Hubert Selby Jr. III is the deceased author of Requiem to a Dream, but it’s also the name of Laina Dawes white cat. Dawes named her cat after her favourite writer who did his craft without punctuation marks and looked at the bad side of human behaviour.

Hubert has one blue eye and other green with a cataract in the right eye. He’s nine years old and in healthy condition. On Dawes’ tight budget as a freelance journalist, she doesn’t see a dent in caring for Hubert.

“I have no problem on a tight budget,” says Dawes. “I buy him Cat Chow, 1 kilo at No Frills for $1.99 [CDN]. His litter lasts three weeks and is a $3.99 at No Frills.”

Dawes says she also doesn’t have to spend a lot on toys for Hubert. He likes balled socks and no matter where she tries to hide them, he finds them. Dawes is willing to share the gift of socks with Hubert and her parents shared the gift of a pet with her.

“My parents picked him out from the Kingston Humane Society and he was given to me as a slash Christmas present birthday present last year.”

Dawes’s mother Taneda volunteers at the Kingston Humane Society and she fosters cats. Taneda has about 10 of her own and three fostered.

“A lot of the cats are sick and she takes them to the vet to be a nurturer,” says Dawes. “They [parents] spend quite a bit of money.”

Another possibility is to consider providing shots and meds yourself and not paying a vet to do it; many pet medications are available by mail order or online or can be bought from the local vet, and it’s cheaper than having a vet administer.

Dawes’ doesn’t see a dent in her finances when it comes to Hubert. Although he’s nine, Laina predicts that he’ll probably remain healthy for the next six to seven years.

“He’s an indoor cat and I let him out on the balcony and use chicken wire to keep him in on the 6th floor,” she says. “I’m a firm believer that cats should be inside because it’s healthier and safer too.”