I just did something stupid.
I should back up, however, because if I just come right out and tell you about it, it won't be stupid.
I'm engaging in an annual procrastinative (that is now a word) activity I call, "cleaning my house." See, school starts soon, and I have tons to do to get my classes ready, get my mind ready, get my psyche ready, so I don't do any of those things, and instead I decide that this is the best time to get everything in my house clean. Everything.
As a result, I'm walking around the upstairs and the downstairs listening to the radio and picking up cat toys, which is new this year, as my cats are also celebrating their one year anniversary with me and my children. (You can guess whose fault it is I have cats. Right. Mine.) The radio is on, loudly, but, in a fit of trying to appear informed about the world, it isn't playing music, it's broadcasting NPR, which, of course, is talking about all the many ways that our world is collapsing into chaos and despair.
So I'm whistling to drown out the bad news. But, despite my best efforts, some bad news filters through the whistling and I register the impact (pending, it isn't here yet, the experts declare) of the drought on food prices. As we have decided to tie everything that we eat to corn in some way or another, it seems that since there is no corn, thanks to the drought caused by our consistent poisoning and altering of our environment, everything connected to corn will be more scarce, and thus more expensive. Hence, tortilla chips, soda, and especially meat are all going to be scarce in my home this fall, because, naturally, all meat bearing animals are fed corn.
And it is here I did something stupid. I began to calculate how much the armful of cat toys cost. Then I added in litter (which, ironically is made of corn. Really. World's Best Cat Litter. Look it up.). Then I added in vet costs. Then I added in their food, which is, of course, meat, given the carnivorous nature of felines, and I began to realize the expense of having pets was not going to get cheaper, and perhaps I should not have cats anymore.
I descended to the downstairs and deposited the toys in the basket we've designated as their toy bin. Both cats came running to see if there were any new toys, or toys that they may have forgotten since the last time they saw them. The insidious nature of cat toys, I tell them, is that they are all, individually, not very expensive. $.50 to $1.00 each. But collectively, they add up. The cats don't care. Rolling on the ground, one pounces on the other. I tell them that their food is going to be more expensive, and they need to tighten their belts and be prepared to be thinner. One stops pawing her sister and starts licking her tail. The other walks over to the basket and proceeds to methodically scoop out the toys, looking at me the whole time as she swats them across the room. Tail clean, her sister butts her head against my hand, demanding to be loved, and I oblige her by scratching her head and chin. She then ignores me picks up a toy mouse in her mouth and trots off to another room to play with it.
It was stupid to think I can do anything about the expense they cause me; it is clear that they are in charge. I just hope they don't decide to eat me when meat gets too expensive...