Ya’ll know what I’m talking about. The toys we so excitedly buy on a whim, imagination filled with visions of kitty splendor…only to be ignored entirely, not even worthy of being batted under a couch. In a twist of irony, in fact, the BEST toys get batted under the couch. I feel like these toys can never be found when you’re looking for them, but turn up in a giant stash under sometime that you only clean under once a year and then think “Oh, so THIS is where they all went!” BUT. When you look in this place at a later date to find what you now think is the honey hole of missing favorite toys, you find nary a one.
This rant is brought to you courtesy of an impulse clearance rack buy at PetSmart today. I only stopped in there to see if I could find a replacement wavy chaise longue (1. it’s really nothing like a chaise longue, it’s just a carpeted wave shape thing but the cats lie on it like I imagine I would on a chaise longue and 2. yes, I am spelling “chaise longue” correctly, it’s not “chaise lounge” as most people pronounce it – fact of the day) but alas, it was $30. Since I’ve never spent more than $20 on one, I refused to buy one for ten dollars more today, even if Moosh is out of a seat since Taco always shoves him out of the way to take the one remaining one. See, we HAD two, only someone’s fat ass broke one.
Now there’s one, and Taco keeps puking on the sisal part (ever tried to clean puke out of woven sisal?).
There I go again, wandering away from the point. The POINT is that I ended up buying some sort of natural treats that are supposed to “deodorize” your cats’ shit. Considering that the boyfriend and I actually send each other texts to warn of impending poop smells, I would have paid a small fortune for them, but to my delight they were only SIX DOLLARS! This, to me, was worth standing in line for. It was in this line that I discovered the clearance rack. For a mere 2 something I could have a TREAT DISPENSER.
I don’t know what I thought this was, but it seemed cheap, and the cats like treats, so why not?
Yeah. No. This is what it does: you put treats in it. You wind it up. Put it on the ground. It spins a few times. Scares the cats. Spits out a few treats. Stops. Cats stare. Notice treats. Hesitantly walk toward them. Eat them. Ignore the spinny thing.
I hate the brilliance of whomever discovered these impulse lanes. I know that the grocery stores have employed such tactics for years, but only recently stores have discovered that putting in a veritable MAZE of goodies and calling it a “checkout line” is highly profitable. Forever 21, Marshalls, PetSmart…I hate you.
I finally did it.
I bought a cat tree.
I’ve shared this fact with a few non-cat people, and their response is: “HA HA HA HA That’s a f*$#ing waste of money, you FOOL! You could MAKE that!”
Well, DUH. I’ve been saying this forever. And what HASN’T happened yet? It hasn’t been made. Which is precisely why I’ve waited until my cats are almost 5 and 3 years old to buy one. My poor, deprived kitties. All because Mommy is too freakin’ stubborn to go against her DIY ego and buy one. There’s also the fact that the nice ones are kind of expensive, and I’ve never really found one I liked. But I found one. Yeah, it’s a little more expensive than the traditional carpet-y ones, but it’s nice. It’s not AS nice as the ones I wrote about before, but it’ll do. Before I put the ol’ credit card number into the interwebz, I did way more research just to see if I could possibly find another one that I’d like better. Because it’s always my luck that as soon as I buy something, I find one much, much better. The only ones I found were, again, way out of my price range. Like this one from Urban Cat Design (in the NETHERLANDS):
So I bought the one that I talked about buying recently, the one that was reasonably priced compared to the ones I LOVED but couldn’t possibly justify spending so much money on. AND…this lady never buys anything on the interwebz without a coupon. So I got free shipping and $20 off to boot. Uh huh. I’m an awesome bargain hunter on expensive things. Like the $160 boots I got for $40. I really thought that one had to be a scam, but the boots are fabulous.
Now I wait. Because it’s coming from California. If I hadn’t held off for so long, I might have it this weekend to put together, but the boys are going to have to wait for next weekend, since I rarely have time or energy during the work week. Oh well. Moosh has been entertaining himself just fine with the silver ball of sparkles that are mostly strewn around the floor right now and I really should take away from him because Taco will eat the sparkles. Taco has a, um, sensitive butt, to put it nicely. The sparkles make it bleed a lil. Not serious, but unnerving. It’s so unfortunate because it literally is the ONLY toy that Moosh will play with, and he plays with it SO enthusiastically. Kitty mom is conflicted. Meh.
Kitty mommy problems, whatcha gonna do? Ooh, another rap song. Bam.
Everyone’s got an opinion on Black Friday. I don’t bother with it. I have to work at my day job, anyway. I think the shopping is kind of ridiculous, I mean, I even have the night off from UPS. I COULD work, but I get paid for being off, and I despise working there (the work itself is fine, it’s just full of a-holes), so I feel my mental health is not worth the double pay.
I know I’m probably in a better position than most. I have two jobs when a lot of people don’t even have one (but it’s not like, nepotism, I work hard to ensure my employment status remains solid). Yeah, my cats are expensive lemons, but I realize they’re not nearly as expensive as children. So maybe if I was counting pennies that closely, I would be more apt to wait in line at ungodly hours to get a good deal. I’m not rich. In fact, I’m a shopaholic. I don’t save enough. I like to buy things. I like to buy things way too much. But I also work an awful lot to afford whatever luxuries I enjoy.
But here’s what I think.
I don’t care. I don’t care how good of a deal it is. Just like choosing to not work for double pay, I can’t possibly imagine that there is a deal good enough for me to brave crowds. Crowds of PEOPLE. You know what I really hate? Waiting. I have no patience. I like efficiency. I can be in and out of a grocery store in 15 minutes. I don’t try on things at stores, I only buy things I know will fit or that I know I can alter to fit. And frankly, I’d rather pay the extra money.
This may shock people, but I don’t shop at Wal-mart. Ever. Why? I don’t like their business practices. I don’t like the way they treat employees. I don’t like what they do to small businesses. And honestly, have you SEEN the people that shop there? I feel dirty just walking in one. I don’t need a deal that bad. So yeah, you know, I could probably quit my hated part-time job if I pinched pennies and got the lowest price everywhere. I guess I just take “caveat emptor” a little farther than most. I don’t want the big box stores of the world to be my only option.
To anyone reading this that frequents that store, it’s not my intention to offend. I just hope that you think about who’s getting your money.
Here comes the pitch: shop Small Business Saturday. I challenge you to spend your Saturday shopping ONLY at local businesses. You’ll help your local economy, you’ll help the little guy, and most of all, you might find out that the guy who owns the hole-in-the-wall pet store has some really amazing advice. You might pay a little more. But I’ve found some jewels trying to avoid PetSmart. Nothing against PetSmart employees, but most of them are there for a paycheck. You’d be amazed at what you can find when you check out businesses that are in business solely because they truly care about what they’re shilling. They’re actually knowledgeable about their products. People who do what they love are inspiring…when that rubs off on you, it’s worth whatever you would have saved shopping with the giants. I know I’m old fashioned. Sometimes I want to have kids just to force my old fashionedness on them. Dying breed, we are.
I find it slightly ridiculous that “Small Business Saturday” is sponsored by American Express, but you know, it’s a damn good idea. And you don’t have to use your Amex to partake. So don’t.
And if you’re feeling really snazzy, make your presents this year. I am. I might even make the cats presents. Maybe I’ll finally get around to making that cat tree.