Cat Got Your Wallet?

All Cats are Gray at Night

I stumbled across a story on the world wide web from AZ Animals about the most expensive cat breeds. These felines make Chester look humble compared to the pretentious attitudes that ooze from their photos, and that’s quite a feat, since I thought no creature had a greater self-worth than our pet.

We adopted Chester from a rescue shelter. He was technically free, but the cost of his vaccinations, ID microchip, neutering and regular flea and tick prevention treatments amounted to a few hundred dollars in fees.

These chichi felines on the other hand were going to set you back a few grand at least, that’s a pretty good heist for the breeders. So, of course I had to show Chester the story, starting with number five. I sat him in front of the computer and waited for the commentary.

5. Sphynx: $900-$9,800

Chester almost fell out of the chair.

“What the hell is that,” he yelled in fright. “It looks like a rat or a prune with ears and a tail. Who’s paying for that,” he exclaimed as he got his bearings on the seat.

“Shouldn’t we report this to the ASPCA,” he asked. “Looks like this guy hasn’t been fed in weeks. I bet cats used for medical experiments are treated better than this poor fellow”

I couldn’t disagree with Chester on this one.

2. Khao Manee: $7,000-$11,000

“What’s with the eyes, ” Chester asked. “Did someone put a marble in one of his sockets?”

I explained to him that Khao Manee is a breed from Thailand, where the people believe these cats bring good fortune. They’re all white with eyes that are blue, gold or a combination of both.

Chester was fascinated by this cat’s eyes. “Can I get a colored contact lens for one of my eyes,” he asked, sounding like a child wishing for gift while sitting on Santa’s knee.

He didn’t specify what other color he would want for an eye. Probably because cats don’t perceive color like humans do, but Chester could tell the Khao Manee he was looking at did have different eye hues.

“We’ll see,” I said, hoping he would forget about it and not wanting to tell him that my insurance doesn’t cover contacts for cats.

The next three cats had the common trait of being a mix between a domestic and wild feline coupled with the size of a dog; you know, a cat on steroids. That got Chester’s attention.

3) Bengal: $3,000-$25,000 2) Savannah: $10,000-$25,000 1: Ashera $22,000-$125,000

“Now we’re talking,” Chester said excitedly. “I wouldn’t want to cross one of these top cats, and they do our genus proud.”

“Where did you learn about what a genus is,” I asked?

“You mean; kingdom, phylum, class, order, family genus and species,” Chester responded matter-of-factly.

“Yeah, that,” I said in awe.

“On TV,” Chester said. “I love the nature shows, especially since I’m only allowed outside on the backyard deck. It’s a big world out there and I’m denied the opportunity to explore it, so all I have is the media.”

“OK, I was just checking,” I said, trying to act cool because I could never remember that stuff, except what a species is.


“There are no ordinary cats.”

Colette

When I informed Chester what people were paying for these specialty breeds, he just stared at me. I forgot that despite his higher-than-normal cat intelligence, Chester hasn’t grasped the concept of money. Value for our pet is measured in kibble, so I found a dollar to kibble converter online and showed him the results.

Chester almost spit out a furball the size of his head, then ran to his litter box to regain his composure while trying to make sense of what he just read. After a few moments of doing what cats do in their version of a restroom, he returned to resume our talk.

“Those cats cost almost an entire mountain of kibble,” he said in astonishment.

Then he asked the logical question I dreaded.

“How much did you pay for me,” he asked.

“Zero,” I said. “Not one piece of kibble, except for the care the shelter provided you.”

You would have thought I told Chester he was really a dog, based on the glum look on his face.

“How can that be,” he said in a soft dejected voice.

Chester, the priceless tabby.

Now I had to explain that not all cats cost money (or kibble). Some are taken in as strays off the street, while others, like Chester come from animal shelters with little to no payment.

“But aren’t I a special breed,” he asked, looking for reassurance.

“You’re a tabby,” I said. “Tabby cats aren’t a breed, it’s just the general term for a number of domesticated striped cats. I don’t know what breed you are, but I do know, whatever it is, you’re very special.”

Chester turned back to look at the computer with the images of those expensive cats.

“You got a great deal with me,” he said sounding more like himself, the king of self-aggrandizement. “There’s not enough kibble in the world that equals what I’m worth,” he exclaimed.

“A whole universe of kibble doesn’t compare to the value of one Chester,” I said, trying to boost his already enlarged ego even more.

“You’re absolutely right,” he shouted happily.

With that he gave those pompous pussies one last disdaining look and shut the computer off. Up the basement steps he trotted with his tail straight up, a confident cat no longer concerned about comparisons to those well-to-do felines. He had more important things on his schedule, like watch the action at the bird feeder in our backyard and anticipate his next bowl of kibble.

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