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

Penticton woman to ‘load up the cart’ with toys for local hospital

Pascale-Ann Demers launched a GoFundMe to upgrade the toy supply at Penticton Regional Hospital

Cannery Brewing’s patio expansion plans delayed by COVID-19

Once open, the new patio will look quite different than originally planned

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Long-time South Okanagan principal retires, another takes the helm

Jeff Redden will start as principal of Naramata Elementary School in August

100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Merritt’s Darius Sam felt he needed to help his community after an encounter with a struggling woman

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read