Lachlan “Mr. Marmalade” the cat enjoys some down time on the Poang. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)

Column: Pet ownership a rewarding yet pricey commitment

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

I’ve had several cats in my life, but none like Lachlan.

Sorry, not Lachlan. Mr. Marmalade.

Let me tackle the name thing first. No, we did not name our cat after me, nor did we intentionally seek out a pet with my name.

My wife spotted Lachlan – the cat – on the Shuswap SPCA website years back when he was a little marmalade kitten, complete with an orange “M” on his forehead. We laughed about the idea of a second Lachlan in the house and that was that. Until we decided to go check him out. We were all charmed by the friendly furball and quickly found ourselves filling out the paperwork to bring him home.

Not long after that, we began calling the cat Mr. Marmalade and it kind of stuck. He’s an incredibly friendly, super cuddly, sometimes dog-like cat and we all love him.

Read more: The power of Pets and Seniors

Read more: VIDEO: Horses bring joy and excitement to Salmon Arm seniors

Read more: DeMeer: Cats and dogs are reigning – and it’s wrong

So when Mr. Marmalade recently suffered a health issue, we were quick to get him to the vet. We don’t have pet insurance and anticipated a hefty bill for treatment. Thankfully, the cost wasn’t as much as it could have been, and the care provided was exceptional. But I can’t deny there was a moment when I asked myself, “Wow, are we really spending this much on a cat?”

Pet ownership can be a pricey commitment. For a puppy, in addition to the initial cost of the animal itself, a 2018 study suggests you can expect to pay about $2,600 in the first year for basic needs. For a cat, it’s about $2,000. This doesn’t include pet insurance, which can range from $30 to $50 per month, up to about $160 for more comprehensive coverage. Alternatively, you could just put that money away each month.

On websites like GoFundMe, you’ll often find people seeking support for necessary pet treatment. In an equally difficult position are those having to surrender their pets because they can no longer afford to keep them.

It goes without saying that having a pet in your life can be an enriching, rewarding experience. But there are costs involved that one must be prepared for. You might also want to be prepared for confused looks at the veterinarian’s office should you adopt a pet that shares your name.

Lachlan Labere is the editor for the Salmon Arm Observer

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CatsDogspet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UBC Okanagan to host Festival of Ideas with BC’s lieutenant governor

The inaugural event will feature a panel discussion with Janet Austin, B.C.’s lieutenant governor

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Meet Softy a five-year-old Himalayan cat available for adoption

Largest aircraft to operate at YLW begins service to Toronto this summer

The Boeing 767-300ER will increase seat availability for flights to Toronto by 40 per cent

B.C. budget fails to ‘excite’ Kelowna business community

Chamber says Budget 2020 lacks a clearly defined competitiveness strategy

Kelowna divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

COLUMN: Democracies don’t always have to agree

In no democratic system of governance is there ever 100 per cent agreement on any issue

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Guidelines regulate Summerland cannabis stores

The municipality’s policy, 300.6 establishes the 50-metre buffer zone around schools and parks

Most Read