Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wet, wet, wet. Or, it's raining cats.

What a horrible day it’s been today. Weather wise I mean. Cold, wet and windy all day. I got wet just walking up the road to catch my bus to Deal for my volunteering stint this morning. Got wet again at the other end of the journey. And yet again when I was back in Dover keeping my appointment with my adviser at the Job Centre. With DH working at the moment we aren't receiving benefits but I sign on to keep my National Insurance contributions up to date now that I no longer receive child benefit for my youngest, and also for the help and advice they’ve given me in getting back into work after a nearly 30 year break. I’m still hopeful that someone will give me a chance even though I’ve been out of the job market for so long. I’m not really wanting full time work, just a couple of days a week to boost our household income and to keep me from going completely insane being cooped up in the house. I’m only 56 so have a few years useful life left in me yet.

No pictures of dinner tonight and I can’t really price it because it was just a chicken stew from the freezer made over into a curry and served with Thai Style rice from Approved Foods. I also threw in a couple of lots of leftover veg (peas, carrots, green beans) from the fridge to use it all up. It was really yummy for such a pot luck kind of meal. I try not to waste a thing if I can help it and bung all kinds of bits and pieces into stews and soups or mix them with savoury rice or make into a pasta bake to make another meal.

As they have probably been clicked more than my kids in the 2 years we’ve had them, here are some more pics of our British Shorthair kitties just chilling out…as usual.

Ilona on Life After Money shared tips for frugal pet ownership. Luckily our kitties aren't too fussy about their food and will eat pretty much what's put in front of them, which is where AF comes in handy again because when they have a good deal I stock up. As we live at the junction of 2 busy roads they are indoor kitties, having the run of our 3 storey, 4 bedroomed Victorian terrace as their territory, and plenty of attention from the 5 adults who live here. It does mean they have to have litter trays, of course, and they're fussier about their litter than about their food, preferring the wood pellet kind which we buy at 2 x 30 litre bags for £16 from a local pet store which lasts about a month. They recently had it on offer at 2 for £14 so we bought a couple extra bags that month. We'd have liked to buy more but the bags take up quite a lot of room. We have them insured with Animal Friends for about £5.50 each and I also pay £18.98 (for both of them) a month to our vet for a scheme that includes all their flea and worming treatments, plus two check ups a year, their annual injections, claw clipping if we wanted (we usually do that ourselves every 2 weeks), and 10% off any medical procedures or treatments. It's money well spent as their flea treatment alone would cost £180 a year and the check ups and injections another £70. Yes, it does all add up but we love them to bits and feel that if you keep pets you should look after them properly. Insurance means we won't have to worry about affording their treatment should they ever be ill or injured. I would say that including food, litter and insurances they cost about £60 a month or £15 a week for both of them (£7.50 each) which isn't a great deal really, but when I often make meals for us that are only between 50-75p per serving it can still be a chunk out of anyone's budget. So, I guess my point is that keeping a pet shouldn't be gone into lightly.

Hope that didn't come across as too preachy, but in a town where many people seem to consider the whole pavement is a dog loo and you can't walk more than a couple of yards between piles of muck I get quite passionate about people being responsible for their animals.

Tomorrow is forecast as another wet day so I might stay in and make a start on a bag I have to make as a birthday present. If I do I'll try and post pictures.

And lastly many thanks to the folks who are reading my ramblings and leaving me such lovely reviews.


  1. I have never added up what it costs me to keep Ben. I am fortunate that I do not have to worry, but what ever the cost he more than repays me, not just in love but also my fitness and general good health. I get all the fresh air and exercise I need from our walks, runs and playtime. Goodness knows what a gym membership would cost and the cost of driving back and forth.

  2. I totally agree with you on responsible pet ownership. I also have an indoor cat,, but he is loved and cared for just like a family member. Thank god he is a healthy cat and does not need special treatment or heavy vet bills to cover. His yearly injection and a few flee treatments per year is all he costs on care. I don`t count the food and cat litter as I wouldn`t count food and toiletries for another household member, either. It`s all paid out of my weekly food and household budget of about £80. His companionship, loyalty and love doesn`t come with a price tag for us.

    On a different subject: Many thanks for your thoughtful input regarding our recent situation. Helpful advice and tips were gratefully received!