Singaporeans may bemoan the cost of having babies, but when it comes to their pets, nothing is too good or too expensive for their 'best friends'. Apparently one cat owner didn't bat an eyelid at paying US$15,000 for a kidney transplant for his beloved six-year-old Linus. He flew with the cat to the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Wisconsin, in the United States, because the operation was still not available in Singapore. Is that a shocking sum? Apparently not: Singaporeans writing on the internet seemed scandalised only by the fact that the city state's much-touted vets did not offer that operation. These animal lovers were seemingly not bothered that the 18-month-old donor had been bred on a farm especially for its kidney to be harvested - which would certainly diminish his life expectancy. Does this mean that it would be acceptable to have children bred on a farm to have their kidneys harvested, too? Now, don't get me wrong: I love animals (although, with three young children of my own, I have drawn the line at having a domestic pet). But one does wonder if such care for animal welfare is going a step too far, when the local headlines are full of the National Kidney Foundation scandal. It has raised questions about whether donors will continue to give money for human patients' dialysis treatments - which, in any case, were only partly funded by the charity. Specialised pet shops have flourished in the past couple of years, while a few cafes and restaurants dedicated to those with four legs have started to compete for local dollars. Singaporean celebrities have not yet taken up the Hollywood trend of carrying their dogs in their arms to every premiere. But showing off your well-groomed dog in the Botanical Gardens, at the weekend, has become a must - preferably wearing his Gucci coats and sunglasses (seriously), for the incognito look. Singaporeans can also spend lavishly on their fish. Just last week, I saw the ugliest of Luohan, or flowerhorn fish, being offered for over S$20,000 ($94,700). The fish is supposed to bring good fortune to its owner, but that's awfully expensive good luck. I wonder what the prospective, brand-conscious buyers who were circling the aquarium with admiring glances would have said if I had told them that Luohan - all the rage here last year - are already passe. I'm told Asia arowanas, also called dragon fish, are still very 'in'. But be ready to fork out S$50,000 and more to be trendy. Mind you, given that the fish can live at least 60 years, there is a good chance that fortune will smile on you at some stage.