The XX Factor

Luxury Hobby Now a Thing of the Past

This is one of several reader responses we’ve published responding to the question “What have you given up in the recession?” Read more reader responses and Emily Bazelon’s related story on recession concessions . Next question: What haven’t you given up, despite the recession? Send answers to us at .

The recession started for me last year, when I got “fired” from the best paying job I had ever had. I am a Veterinary Technician, so even very good pay is relative-50K a year still doesn’t buy a house in the SF Bay Area. I found a new job fairly quickly-I have lots of experience and there are always more jobs than employees in my field-but I am making 10K a year less now. Plus, I have a longer commute, so my gas costs are higher.

More directly, I also breed and show Japanese Bobtail cats. Or, at least I used to. I really cannot afford to show anymore, and I made a decision not to have any litters this year because buying a cat is probably among the ultimate in luxury spending, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to place the kittens. Since I always operate my hobby in the red (costs are *always* higher then income-even an IRS agent told me I shouldn’t bother trying to claim anything, because I didn’t qualify as a business), I have had to make the decision to stop the very thing I love doing most, and have done for the last 20 years. I have realized that the majority of my friends were made through the Cat Fancy, and so do feel cut off. Luckily, I have more time now for my boyfriend and am trying to see staying home on weekends and just relaxing (and trying not to spend money) as a good thing and not a bad one. I am hoping that things change soon. If they don’t, then I’m never going to breed or show again…