I have a LOT of pets. Inside ones. Outside ones. In the past year it seems like I have taken almost every single one of them to the vet for SOMETHING. It’s weird, when I was growing up we had lots of dogs and a few cats and I never remember them being taken to the vet for anything, but then again, they never lived very long because they got hit by cars and shot by neighborhood juvenile delinquents (who shall remain nameless) and mauled by large neighborhood dogs or died during pregnancy complications. Good grief, that childhood pets health question just kind of answered itself! We didn’t taken them to the vet because they all either disappeared or died violently. Ah, such warm childhood memories.
I’m groggy this morning due to a midnight trip to the emergency vet with one of our cats. He was blocked, just as the other one had been less than a month ago. We spent over $1k on that blockage, and now with this one they are saying it is possibly not only a blockage, but kidney problems as well. It’s worse for me this time because I actually like this cat. His name is George. I finally broke down and applied for a Pet Care credit card so I don’t keep having to drain our bank account to pay for vet expenses. Good grief, I don’t think I can take much more of this. The best news I’ve gotten was about the Care Credit Card, if we pay our balance off in 6 months then we don’t get charged interest! OH JOY! All I keep thinking is, how in the world can these things keep happening? We feed our pets high quality food, we monitor their health and give them supplements as needed, we don’t let them run around all over tar nation getting killed and disappearing. Something’s got to give!
Since November of last year, we have had TWELVE vet visits due to catastrophes. That doesn’t include multiple litters of kittens we had to buy supplies for, wean and adopt out over craigslist, bag after bag of expensive healthy food, dose after dose of flea medications and multiple groomer appointments at $30- $40 per dog each time. That’s just if they’re HEALTHY!
Nov 2010: Kitty, our Pomeranian pooch. Impacted anal glands. They gave me medicine, one of which had multiple doses in a large syringe. I promptly took her home and a few days later proceeded to overdose her with that poorly packaged medication which required a trip to the emergency vet and an $80 call to the animal poison control hotline, because OF COURSE, it was on a Saturday. That’s TWO and that’s just the beginning.
Next one was in the spring of this year. We heard a crazy ruckus on our back porch at two a.m. so I fled to the sliding door and saw two giant dogs attacking my cat Stella, who I’d had for about 10 years and who had NEVER had any real health problems other than being a little overweight. They had mauled her pretty badly. At first I saw nothing and was relieved because I thought both my outside cats had gotten to safety before the two brutes hurt them. She was black and so blended in with the night. I finally saw her, lying there and crying faintly. I brought her inside, hoping she would be ok. She died in my arms about 6 hours later and we had to take her to my vet to be cremated that morning because her body had stiffened and started to decompose. I gave her to the vet in a cardboard box, wrapped in one of our blue towels. As I handed the lady the box I broke down in tears and we both left and took the whole day off. It was the only time I ever saw my husband cry. Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” played on the radio as I bawled all the way home and to this day, whenever I hear that song, that horrible morning, handing my sweet little Stella’s body wrapped in a blue towel and placed in a box to my vet, paying the bill and then running out to my car. The sadness and tragedy of it all, comes screaming back to me. It’s a pity because it really is too beautiful a song to be marred by such vivid sadness. I loved that little cat so much. She was given to me by a new best friend, who is now my oldest best friend. I gave her to my sister and then traded back for her a few years later due to my sister’s boyfriend’s cat allergies. She stayed with us all of our marriage up to this point. Rest in peace Poopie cat. That’s THREE.
Next comes a litter of 3 kittens. Two of them had very bad (and very disgusting might I add) eye infections when we found them. Their eyelids were literally turning inside out and completely swollen. I felt unprepared to deal with it so I took them to the “inhumane society” where I was informed that the moment they took them in, they would put the two little sick ones to sleep to keep down any risk of their infections spreading to the other cats. So I gave the stone hearted hag at the desk a “the HELL you WILL!” death glare and took them home in a huff. I stopped at my pet store and got a small tube of ointment for about $20 and over the next week I washed their eyes and put that magical goop on them twice a day. They were completely healed and ended up all finding very good homes. OH, I did take them to my vet before I took them to the humane society, but they couldn’t really do anything other than charge us for a litter wellness exam, which they would have had to set up for another day. They weren’t really open due to training clinics being held that day and I wasn’t about to pay for that yet and I wasn’t patient enough to wait, so I declined at the time. BUT, I still took them in, so that bloody well counts! That’s FOUR.
Next was in June. The General, my youngest and most evil of cats, got a UTI and had to be taken to the vet and prescribed antibiotics. In August he had to be taken in again and treated for another UTI. Same protocol as before but different antibiotics this time. That was on a Monday. At the end of that week we had to take him to the emergency vet at 5:45 pm because my vet closes at 5:30 pm. We got home and he was acting crazy, walking around freaking out, hissing and attacking his crotch with unbridled fury. We didn’t have a referral slip from our vet so we had to pay an emergency charge at the emergency clinic. That time they said he was blocked and needed to be catheterized and kept at the clinic for a few days. THAT’S SEVEN!
In between those visits I adopted out YET ANOTHER litter of kittens from the feral mommy cat we’d been feeding and had finally had enough. I contacted SAAF house and got her fixed after catching her in a live animal trap and listening to her attack the cage and his at me all the way to the stupid clinic! She is now putting on weight and we only still call her mommy out of habit. No more babies for you, cat hooker!! That’s EIGHT!
In October we had a beautiful Saturday and we all spent the day outside playing with the dogs and working on yard work, clearing out a tree that had fallen in the yard. Our dog Boo overexerted himself and messed up his back. We thought he was just sore but his stiffness and inability to climb stairs or get up on the bed continued for 3 weeks so we had to take him to the vet where they told us one of the discs in his back is messed up and prescribed him lots of pain meds. We will be taking him back for another check up and possible med refills next week. That’s TEN!
Lastly, the visit I first described is what prompted this post. We had to take George in to the emergency vet last night, which we paid nearly $500 for, and now, today, we took him in to our regular vet to continue treatment and diagnosis and God only knows what that is going to cost. OH, and he may have kidney disease which will probably be either insanely expensive to treat or KILL HIM. Yay for free cats…. And That’s TWELVE!
I am tired of writing this now and badly in need of curling up n a ball and sucking my thumb for the rest of the day so I will sum myself up as quickly as I can by saying this: The next time you get offered a FREE pet, don’t be an IDIOT and think it’s actually free. Even if you feed the poor thing crappy walmart junk pet food and never take it to the vet, it will cost you money and break your heart. And if you take care of it properly, it will cost you TONS of money. If you have to adopt a cat, get a female and get her fixed ASAP. They have less health problems than males do. And whatever you do, don’t keep your animals outside so they can get lime disease or mauled to death by some moron’s escaped giant dog that breaks into your yard in the middle of the night!