As I progress towards buying a house, I realize how that’s a big ticket item - probably the biggest purchase I’ll make in my lifetime - and how I’m a cheap bastard, which means I’m going to end up with the hugest case of buyer’s remorse ever seen. As beneficial as it will be to me, it’s a huge commitment. I don’t fear commitment in the general sense, though - pretty much just monetarily.
Thinking about that, I started looking around the apartment at the stuff we’re going to have to move and it occurred to me that there are certain things that we’ve got that I will actually comment on occasionally, saying, “That’s some of the best money I ever spent.” I decided to write up the list of those things and share them with you. There are four. Sony 40” WEGA XBR TV [$3,000]: This is the largest tube television on the market. I wanted a larger TV, but I can’t stand rear projection because you have to be looking close to dead-on at them in order to see the picture correctly. Not so with a tube. Every time I look at this thing, be it watching a movie, playing a game on my PS2, or just watching TV, I am constantly amazed at the clarity and just general coolness of it. Besides my car, this is probably the largest single purchase I’ve made, and I’ve never looked back.
Cat Declawing [$300]: There are some people who claim this to be inhumane. I see their reasoning, but let’s look at it this way. I love my Tiny Cat. She’s cute and fun and very playful. She’s also a wild child and always has been. I paid the money to have her declawed and get her all the best pain meds, and now she can still be her natural wildness, but she won’t destroy everything I own (though she still kneads on everything, at least I know she can’t hurt it). She can’t be trained (she likes water and doesn’t care about smells) and she won’t be dissuaded from doing what she wants. By contrast, the Tubby Cat we have is very dormant but still has claws. (Both cats are indoor only.) I’ve had aluminum foil on the side of my couch for three years now because the second I take it off, Tubby shreds my couch. I would like to have my cats around but also be able to have (gasp) nice things. Let me tell you - if I could safely get the larger cat declawed, I’d do it in a second. (Larger/older cats have problems with declawing; you need to do it when they’re young.)
Scat Mat [$60]: This is the only thing that affects the smaller cat. She used to sit outside our bedroom door at night and cry and play with the springy doorstop attached to the door (Jenn and I are allergic to cats so we can’t have them sleep with us). We tried a mat that makes noise, but she didn’t care. We tried spraying smells, using the water bottle… none of it worked. The Scat Mat uses a nine volt battery to generate an electric shock that you get when you step on it. The shock comes in three levels
- “mildly annoying,” “just got out of the car on a staticky day and touched the door,” and “gaping flesh wound.” We leave it on “mildly annoying” and the cat leaves us alone all night. I can tell you now that many a night’s sleep has been saved because of that thing.
Cable Internet Service [$43/month]: I used to justify dial-up Internet service by having a slow, old computer that we didn’t get on very much at home. Then we bought a new computer and I found that half my time was spent connecting to the Internet so I could not only download information slowly but also busy up the phone line at the same time. Now I’ve got cable Internet and a wireless router. I can’t believe I was in the Dark Ages for so long.