Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Hello, please meet Zoey!

It has been a long time since I’ve been able to set aside some time to write on this blog. I had such good intentions of posting while we were on vacation, but near the beginning of the trip I lost my MacBook Pro power cord, and then decided to suffer without a computer until we got back to Vancouver. And then when we got back, we ended up adopting the most adorable cat and I lost track of time. I know, excuses, excuses. :)

First, I want to introduce you to the newest member of our family, and tomorrow I’ll have my September Goals recap.

This beautiful girl is named Zoey, and we got her from the SPCA last week. She is approximately 3 years old, and came to the shelter as a stray – so we don’t know anything about her past. We originally went to the Maple Ridge branch of the SPCA because we were interested in a couple of other cats, but ended up falling in love with Zoey.

She was super frightened at the shelter, and wouldn’t come out of her cage. Eventually we were able to feed her a couple of treats, but we didn’t see more than her small little head poking out of the blankets. We decided to put in an application for her anyway because I had already fallen in love, and two days later she became ours. She was so scared during the car ride home, so when we got her to the condo I was really surprised that she just walked out of her carrier and started to explore our bedroom (which we used as her safe room for the first two days we had her). She was very timid and frightened of every new noise, and would constantly hide under the blankets or cower in a corner if she felt scared. She barely ate the first few days, and the look of horror on her face when she realized we were putting her back in her carrier for a vet visit – well that was pretty heartbreaking.

Five days later, she now has access to the entire condo and she has also made huge improvements. She can be ridiculously affectionate at times, but like any other cat, she has her grumpy moments. But she is never aggressive, never scratches or hisses, and really doesn’t make much sound at all. She’s also eating better too, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Based on what we’ve seen (not that we’re experts or anything), we think that she was a house cat at some point, and then ended up on the streets as a stray. The vet told us that she’s in good health, but needs to gain some weight. We’ll also have to take her into get some shots later this month.

I thought I knew how much start-up costs would be for our cat, but I underestimated for sure. Here’s how much we’ve spent so far:

  • $205.00 – adoption fee from SPCA (includes a free check-up with a vet).
  • $236.75 – initial cost of cat stuff (litter box, litter, litter locker, wet and dry food, food dishes, a couple of toys, cat bed, brush, treats, fish oil, and a scratching post).
  • $15.75 – pain medication after being spayed.

Moving forward, I anticipate her monthly costs to be around $50-60/month for her food, litter, and treats. This will come out of our shared household budget. I’m still trying to figure out which food she likes the best (the pet store near our house gave me a ton of samples to try out), and what the most cost-effective (and convenient) way would be to get her ongoing supplies. I think it’s Amazon, but I could be wrong?

Anyway, I’ll try really hard not to turn my blog and social media accounts into one big catfest, but no promises. :)

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Tara says:

    Yay on cat adoption! If you can, wet food really is best as dry food can lead to dehydration and health problems (male cats can get blocked urethras like mine did from dry food and have to be on prescription cat food for life). Not now, but down the road you might try an automatic cat litter box. You can find reconditioned Litter Robots for cheaper than new on their website–we love our Litter Robot (I don’t work for them but have 3 cats). Lastly make sure you have a good scratching post. Pioneer Pet sells a really good one for like $60 USD that is worth every penny. It’ll save your furniture. :)

    • Stephanie says:

      It is nice to see a litter box recommendation. We have adopted a kitten from our backyard and I am trying to figure out how to keep the house smelling fresh. Currently, we have a $20 litter box but clean it twice a day. What is the best litter for smells?

      • Krystal Yee says:

        I was recommended the Arm & Hammer multi-cat litter and it has been pretty good so far. We have a small condo and keep the litter box in one of the bathrooms, and it smells pretty fresh. Though, I do clean it twice a day like you and I use a Litter Locker which has been amazing!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Right now I’m feeding her 1/4 can of wet food in the morning, and 1/4 can in the evening, and leave maybe 1/2 cup of dry food out while I’m gone during the day. I like the idea of feeding her a combination diet because there are just some days where we might be gone 10-12 hours. It’s not often, but on those rare times at least she can eat dry food.

      And yes eventually I do want to upgrade to some sort of automatic cat litter box. I do like the Litter Robot for its function, but as stupid as it sounds, it just doesn’t go with our apartment. We have such a small place that the thought of putting that thing anywhere is kind of upsetting lol. It looks like a space ship!

      Oh and I totally got a scratching post before we got the cat, but I quickly realized she’s a ground scratcher and doesn’t actually scratch up high. So I ended up buying her a scratch mat and she loves it. Not sure what I’m gonna do with the scratch post now though haha

      • Tara says:

        I meant to add, don’t stress about dry food so long as you still feed wet and have water out and she is drinking the water.

        Male cats are prone to urinary blockages more so than female cats. Plus fat male cats, especially ones like mine who my vet literally said has small genitalia, can have issues when they eat too much dry food as it crystallizes the urine and then the chubbiness blocks up the exit (technical speak, lol). If your cat is maintaining a good weight and drinking plenty of fluid, you should be fine since she is female. I just recommend all people with male cats to stay off traditional dry food especially and encourage wet food for females if possible. NOTE, our prescription-only urinary cat food is actually dry food, but it has ingredients in it that a) neutralizes the crystals and b) makes the cat thirsty so it drinks a lot to prevent issues. But we do pay around $75 /month for that food for three cats.

        One thing on the water–some cats prefer running water. If you see her not drinking, I recommend getting an automatic water fountain. I was silly and thought OH NO PLASTIC so I bought a metal Pioneer Pet one that didn’t make sense as cats like to see the water flowing like a real water fall (this one sort of hid the way the water flowed). A simple one with an obvious water spout that flows visibly into an accessible pool of water would work fine, at least in my experience with three cats.

        anyways, that was probably too much unsolicited information for you but I am just happy to share my cat tips! Excited to see a happy cat family. :)

        • Krystal Yee says:

          Don’t worry about it, I love getting cat tips and opinions from people!!!

          And it’s funny you mention water, because Zoey isn’t drinking as much as I think she should be. Which is why I’m not really into feeding her too much dry food. I’ve been mixing some water into her wet food so that she gets some extra, but I’m really considering getting a water fountain. She hasn’t jumped onto any counters or shown any interest in tap water, so I’m not really sure she will take to it. Will keep monitoring her water and do some research into fountains if necessary. :)

  2. NZ Muse says:

    DAWWW what a tiny wee thing! Well done :) congrats. As parent to two exSPCA animals, high five! It took ours months to really truly settle in but as your kitty is so young I imagine she’ll adjust fast.

  3. Aww Zoey is absolutely adorable! I’m so glad she has found a new home, and I’m sure she will be in good hands from now on.

    Congratulations on the family addition! We might get a car or a dog in the future too!

  4. Money Beagle says:


    One thing I was always told by my vet is to invest in higher cost, higher quality food, because you’ll have a better chance of them staying healthier than if you stick them on the standard stuff that has way too many fillers.

    We went with Pro Plan, Science Diet, or something on that tier, for as many years as we could, until they needed specialized diets in their older years.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yes I’m definitely going to be feeding her higher quality wet and dry foods. It’s more expensive, but worth it for sure. Thankfully there’s a good pet store down the street that sells a ton of really good brands. :)

  5. Jena says:

    Yay! A kitty! Hello Zoey!
    I am very excited for you to have a kitty, can you tell?

    My second kitty took 2 days to come out from under our bed (well, she’d come out when we weren’t in the room to eat), but then a switch flipped and she became the most affectionate little thing. The SPCA warned me that she was a feral kitten and might never like us people, boy were they wrong!

    As others seem to be doing, I’m going to give you some unsolicited recommendations… My cats eat Orijen dry food mixed with just regular Friskies wet food. I really like Orijen because it is made in Canada. The same company also makes Acana brand food, which is what my dog eats. My vet told me it is important for cats to have some wet food because they aren’t naturally water drinkers, and in nature they get most of their liquid from what they eat… Dry food is obviously way more convenient for us humans, which is why I do a mixture of both.

    Anyway, I hope that Zoey settles in well with your family! Congrats on the new addition! :)

  6. Lyn says:

    She’s so cute! And so lucky to get a mommy that would make her a world famous cat.

  7. Jess says:

    I’m getting a cat myself soon too and I was wondering if you could speak to the benefits of a litter locker and fish oil?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      For sure! We (well, I) got a litter locker because of the convenience factor. The thought of bagging up what she leaves behind every time I clean the box sounded annoying. Being able just to scoop it right into an odor-free container and dealing with it just every 3-ish weeks was much more appealing. The litter lockers are inexpensive, and after just a week, I’m so grateful I got one and didn’t have to deal with littler box clean-up in any other way.

      As for fish oil, we were recommended it by the vet to improve her coat and dandruff issues. She spent a lot of time as a stray, so she hasn’t been brushed in a very long time. I’ve only been giving it to her for 3 days, but hoping it will help her!

Leave a Reply

Buy the Book!

A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

Recent Tweets


  • Fanciest avocado toast Ive ever had! Nice catchup lunch todayhellip
  • Current mood
  • Yep 2017 was a pretty good year! 1 Summited thehellip
  • We decided to check out pivanewwest this evening  thehellip
  • We took Zoey to pawspetcentre this morning to get ahellip
  • Loving this gorgeous Christmas tree at the vanartgallery!
  • What an amazing weekend at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference!hellip
  • Games and pizza just might be the perfect way tohellip

© 2017. Give Me Back My Five Bucks. All rights reserved. Powered by WordPress & Designed by Mike Smith