Things are speaking to me

Rats are a lot like printers. They’re cheap up front, but the ongoing costs are a killer.

Business Insider notes: “A gallon of printer ink can cost you $US12,000. When in cartridge form, it’s more expensive than vintage Champagne.”

Why is printer ink so expensive?

“Oh that’s simple: greed … basically it’s a formula: The cheaper the printer, the more expensive the consumables.”


And why are vet visits for rats so expensive?

RSPCA Tasmania CEO and chief veterinarian Andrew Byrne told ABC News vets have to pay for “phenomenal overheads”.

“They must have an X-ray machine, a dental machine and surgical equipment along with several staff members to help them out.” he explained.

And there’s no discount for size – a 300g rat costs the same to examine as a 12kg schnauzer.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s MoneySmart website estimates the total cost of owning a pet to be between $3000 and $6000 in the first year of its life.

After that, it says dogs will cost on average $1475 a year, and cats $1029 — that takes into account food, grooming, boarding and standard vet bills.

If you want a cheaper pet, a fish is your cheapest option at $50 a year.

I would recommend against rats – not that you probably need that advice – because it will disturb you to pay handsomely to both exterminate undomesticated rats in your roof and pamper pet ones in your child’s bedroom.

On that note … Twitch the 300g rat’s respiratory disease has been playing up – and he had a mysterious lump … which turned out to be a skin tag – so I was talked into going to the vet on Sunday. Baby the rat also has the sniffles and was originally booked in too, but when I heard the receptionist’s words “that will require two appointments” I panicked and said only one rat would be attending.

Even that small economy means the eldest will be paying off the vet bill – which included 28 syringes of antibiotics to be administered twice daily – by dog sitting for me for EVER.

The rest of my weekend was spent fretting over my renovation and going to Bunnings 50 times. I texted the builder on Saturday to say I’d had a change of heart and wanted cupboards and a benchtop in the shower/laundry room rather than a vanity with my washing machine freestanding beside it … a little hairy since the plumber is coming today to finish things off.

The builder is now frantically trying to source a benchtop, while I procured a cupboard carcass, door and a sink.

A strident store assistant at Bunnings insisted I get a stainless steel sink because the room – according to him, sight unseen – was more a laundry than a bathroom. I tried arguing with him, but he was having none of it. And since I’m terrible with conflict, I went home grudgingly with a stainless steel sink. But I actually wanted a white porcelain one.

So I stewed on it overnight and went back yesterday and swapped them, wearing a mask to conceal my identity in case the strident store assistant was there. He wasn’t, phew, so I was free to agonise for ages over which sink to get. I went for a square, above counter one. I hope it’s not a mistake.

I also switched allegiances briefly on paint colours and decided on grey, after seeing some very fetching photos of a room belonging to one of my blog followers. But then I walked past the Adairs storefront and saw all the rattan and cane and fake palms and they SPOKE to me. I went home and disappeared down a Google rabbit hole of tropical decorating pics and rattan furniture websites.

So I’m back to green. And it doesn’t appear that Tranquil Dawn exists in Australia, so I’ve gone for Limestone Coast. For now. I don’t know whether to pick full strength, half or quarter. Decisions, decisions.

And I’ve seen a green velvet couch that also SPEAKS to me. Not the one above, it’s just for illustrative purposes. The youngest thinks its the ugliest thing she’s ever seen. Teenagers are so rude.

I feel an almost painful desire to have the green velvet couch and match it with some rattan coffee tables and plants I’ll invariably kill.

DD meanwhile went on an insanely long cycling ride in the hilly country with his mates, burned 6000 calories, was too knackered to do the last 30km and hitched a ride on a sheep truck back to the pub where he was staying.

So we were both a bit exhausted on Sunday night – physically and mentally … though I wasn’t as wrecked as my sister, who went on a bushwalk with me with her aforementioned 12kg schnauzer, who got bitten by a red ant and refused to walk, so she had to carry him for half an hour.

DD and I soothed ourselves with a delicious Sunday roast at the 4Pines and a glass of wine and I stared at him with love eyes because I’ve been struggling with not seeing him every day after spending almost a week together on our mini-break.

And suddenly its Monday and I haven’t done any of the things I was planning to do – mainly cleaning up the mess caused by the renovation. The days raced past way too quickly.

Hope your weekend was a little less frenetic than mine.

Song of the day: No Doubt “Don’t speak”

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