Friday, April 25, 2008

New Gadgets

This week we looked into a water softener system. We can put up with the calcium scale on the shower walls and on the drip tray for the water dispenser in the refrigerator door. But we have a suspicion that high magnesium levels in our water contributes to both of the cats urinary tract infections ("UTI's" to those of us in the business). High levels of magnesium in non-prescription cat food is known to contribute to struvites, which scratch up the bladder, which allow bacteria to develop. So if magnesium in the food is a problem, magnesium, a component of our hard water, in the drinking water is probably a problem, too, right?

But yeah, it turns out our water comes into the house on the wrong side. Two plumbers explained why this is a problem, but I kind of spaced out and went away to my happy place for a few minutes while they were talking, and I can't really recreate for you here their explanations. But both of them said it meant we'd either have to spend tons of money digging up our driveway or spend tons of money digging a trench and running pipe all the way around the house. And yeah yeah, we love the kitties, blah blah blah, but thousands of dollars of plumbing work? Uh, no.

So we're getting the kitties a $370 countertop water distiller instead. We've been double-filtering their water (the refrigerator water's got a Pur filter on it, and we run that water through a Brita pitcher filter, too), but apparently to no effect. So we're going to distill their drinking water instead.

Part of me feels like a heel, like if I explained this to, say, a random sampling of my co-workers, a high percentage would point and laugh at me. $370? For cat drinking water? Heh heh. Sucker. Then part of me thinks it's not just the compassionate thing to do, but the smart money. We could easily spend that $370 on one, or maybe two, UTI's. So let's be proactive! You've got to spend money to save money. Or something like that.

And then part of me was sad that we wouldn't be getting the calcium scale-reducing benefits of the water softener. And I swear my skin's been drier and itchier since we moved here. So I just bought a $70 shower filter, too.

Heh heh. Sucker.

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