Saturday, October 23, 2010


This morning I dropped by one of my favorite shops for antiques in Houston. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I was in the mood for a change of scenery and an escape from the still-hot weather. The air-conditioned booths beckoned me, and soon a Victorian curiosity caught my eye.

I’m in awe of the number of pet beds that manufacturers make in all shapes and sizes to appeal to the marketplace. It had never occurred to me, though, to buy a relic from the past for one of our ten cats to sleep in. The miniature bed for sale at the antiques shop is made of mahogany and upholstered in forest-green velvet, and the dealer’s neatly handwritten tag made this sales pitch: “The perfect acquisition for your prized possession.”

Consumption makes the world go 'round, yet do we want to go so far as to prize our pets as possessions? Perhaps the dealer was relying on slightly florid prose simply to evoke the Victorian era, and no harm was intended. I could imagine buying the antique pet bed with my even more imaginary disposable income, and I’m sure I would enjoy the purchase for days and years to come. After all, an antique stirs our fond memories of the point of purchase and can prove to be a wise investment, too.

“Acquiring cats” falls into a different league, although we Cat Ladies have no trouble justifying our decisions to bring felines into our lives. Investing in our heartfelt emotions is also a smart strategy.

Query of the Day: Does your cat like velvet upholstery and tufted cushions?

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