I’m an animal lover, but cats really piss me off. My wife’s a cat person, I’m a dog person. So, we have both. While my dog barks to go out or feels terrible if he has an accident, we’ve had cats that piss on our stuff intentionally – just to be nasty. Either they’re mad you didn’t feed them, mad you left them alone for a while or they’re just plain insane. We’ve shifted litter boxes around, stopped putting clothes anywhere on the floor, etc., and our problem was solved here. But today, we had another one of those bizarre moments that I thought would make for a good post, not one of the cookie-cutter personal finance posts we’ve all come to know and love.
That Cat’s a Real Pisser…
So, today, my wife was at a friends’ house where the kids were playing. She left her jacket, my son’s jacket and her purse on the landing near the stairs and the boys played for a while. When she went to leave, she noticed everything smelled disgusting. Evidently, the friend’s cat pissed all over all her stuff, including IN her purse. If you’ve ever had a cat piss on your stuff, you’ll understand what a pain it is (one of our cats that I can’t stand peed all over a bunch of my tee-shirts I had packed up for a camping trip and they still smell like piss even after washing them multiple times). It’s hit or miss. Sometimes, the stuff’s just destroyed and you have to get rid of it. To add insult to injury, once a cat smells another cat’s piss, they want to piss on it too, so when my wife brings this stuff home, there’s a chance our cats will now want to piss on the jackets and purse again. The friend was apologetic and offered to pay for the dry-cleaning of the jackets, but it’s unlikely that dry-cleaning would even matter. This stuff’s probably gonna either get messed up in the regular wash, or have to be tossed. My wife declined and said we’d handle it. Fortunately, I guess, we don’t walk around in $500 jackets and my wife only has 1 real nice purse (which wasn’t the one she had today!). It’s all replaceable for probably a few hundred dollars and my wife said not to worry about it, her jacket was a few years old anyway and probably due to be replaced by next year regardless. After all, it wasn’t intentional, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for the same thing to happen at our house. We get it – cats suck. And it’s not worth ruining a friendship over a material item. At least they offered to clean them. But I wonder how people would feel if the circumstances were different. Say it were a $500 coach purse and $500 jacket? That’s a thousand bucks!
This story kind of reminds me of when I was a kid out to lunch for a class trip. I had this snobby kid in my class who always had the newest gadget and most expensive clothes. As I recall, I spilled a soda on the table at lunch and his “Z. Cavaricci” pants got wet. Evidently, these were $150 pants. Now, what a 7th grader is doing wearing $150 pants is beyond me (a boy for that matter). But when his parents caught wind of what happened, they called up my parents and demanded we pay them $150 to replace his pants. Now, normally, my parents were always the type to “do the right thing” and “be the better person”. Had the situation been different, they would have just paid someone the money for something their kid did wrong. But in this case, it was an accident – a spilled drink at a restaurant that happens all the time with kids. My parents said, “You’re ridiculous for sending your kid to a restaurant in $150 pants. Sorry, but we’re not buying your son’s pants”. They were livid. It caused some sort of rift apparently; I was only a kid and wasn’t involved in the conversations directly, but my mom still talks about it to this day, how stupid it was to send a kid to a class trip with 25 other kids and think nothing’s going to happen to $150 pants. So, the premise here is, stuff happens. When you own expensive stuff, sometimes it’s going to get ruined – either as a result of something you did, or someone else. Sometimes, I think it’s just not worth having real expensive material things – especially “fad” or seasonal things that aren’t even going to be around for long. The guy in the parking lot taking up 2 spots because he doesn’t want his car to get scratched? Owning clothing that’s going to cause a major fight if someone spills something on it? I dunno, life’s too short for that stuff for me.
A few questions for you:
- Have You Ever Had Something of Yours Destroyed By Someone Else?
- Who Paid?
- Do the Circumstances Matter or is it Black and White?