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Emily's list: Lost cat edition
I've been haunted by the loss of my cat all week. While 12-year-old Willie can be an aloof jerk, I've had him since high school and I love him.
I travel frequently, so he has refillable food, several bowls of water and a doggie door that allows him to prowl around the back yard. From there, he often scales the fence to the front yard to either hang out on the front porch or wander around in close proximity.
After being out of town for a few days, I arrived home to find that Willie wasn't home, which was odd, but not entirely unusual. When he didn't come in for food that evening, though, I knew something was wrong. I knocked on neighbors' doors, posted on my neighborhood's Yahoo group and visited the shelter (an emotional experience in and of itself). Nothing. The next day, I put up missing cat signs in the neighborhood and gave my information to a vet down the street. I went to the shelter again a few days later. Still nothing.
People keep telling me that someone probably took him in. Others say he may have gotten hurt and disappeared into the bushes to die. It's the uncertainty that's getting me. If he was hit by a car and died, it would be awful, but at least I would have closure. All of this makes me feel so guilty for being out of town a lot, and for not keeping a collar on him (he worked his last one off, so I figured he didn't really need one).
It's been a week and a half, and I'm fairly certain Willie isn't coming back. I've started wondering if I should cancel his wellness plan with the vet that automatically charges my credit card each month. That seems morbid, and if I cancel it, it would be admitting to myself that he's really gone forever. But it's money that I shouldn't spend if he's not coming back.
He's just a cat, but my heart has been broken all week. I can't even conceive how difficult it must be when a family member or friend disappears. Until now, I never thought of how strange that must be trying to decide how to handle someone's finances when you don't know if they are coming back.
Sorry for the sob story; I'll feel better next week once I've had more time to digest it. Keep on reading to learn about my 10 favorite posts from the personal finance blogosphere this week.
1. PT Money lists 13 money predicaments that terrify him, including not knowing what's on his credit report.
2. Not Made of Money offers six tips for saving money on food and cutting down your grocery bill.
3. Money Coun$elor explains why you should just say no to layaway, which are often touted as the perfect way to pay for holiday gifts.
4. Couple Money shares a list of things you should be sure to have in your emergency bag should disaster strike. While credit cards are valuable tools, cash is key if the power goes out.
5. My Personal Finance Journey explains how to use the debt snowball method to effectively reduce your debt load.
6. Free From Broke reveals seven ways personal finance demons can be even scarier than zombies.
7. Ready for Zero makes the case for why it's smarter to use reward credit cards for day-to-day purchases than cash.
8. Finance Triggers offers advice on how your credit score is calculated and how to improve it.
9. TeacHer admits that she has come around to Dave Ramsey's principles and now agrees with his strategy for paying off debt.
10. Never leave money on the table. Brip Blap discusses some of the ways we are missing out on free money.
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