July 11, 2003
Reference kitten

When I was a teenager with her first job, I developed a financial coping skill that I will share with you, though I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this. I think of buying, selling, earning, and saving in terms of an object I care about whose price I know.

At age sixteen, I used a $40 wool sweater as a reference. I earned about a sweater a day as a lifeguard during the summer.

As a college student, my reference was pizza. The $4.99 Corleone’s large cheese special (with two 32 ounce Cokes) was usually out of my budget, but it made a fine comparison tool.

After we bought a house, my reference became our mortgage payment. The apartment the company rented for us when we first arrived in Japan was eight mortgage payments. Yikes!

My latest reference is a lovely Abssynian kitten for sale at “Dog and Cat Nana.” He is priced at 120,000 yen—about a thousand dollars. So now I think of things in terms of kittens. “That job just earned me 1.5 kittens.”

Economics via Kittens

1 kitten = 1000 vending machine drinks
1 kitten = 136 Zoupi
1 kitten = 120 rides on the LaQua rollercoaster
1 kitten = 50 CDs
1 kitten = 42 Zousan
1 kitten = 30 dinners at Ampresso
1 kitten = 10 pairs of jeans
1 kitten = 10 kg of Japanese beef
2.5 kittens = 1 month’s rent
5.2 kittens = 1 G5 + cinema display
7.3 kittens = 1 1996 VW Beetle 1600i
350 kittens = 2LDK apartment at Lions Square
6,662,369,081 kittens = 1 US national debt

Money seems so much cuter and accessible now.

Posted by kuri at July 11, 2003 09:59 AM


When can I meet the little darlin’? Is your furniture protected?

Posted by: on July 11, 2003 02:42 PM

When can I meet the little darlin’? Is your furniture protected?

Posted by: on July 11, 2003 02:42 PM

It is just a reference kitten, not a pet for me. I stop and say hello to it once a week, but that’s as close as I come to owning it.

Posted by: kristen on July 11, 2003 03:49 PM

883 kittens is a lot! Imagine trying to feed them all…and the litterboxes you’d need. I think you’re definitely better off with Evan. ;-)

Posted by: kristen on July 11, 2003 09:52 PM

I think he poops more then 800 cats on most days :)

Posted by: Mike on July 11, 2003 11:53 PM
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