More Cats, More Fun

While a married couple is forced to downsize in the recession, their lives are enriched by an unlikely gang of pets.

- Posted on Aug 27, 2010

Five years ago, I had gi-normous closets, an in-ground pool, and I never had to weedwhack.

You know, apartment life. 1200 square feet of maintenance-free living. My husband Bob and I, both working full-time, were shelling out big bucks for a place we didn't own, where we couldn't have a pet without a hefty security deposit. That's where we were living when Blackjack, an elderly stray kitty, showed up on our mini apartment patio meowing for food.

We fed him. We bought him a rabies shot, flea drops, and dental work he needed. And we took him with us when we finally downsized out of our oversized place, down to a “fixer-upper” house on half an acre out in the country, where our house payment was half what we'd been paying in rent.

Yes, we were “downsizing.” It's become trendy to pare down the excess “stuff” in your life, as in articles like this New York Times piece that caught my attention recently.

Now, I SO don't think I could live with 100 possessions or less like the folks in this story were aspiring to—I'm sure I still have at least that many pairs of sparkly flip-flops in my closet. But Bob and I have made a conscious effort to save money, starting with that move to a smaller, more budget-friendly home.

Despite all our downsizing, though, one thing in our lives keeps on upsizing...our “family.” We came to the country with one cat—and since then, we've had five.

First there was Pearl, a two-week old stray we rescued from the heating duct of the new house. Two years later, after our old buddy Blackjack passed on, there was Catillac, another stray we rescued. And two years after that? Harley, the master of mayhem himself, and the kitten he adopted for us, Penny.

Yes, our lives have gotten smaller—but they seem fuller, somehow. I guess you don't need 20 movie channels when you've got three crazy cats running around.

—Allison Ruffing

How has the love of cats made YOUR life better? Comment below and tell us, or email [email protected].

View Comments