Back in March 2009, a customer of PEMCO insurance was in a minor car accident, and the company paid out $3,452 for damages to the other driver’s car. Simple enough. No injuries were reported, and no pets in the car. Which is why it caught some PEMCO employees’ attention when the other driver filed a claim two and a half years later, seeking $20,000 for the death of his cat, Tom. The animal was “like a son” to him, he claimed. But “Tom” only existed as photos of someone else’s cats, readily available on the Internet. The state of Washington has charged the man with felony insurance fraud.
Pets provide us with much-needed companionship, cuddles, and photos to illustrate Consumerist posts with. But they’re not cheap to have around. Food, toys, litter, collars, leashes, routine vet care…those are all of the things you consider and budget for when you start cruising Petfinder to look for a new buddy. Only there are larger expenses that are large, sudden, and impossible to plan for. After one illness, having a pet could cost as much as a decent used car. That’s what happened to Carolyn Kylstra, whose cat Hooligan (great name) has cost her $5,550 over three years. That’s an average of $150/month…money that could go far in an otherwise frugal lifestyle.
When you’re looking for a pet, you’re probably thinking with your heart rather than running a cost-benefit analysis. But animal sidekicks come with a plethora of hidden challenges, including financial demands that you’ll need to make sure you can handle.
Snakes on a plane, ghosts in the machine, pigs on the wing, dog-fighting… and now cats in the cockpit. Passengers on an Air Canada flight were greatly inconvenienced after curious feline found its way into the pilot’s seat.
An Arizona man didn’t have the $400 for his injured cat’s vet care, and the Humane Society clinic he visited wouldn’t take his mother’s credit card information over the phone or wait for . So he did what he thought was the best thing for 9-month-old Scruffy: surrender ownership to the organization so she would receive treatment. He was told that he could adopt her back later on. A lack of resources meant that Scruffy, whose injuries were not life-threatening, was euthanized instead.
Chris sent his HP Elitebook in for repair, only to learn that he had done something to void the warranty, and it wouldn’t be repaired. What was his heinous offense against technology? He owns a cat, and there’s fur inside the computer, causing HP to declare his computer a “biological hazard” and send it back un-repaired. He sent along photos that HP took of his disassembled computer and used to make the case that his computer wasn’t repairable.
Before the flight to his new home in California, Jack the cat escaped from his travel carrier and disappeared into John F. Kennedy Airport. The airline organized searches and put out food, and animal lovers all over the world helped in any way they could, from performing their own searches of the airport and nearby neighborhoods to getting word out to employees of nearby businesses and other airlines. We’re happy to report that Jack has been found. In two months, he apparently never left the airport.
As nice as it is to have a furry, feathered or fishy companion around the house, between food, medicine, the vet and other expenses, it can sometimes add up to a lot of red ink in your checkbook.
Cats are born equipped with defiant attitudes, night vision, and claws, so it doesn’t take anything more to make them “goth.” At least I always thought so. A Pennsylvania woman with kittens to sell had different ideas. She gave the animals ear and neck piercings, docked their tails, and then pierced their tail nubs. Why? She thought it would look “neat.” Then she listed them on eBay for $100, until PETA and the local ASPCA noticed and came calling. She was convicted of animal cruelty, and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently affirmed her sentence and conviction on the grounds that no one could possibly be stupid enough to think that this was a good idea. I paraphrase.
A cat that vanished from its home nearly a year ago — and was presumed dead by its owners — spent months living in a Home Depot in Michigan, until an employee brought it into a vet to get it a checkup and discovered it was microchipped.
If you had to leave your home on short notice due to a natural disaster or other emergency, would you have a bag of emergency supplies ready to go? While adults and older children can handle packing their own bags in a hurry, members of your family who don’t have opposable thumbs can’t.
Snickers, an 11-week old kitten, is dead after taking a trip on Delta that went horribly awry. The owner said the airline initially offered over $3,000 in compensation. They have now revised that offer to free airfare plus $.50 for every pound the kitten weighed. There’s a $50 minimum payout on that policy, which is a good thing because the feline only weighed 3 pounds.
Suzanne writes that when her mother was short on money but needed high-quality food for her sick cats, Iams was a reasonable choice but still outside her budget. So she called the company’s customer service, explained her situation, and was rewarded. She not only received coupons, but she cultivated a friendly relationship with the customer service reps.
This ad, which uses an image that’s been passed around online for a few years, seems to suggest that while you are gone from home, a burglar might sneak into your house through the open garage door and stick your cat up at gunpoint.
A Park Slope woman who gave away her kittens on Craigslist was later shocked and aghast – a common affliction among Park Slope residents – to see the buyer posting an ad trying to sell the very same kittens, even though her ad said that if the buyer wasn’t going to keep the kittens themselves, they were to return them to her. Turns out the woman she gave them to is a serial “cat flipper.”
Who knows better than cats what the most comfortable and interesting spaces in your house are? That’s the idea behind a new commercial for IKEA. To get the crucial kitty footage, one hundred cats were–why not?–let loose inside the Wembley store after hours to romp and nap for the cameras.
There is no reason we should post this other than we are happy about it and want you to be happy too.
Do you feed your cat or kitten Iams ProActive Health canned food? Check the dates on the cans, because your noms may be part of a recall. The food isn’t dangerous in itself, but has dangerously low levels of vitamin B1, which is essential for cat nutrition.