Thursday, May 12, 2005

big cat

most emailed article on the times today is this story (sorry - registration required - i'll get a non-reg link up shortly) about the "savannah", a cross between a house cat and a wildcat known as the african serval. it's a 35 pound animal with a very dog-like personality. look at the article photos - really quite beautiful.

this might be the perfect compromise between dog and cat people. at $5k (minimum), however, it's a big compromise.

p.s. regarding nytimes and other websites that need registration logins, etc., try looking at lots of free id/password combinations.


Anonymous JAC said...

JAC (not ee cummings) says: Designer cats. Cloned cats. Holy cats! it's raining "cats & dogs". $4,000 to $10,000 for a Savannah cat!! Is this a further symptom of a society gone mad with it's own scientific abilities?
Where does a Savannah sleep? Anywhere it wants to.
What does a Savannah do? Anything it wants to.
Don't folks have any other way to use their disposable income?
And how about the story in Kenya the other day where a stray dog "adopted" a discarded baby that was only a few days old? Saved the child's life -- such as that life will be in impoverished circumstances. Now that's a good dog -- probably a "Heinz 57" dog too.
If you have an "extra" $4,000+, just send it to the relief agancy in Kenya for the upbringing of that dear child.
Now that's an "original" idea if I ever heard of one -- taking care of our fellow human beings.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

A 35-pound cat is more than I want to deal with...and I like cats. It's hard to imagine the Savannah as a lap cat. You're right, John, the Savannah can sleep wherever it wants.....whenever it wants......however it wants. For the pet owner who wants to be dominated!

12:03 AM  
Blogger nate said...

hypocrites! both of you! what's the difference between a 35-pound cat that sleeps where it wants and a 50-pound DOG that sleeps where it wants? i'm curious why this cat's size threatens you, who are so accustomed to pampering that other species of pet.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous JAC said...


"Hypocrites"?..... Well, I guess we've been called worse by a "pointy-headed Washington inner circle bureaucrat."

Dog lover? OK. .... Guilty as charged. Maybe it's because of the fact that dog spelled backwards is God. And you don't have to be dyslexic to understand that significance.

And our economist critic didn't even comment on the fact that there may be better ways to spend one's disposable income. Come on. Stick to the facts. But -- as a lawyer friend of mine once said: "When you don't have the facts on your side, use emotion."

Oh, my. I've spoken irreverantly (or is it irrelevantly) about both an economist & a lawyer. I'll be in BIG trouble now!!!

10:55 AM  
Blogger nate said...

you are in big trouble.

ok, wise guy, let's look at the facts. my claim is this: if it's morally acceptable to care for a dog (as opposed to sending aid to care for a kenyan baby) then it's morally acceptable to care for a savannah. why? because over the average lifetime of either animal, the difference in initial cost will be relatively small. in fact, it might be _more_ expensive to care for a dog in the long run.

suppose we have a choice between a savannah (for $4000) and a dog (for $400). suppose that food and vet costs are identical - about $100 per month. if these animals live to be 12 years old (average? - not sure) then the total cost of the savannah will be $18400 and the total cost of the dog will be $14800 (difference = $3600). we might argue that grooming costs (generally unneeded for cats since they groom themselves) further narrow the gap (even a $70 appointment every year makes the difference just $2760). also, if we take into account the extra time needed to consistently walk the average dog (i know - not all dogs need supervised walks), the gap becomes close to zero, if not reversed.

so, if you're willing to spend about $18000 for a dog, then i don't see how it's some kind of moral lapse to spend about $19000 on a cat.

but all of that matters little, since cats are inherently more interesting animals than dogs anyway, who smell bad and slobber everywhere. nyah nyah nyah. (is that what you mean by an emotional appeal?)

4:12 PM  
Anonymous jac said...

jac says
Typical of an economist -- obfuscate with numbers, date, and information.
Let's go to the bottom line: You say it's OK to do one (care for a dog) or the other (care for the Kenyan kid). Don't use the numbers to tell you which ONE you can do. That way you've backed yourself into a corner. You can do both. Which are you doing?
Or as NIke says: DO IT NOW.
So there. nayh, nayh, nayh!!!
do, do do. [No double meaning meant.]

11:48 AM  

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