cook on it.  If we owned our home we would have a fireplace or an Air tight wood stove installed.  We actually would love to have a fireplace now.  They are great. 

Cast Iron Cookware.  I grew up watching my mom cook using only cast iron cookware.  I even had some that I loved but someone took them on me.  So I would love to replace them.  There are a lot of great reasons to use Cast Iron cookware.  They can go from stove (top and oven) to campfire no problem.  They cook more evenly than any other cookware I have ever used.  They hold heat well, so you can heat them up and actually turn off the stove and the food will keep cooking.  When seasoned the flavours you can get out of the pans and other Cast Iron cookware is amazing.  The funny part is that it used to be difficult to find more than the occasional Cast Iron pan but now Sears has come out with a complete line of Cast Iron cookware – including cupcake pans.  I plan to buy the Cast Iron Cookware piece by piece – and maybe pick up a couple as Christmas gifts.

Hand crank pasta maker.  I have wanted a pasta maker for a long time.  I want to make fresh pasts, but I also want to use the pasta maker to help roll out my shells for Chinese dumplings, pirogues, tortillas, pie crusts, and pizza dough.  The one we found is less expensive than all the electric ones we were looking at but it is also smaller and a lot of the accessories available with the electric ones are not available.  The one we found does some basic noodles, but it is a start. We use it for many things not just noodles.

Power source.

I would like to pick up some solar panels and start using them every day.  Unfortunately we rent and our landlord will not let us put any up.  There are many small emergency solar power generators that we could pick up.  They can go in the windows.  A few of them can be used to provide power for the fridge, freezers and stove if need be.  There are many different types of solar power collectors or generators some are small and are able to power a laptop; others are able to keep larger equipment powered.   This is something that my son would really love to have – he wants to be able to play his computer games no matter what.


Bikes for the entire family.  We don’t need gas to get around with bikes.  We can also attach little carts to the back of them if needed.  Also to be blunt it is a great way for us to do something as a family, and I could use the exercise.   We live close to a nature trail we could be biking on as a family – so why not get bikes and start doing it.

E-bikes.  We have wanted E-bikes for the last year.  They don’t take much electricity and are way cheaper then cars to run.  Only problem is that we will soon be a family of five.  They don’t let the kid e-bikes on the road the way they do the adult e-bikes.  So if we do get them it will be for trips without the kids.  Another drawback is the limited storage space.  If we go shopping we can only bring small amounts home.  There are some e-bikes with passenger seating and carts attached to the back but I am not sure how the law down here sees them.  Are they vehicles that need to be treated as a car – with the insurance and road rules or not.  We want to make sure we don’t buy something we cannot use all the time.  On a good note – if we buy an e-bike there are solar generators that can be attached to charge them so we may be able to use them even when the power goes out.

Electric car or van.  We would like to have one but our home is not set up for that and our landlord will not let us set it up.  If we move it would be something we would look into again.

Survival or Camping gear.

Fishing poles, wire, hooks and everything else that is needed when fishing.  We live by a lake so fishing is something the kids are interested in doing.  At this point I don’t think I want to eat anything they could catch in the lake, but it is better to have the option of fishing.

Compression Bows and arrows.  My son has been interested in archery for years.  This is a hobby he would like to take up.  We have a couple archery clubs in the area that he can join.  It is a good option if things go bad.  Compression bows and arrows are great for hunting.  The arrows can be reused, repaired or new ones made much easier then bullets.  I know my son would love to learn how to shoot with a bow and arrow even if he never does anything more than shoot at targets and enter competitions.  He was excited when he found out that archery is an Olympic sport.  If he starts now he has 8 years to get good at it and maybe have the possibility of trying out for the Olympic team if he is great at it.  If not is it something he would just enjoy.

Camping equipment – any and all.  This is everything from tents, sleeping bags, back packs and cooking equipment.  My husband would like to include hunting gear with this.  I know my kids have wanted to go camping for years.  We used to go camping in the summer all the time before the kids, but we got rid of our camping gear years ago.  I think once we pick up camping gear again we will go camping again.  As for hunting, that is something my husband used to do before he moved down here.  I grew up with my family hunting every year so I know it is a great way to get meat cheap.  I am not fond of hunting but if that is something my husband wants to do again I can work with him.

I am sure that there are more things we will add to our 2012 Christmas gift wish list as we think of them.  Mainly we wanted to let our kids know we are not helpless.  If things do go bad we know what we need to do and have to survive just about anything.  Since we sat down with our kids and created our Survival Christmas list my kids are feeling better, safer.   

We have plans to get most of the stuff on our list slowly.  We can see the advantages of using them and cutting down on our energy use.  Some of the items would give us things to do as a family, others we just like the idea of having them.  We changed how we buy and cook in the last six months, not just to save money but to eat better.  The canning equipment and smoker/BBQ are just an extension of this.  We are using this to improve our lives – even if nothing goes bad December 21, 2012.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gestational Diabetes – Not fun

About two months ago I was told I have gestational diabetes.  So for the last two months I have had to monitor everything I eat very closely.  I have to keep my carbohydrate intake down to 50 g per meal and 15 g for snack.  So I am on a diet, and have actually lost a little weight while pregnant.  That is not a bad thing; I am overweight and need to lose weight to be healthy.

Unfortunately diet did not help my blood sugars.  I had to go on insulin three weeks ago.  This is not fun.  First I had to stick a pin (lance) into my fingers at least 3 times a day and change what I eat; now I have to take insulin on top of that.  I have a fear of needles!  This has been a very difficult for me to get past that fear.  Fortunately they gave me an insulin pen.  They don’t look the same as the needles I fear.  However the sharp pointy bit at the end is still a sharp pointy bit that I have to put into my belly 5 times a day. 
I am getting good at monitoring my blood and taking my insulin.  I know I have to do it for both my baby and me.  This is about being healthy.  If my baby is born “big” she has a higher chance of developing diabetes, and struggling with her weight all her life.  I have an 80% chance of not having diabetes after the baby is born.  That means there is a 20% chance it is going to stick around.  There is also some question about if I had diabetes before I became pregnant and just did not know it.  I am very overweight and there is a good chance I had diabetes for the last few years and because I was never tested I did not know.  I also have been informed that I have to lose weight after the baby is born or I have a higher chance of developing diabetes within the next 5 years.  If I can lose the weight I can reduce the possibility by 50%.  That means I have good chance of having diabetes within the next 5 years.  Suddenly getting healthy is just that much more important. 

Who knew how expensive diabetes is.  First food is expensive, bad food tends to be cheaper so we eat more of it.  Good healthy food is what I need to eat now.  Second the supplies are very exspensive in Canada.  The lances needed to test my blood and the needle tips needed to put insulin into me are not covered by our medical coverage.  They cost in the hundreds every month.  Ouch.  Then there is the insulin and test strips – also are in the hundreds every month.  We are lucky that because we are both unemployed and on Ontario Works right now all my supplies are being covered.  However if I was still working it would not be.  I did not have any medical coverage – they kept my hours under 35 a week so I was always part-time.  I would never have been able to pay for the stuff I need to test my blood or to take insulin. 

I hope that I don’t have diabetes after the baby is born, nor do I want to develop diabetes in the next 5 years.  Not just because I want to be healthy!  I hate having to monitor my food so closely, test my blood all the time, and take insulin.  More importantly I don’t want the financial burden of being diabetic.  I can live with taking care with my food, testing my blood and taking insulin.  I don’t know if I could live with the cost of diabetes.  I actually could not afford the diabetic supplies I would need.  I would have to choose between living with diabetes or paying rent, hydro and buying food.  I don’t actually make enough money to pay for the supplies, and everything else I need to live.  I guess that is the best motivation to get on the treadmill every day, diet and do everything else I need to so I can be healthy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

OK Hamilton teachers go on strike already

I never thought I would say this but I wish the teachers would just get it over with and go on strike.  I don't like how they are treating the students and parents at my kids’ school.  I know they are unhappy with the changes and rules being imposed on them but that does not make it ok to be petty to the kids.  The kids are not the enemy and should not be treated as such.  Fine don’t do the extras, that is your right but don’t stop doing the job and start treating the kids like crap.  If you don’t want to be there that much than go on strike now before anymore damage is done to our children. 

The vote was only last week and we can tell the difference in how our children are being treated in and out of the class.  Being rude to the parents is not going to help you!  If anything the people who could be your allies and support your actions are the very people you are pissing off.  To be blunt I don’t have much sympathy – you have a job – many people do not.  Many other people have had to make cut backs and changes to keep their jobs and still end up unemployed.  You deal with children and need to remember that how you treat them in your anger is going to stick with those kids long after your anger is gone. 

The funny part is that when I heard about the strike last week I was supportive, I could understand why you want to strike.  That is until teachers started to treat kids like crap.  Now I don’t care about the teachers or what they want, I care about what they are doing to the kids.  You don’t want to do your job, but still get paid for it and spend your time bitching about the whole thing– fine, get in the back of the line.  There are people without jobs, trying to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads – they don’t need your crap on top of that.  They would like a job, any job at this point.  You want to belly ache about how hard your jobs are, be glad you have one and a paycheque to go with it.  Things are tight everywhere – don’t like it go on strike and stop taking it out on our kids!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The last great depression was in 1929, will the next one start in 2012?


It is time to talk about December 21, 2012 and how similar things are just before the 1929 great depression.  I have to admit it is scary when you look at how similar things are.  The biggest one is that most of the world finances seem to be controlled by 1% of the population, both now and then.  I can see how this is a real problem.  The people who have the money to make the changes that are needed don’t want anything to change.  They have what they need and don’t want to change that, or give up the control they have.  Simply put - why would the person (or people) on the top want to do anything to change that?  There is more money sitting in banks doing nothing then there is in the economy being used.  One important thing the people with the money have forgotten – you cannot make and sell things to people if they don’t have money.
Food bank lines look much the same now as they did during the great depression.

People who want change are not in a position to create change, unless they force a change.  Many people are afraid and are starting to rebel all over the world.  There is anger, destruction and a lot of fear.  Many people feel helpless and angry so they lash out at easy targets.  Some are trying to make life better, others have given up and are not trying to do anything, and they expect things to go bad so why try or care about anything?  I see it every day, not just on the news but in my neighbourhood.

The second biggest similarity is the drought and other natural disasters (and some not so natural) that have destroyed much of our food sources.  A lack of money combined with a lack of food – that is a bad combination.  People will do what they need to so they can feed their family, even kill others for food.  The lack of oil is creating an increased cost of food, from putting it into the ground, harvesting it, transporting it and converting it into “food” we buy at stores.  This means it is harder to get food, the cost keeps going up.  Now with crops being destroyed food costs are  going to be even more expensive.  Wars are already being started over “land” between China, Japan and Taiwan.  However, it is really about being able to fish around the Islands – so it is about food.  In the Middle East it is about oil, but really it is about being able to keep the economy going, farming and getting food to people.
How did we get out of the last depression – war!  So it is not surprising that war is a common worry, and is actually starting in many places.  Countries are going to war with each other.  In Canada MontrĂ©al is trying to separate from Canada again.  Populations are starting to rebel against their Governments.  People are afraid and angry. 

I knew more than a year ago that something bad was going to happen.  I also felt that it was going to be caused by people; either greed or fear would be the cause for most of the bad things that were going to happen.  Other than a few natural disasters I still feel that most of the easy to see upcoming problems are being caused by people.  That does not change the fact that we are in trouble!  I don’t know what is going to happen, I do feel that we are going to be sucked back into another great depression, and all that comes with it – death, war and drastic changes. 

I know what we are doing to try and protect ourselves and our family.  We don’t have money to move, or get to a better place but we are doing what we can.  We have ideas of what to do if things go bad, but no real plans because we don’t know exactly what is going to happen.  There are just too many possibilities to worry about them all.  We concentrate on what we can do, and changed how we do things now.  We are not going to let fear win; we are going to concentrate on survival of whatever happens. 

I think people need to talk about their fears and what they do if things go as bad as we think they will.  Please comment and let me know your fears, expectations and what you are going to do to survive the changes to come. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What you should know before getting a cat

Animal shelters are consistently overwhelmed with unwanted and abandoned animals. Often people don’t know what they are getting into when they pick up that cute little ball of fur. Before investing money, time, energy and emotions on the too hard to resist kitten or cat make sure you are prepared to take care of it for the long term.

Are you prepared to make a lifetime commitment for 10 or 20 years or is this an impulse, spur of the moment kind of thing? Cats can live up to 30 years, though most indoor cats live between 10 and 20 years. Make sure a cat fits within your lifestyle before you decide to bring it home.

How will the cat fit into your home? What type of environment is it? Is it cat friendly? Is it even safe for your cat? For example ivy plants are toxic to cats, as are many other house plants. Do you have other pets or people living there? Before you bring a cat home you need to know how everyone and every animal in the home will react. There is no point in bringing home a cat if it is going to cause problems with the other residents of the home.

Kittens grow up into cats. They don’t stay cute, they can become quite temperamental. They expect attention or don’t want anything to do with you. They control the relationship, not you. Cats want what they want and when they want it and don’t care about what you want or are trying to do.

Cats don’t take care of themselves, even outdoor cats need care. Many people have this idea that cats are very independent. However they still require someone to feed them and make sure they have clean water. They require attention of their people, to cuddle or pet them as well as feed them. They don’t clean their litter box, you do.

Cat hair ends up on everything, even if you get a short hair. There are some hairless cats, but most people have cats with fur. Long hair cats may require regular grooming from daily brushings to actually going to a pet groomer. Hairballs and the mess that comes with them are to be expected, even with short hairs.

Will your cat be an indoor or outdoor cat? Outdoor cats have a shorter lifespan than indoor cats. The average outdoor cat lives about 2 years, a well taken care of indoor cat can usually live 10 to 20 years or longer. There are a lot of risks for outdoor cats, not all of them obvious. Many outdoor cats just don’t come home one day. They may have been picked up by animal control, hit by a car, eaten by a dog or any number of negative reasons for not returning home. They also tend to pick up bugs, not just flees but hidden internal bugs and worms that can be harmful not only to the cat but other pets and people. Indoor cats tend to be healthier and live longer.

A question many people not buying a cat from a specific breeder forget to ask is “Where did this kitten/cat come from?” It may seem like a strange question but it can be a very important question to ask. It can affect a cat’s personality and health. There are good and bad breeders out there. Some take care of their cats and insure they are healthy and well socialized. Others have pens full of cats that they breed with the sole intent to sell off the kittens. They are not always so careful with the family lines, or overall health of the kittens, and don’t make any attempt to socialize them. There are many cats and kittens waiting in shelters for a good home. There is nothing wrong with them, they are often abandoned by people who were not prepared for the responsibility of a pet, or could not afford them anymore. Often when you go to an animal shelter or pet rescue center the cats and kittens have up to date medical care, and the cost will often include the spaying or neutering if they have not already been spayed or neutered. Many pet stores will also work with rescue centers and have rescue cats available, but you will not know if you don’t ask. Rescue kittens and cats have often been fostered and are well socialized. People will be able to tell you about the cat or kitten and the personality it has. Also it can feel real good to adopt a rescue cat or kitten, knowing you kept it from being put to sleep simply because there was no more room at the shelter.

Can you afford a cat?

Sure it seems like all they need is food, water and a place to go bathroom. The reality is that owning a cat or kitten can be expensive. There are a lot of things to consider. For example it may seem like a good idea to buy cheap food. The quality of food is going to directly affect the health of your cat from everything from its energy level to the quality of its fur. Cheap pet food will often be full of fillers, and are not usually the best choice. The cat will eat more because it is not getting what it needs, this means you buy more. The cat will often use the litter box more frequently as a result, causing you to have to clean it more often and buy more litter.

Then there is health care for your cat. Vets can be expensive. You may choose not to go to a vet, and your cat may become quite ill resulting in death or having to spend money on a vet visit and medications. It is much better to budget for vet checkups and unexpected vet visits. There are some quality pet insurance companies that will pay for unexpected vet visits or illness. However they usually require the cat to have a well documented medical record with consistent and proper healthcare being provided. There are many shots that may be expensive at the time but are real life savers.

Some people buy cats to breed them, not to have them as pets. If you are bringing home a pet then spay or neuter them. This is very important. There are too many unwanted cats and kittens being killed every day in animal shelters. Also it is not fun experiencing a female cat in heat. Many female cats are let outside or abandoned when they go into heat. Male cats will start spraying pee on things if not fixed in time. Spaying and neutering also prevents the difficult situation of finding homes for a litter of kittens. If you cannot afford to spay or neuter a cat then don’t pick one up until you can.

There are also unexpected expenses that are just part of owning a cat. They like to scratch things, and may destroy something expensive, even if you have things just for it to scratch. How are you going to deal with the claws? There are scratch posts and other types of cat products that can help. Proper clippers for cat claws are extremely helpful if used properly and consistently. Some people have the claws removed. Claw removal is often an expensive surgery that involves removing a portion of the cat’s toes. It is an amputation, not an extraction. This is not highly recommended by many cat lovers. Many people see it as a cruel operation and unnecessary expense when there are so many non-surgical options such as nail covers or nail clippers. There will be things pushed over and broken, for no apparent reason. And if a spraying issue develops there is the cost of consistent cleanings of furniture, walls and floors.

Cats can and do add to people’s lives. Owning a pet can reduce stress, provide companionship and unconditional love. However it is a commitment on your part to take care of them. If you are unable to make the changes to accommodate them or cannot afford to provide them with the care they need it is better to walk away then to bring the cat or kitten home.