First, thank you all so much for your helpful comments and advice on the cat issue. I haven’t made a decision yet, but I feel so much more informed and less upset about it now. I went home and talked to my parents about it last night, and Mom is right with me on the no-declawing thing. Dad, at first, was being very voice-of-reason “it’s probably not so bad,” but I think he changed his mind when I was talking about the technical information I’d learned from sites like this one.
We’re complete animal lovers, which is how we ended up with so many in the first place. We don’t hunt, and most of us get pretty upset even about the occasional unavoidable roadkill incident. So. Declawing is completely out. I won’t do it.
I told my mom last night that I really have to consider the possibility that I’ll have to leave all of the cats at home no matter where I end up moving. I worry about this somewhat, since I do a lot of the messy cat work, but my youngest sis Jamie is an animal freak (we used to call her Elmira) and wants to be a vet and would definitely be a good caretaker. She does a lot of it already. And Dad said maybe I could get a little shelter mutt once I’m settled and have some time to spend with it. I’m more of a dog person anyway – it’s just that I’ve become really attached to our cats.
On to my real topic – why in the hell did I go and buy another car with weird-sized tires?
The first car I ever purchased from a dealership, with a loan and everything, was a 1995 Dodge Neon sedan. I freakin’ loved that car – it did really well for me even though I didn’t take care of it well and it was in pretty crappy shape by the time I traded it in. I loved it enough that when it was time for me to buy a new car, I didn’t even look at anything but the Neon.
They get a bad rap, but they’re great cars – especially the newer generation. I’ve obviously been really happy with them.
Problem: they have weird-sized tires.
I don’t remember what size the tires on my old Neon were, but I had a lot of flats in that car (mostly because I’m a jackass and ran over a lot of pointy stuff) and I’d regularly go to a place like evil Wal*Mart or Sears or something and they’d inform me that they didn’t carry ANY tires at all in that size. Or that they had exactly one kind of tire, which was like a Firestone SuperDuper Premium Drives-on-Lakes-and-Other-Bodies-of-Water Ultra 6000+. So I got used to paying a lot for tires.
When I traded up to the new Neon, I specifically noticed that it had larger wheels, and I thought “cool, now I’ll be able to get all kinds of tires.”
I bought it in October 2002 and it still has its original tires, and since I’ve put nearly 50,000 miles on it in only a year and a half, those tires are getting worn down. And I’m paranoid about tires since I didn’t pay attention to the tread in my old Neon and once had a bad blowout that nearly caused me to wreck. So I’ve been planning to get them all replaced before the end of summer.
Problem: they still have weird-sized tires. 185/60 R15, to be exact. Which is apparently way weird.
The shop I usually go to gave me a quote on the same tires that came on the car when I was in last. But I had this idea that, with as much driving as I do, I ought to shop around and try to get the best tires I can afford. One small detail is that I know almost nothing about tires, but I figured I’d learn while shopping around.
I went to the Bridgestone/Firestone web site and entered my info. I got back two tires – a winter tire, and an “all-season, world-class high performance tire” that certainly is going to be hellaciously expensive.
Michelin – one tire, which does seem to be an all-season tire although it doesn’t specify.
Goodyear – two tires. One’s the “all-season performance tire” that I think came on the car, and the other one is a “quiet riding, luxury sport tire.”
This is a pain in my ass. Maybe I’ll just go with the ones I got a quote for at the shop.