In the course of my holiday shopping, I happened into my local pet shop for some supplies and a catnip-filled stocking or two.
While there, I couldn’t help but wander towards the wall full of wriggling puppies, each more adorable than the last.
As usual, there were a few display tanks full of kittens, generally from stray or other cats which people drop off to be vaccinated and then resold. It’s not a bad program, really, and the store always charges $49.99 to adopt a kitten once they’ve been checked and treated, enough to cover the vet and their expenses.
Always, that is, except the holidays. As I looked at the inquisitive little faces, my eye was drawn up to the yellow tag: $199.99.
“Well, they must be from a breeder,” I mused aloud, but a nearby store clerk shook her head. She gave me a knowing look and whispered “They’re the same cats as always,” then strolled off before anyone else could overhear.
Indeed, these were run-of-the-mill kittens, some stripey, some longhaired with white bibs, and some pure jet black. But all featured the special holiday pricing, four times the normal cost.
In the midst of the Christmas rush, I wonder if anyone else will even notice.
Image Credit: Collinj
Updated April 9, 2008 and originally published December 22, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.