Pages

Friday, 18 November 2016

an emotional afternoon ... the long haired cat saga, continues

This is really not how I pictured my day. It involved looking out at the front porch where I heard the cat meowing and for a moment I couldn't quite grasp what I was looking at. I won't go into detail but our Scooter, the long-haired, burr ridden, "free" cat is having surgery tonight to have his tail (or what is left of it) amputated.

We rushed him to the closest vet that does emergency services (which wasn't close, about 35 minutes away). The vet said it was likely a fan belt accident. She gave us a breakdown of what should be done. Of course, it was after hours, so it would have an added charge. She didn't think he had internal injuries, but x-rays would tell for sure.

When we were given the possible cost, I will admit we wondered if it was worth it. The other cat HATES him, he still doesn't use the litter box, but thankfully with good weather he just goes to the bathroom outside, somewhere. (Don't know what's going to happen during the long snow-filled winter). He was originally a "free" kitten. I know all the animal lovers out there will judge us, but we did a bit of hemming and hawing (I was crying the whole time and couldn't really even look at him for long periods of time), I even "said my goodbyes". In the end, we decided to go with the surgery and we will pick him up tomorrow.

You have to keep in mind that we rescue animals. We do not buy "designer" pets. We do not require paperwork to go along with a pet. Even as a child, our family pets were rescues. I played with barn cats as a little girl knowing that barn cats were a different category (oh, no pun intended) than a house pet. I differentiate between animals and people. I have always loved my pets, but I am also realistic. Again, do not judge me, please.

Two things I know for sure from this experience: I could never, ever, ever (did I say ever?) work in the health care industry. (I've always known that). I had to ask my husband to go in with the vet and take Scooter out of the cage. It was gruesome and it is still etched in my mind.  Secondly, I now understand pet insurance. No, we have never taken out insurance on our pets, but I seriously don't think we have ever paid the kinds of costs that we have paid recently. Even neutering this cat was a lot more expensive than I remember from a different male cat that we had. I do not begrudge the money that vets make because quite frankly, they are trained medical professionals, but I do think that our heart strings are tugged upon and we just agree to the cost because we love "Fluffy" or "Rover" so much.

Incidentally, the vet's office just phoned to let us know that he is out of surgery and a little groggy. (I was waiting for "resting comfortably"). I will leave you with this question, what is the most you have spent on a pet? (And I will share, it costs over $800.00 to have a tail amputated and the other ensuing costs. We have a daughter in university and pay for a third driver's insurance right now. We have LOTS of ways to spend $800.00). Sigh.

Additional info: We picked him up this morning. He does not have internal injuries. Because he went through the surgery so well, the "worst case scenario" quote of over $800 ended up being a bit over $500 instead. Still a hefty sum, at least it wasn't the highest amount quoted. He has a little tiny stump of a tail and because he is all shaved at the back end, he looks ridiculous, but he is purring and rolling and only occasionally gives a tiny "yelp" when he over does it and rolls in a way that it hurts his stump. Stitches come out in two weeks. Apart from the cost, the hardest thing now is keeping him indoors for two weeks. He is going to hate that because he is very much an outdoor cat.   Additional sigh.

22 comments:

  1. Awww..that is just sad. I know what you mean- sometimes those are hard decisions to make-not only for the money but emotionally and then to factor in how much pain/suffering the animal is going to be in. We had one cat we spent a lot of money on. He got a couple of bad infections and then had to be on specialized food for his life...but he was a love so I didn't regret it one bit. You-with a 'free' cat- well, that's a different story. I am sure you would beat yourself up though if you didn't do everything that you thought you needed to do. Poor kitty---sad.....xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry. As someone who has opened the purse wide to accommodate an injured animal, I feel the sigh. I hope Mr. Long Hair will use the outside of cars to stay warm in future, not the engine block or the radiator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am absolutely not going to judge you. I totally understand what you are saying. These decisions are so hard.

    I'm so sorry about what's happened. It sounds heartbreaking and I hope everything turns out well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with you on every point. I would not have judged you if you had to decide to put him down. I had to put down the best cat ever because I could not afford the vet bills at the time. It broke my heart. It is still broken but I simply did not have the money. I understand that vets are trained but many are still gouging.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes I would pause too. We have 3 rescue animals plus 4 rescue chickens. Insurance is an essential I think unless you positively self insure by putting money aside for bills that may arrive.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pets are so wonderful, yet so darn expensive. Hope he heals quickly! Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a similar case with my elderly dog but I had wish it was just her tail.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for your comments. I find it interesting that nobody has admitted to the biggest vet bill they have paid. Or maybe they haven't had to, which is a blessing in itself. We will be picking Scooter up today. It is going to be very strange seeing him look so different since he was mostly tail when we got him. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm one person who has never had a very big vet bill, although each individual has their own definition of 'big' vet bill. I think the most we ever paid was about $450 for routine check ups and vaccines for 2 cats and 2 ferrets visiting back to back. Still quite a large amount for us but we haven't had to deal with any big health issues. We don't have the two ferrets anymore (they passed) and the two cats are in good health for now.

      Delete
    2. Ferrets!! I've never known anyone who had a ferret as a pet. Would you recommend them as good pets?

      Delete
  9. No judging here either. We live on a farm, and we take good care of our cats...but we realize that they are animals and not people. We had a favorite cat get sick one time a few years ago, and we set a limit of $150 on her. That's exactly what the vet charged us for an antibiotic, fever reducer and rehydrating her with fluids. We are very fortunate that we've not had to deal with things like that very often. I sure hope Scooter recovers well! Maybe as a thank you for you care, he will start using the litter box! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have SO been in the same position. We had a sweet little pure black cat dumped here a couple of years back in the fall. She would hang around the back door and we fed her but could NOT catch her, no way, no how. My other cat hated her and would drive her off but she always came back and we tried very hard to keep her as healthy as we could. At one point we realized she was pregnant so we scouted a live trap and managed to get her in it. We could not keep her because of the other cat and besides she was really mangey. So we took her to the OSPCA hoping against hope that someone would adopt her. We were heartbroken to hear that she was immediately put down. She was too wild and refused to eat.
    Hopefully, now that push has come to shove, ol' Scooter will agree to live peacefully with your other kitty.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The most on one animal? $5500. on colic surgery for a mini horse. $2,000 for chemo treatment for a dog who had lymphoma, We did have insurance for another horse who had $12,000. colic surgery, but we only had to come up with $500. for that. $2,000 for a blown ACl for one of our dogs years ago. I know that's not an option for many people, but I do feel when we take in an animal, part of that responsibility is giving them the care they need whether it's easy or not, so I love that you decided to save Scooter and I hope all goes well. I think you made a good and humane call.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know $500 can hurt on a fixed budget. You are good people and made a hard choice. Our first cat - a big male Maine Coon, we spent $2000 on Chemo and still lost him within a year. We have never regretted or even questioned the expense, though it was hard on our fixed budget - we loved him.
    Unfortunately the life expectancy of an outdoor cat is usually around five to seven years. there has to be a special karma for people that are good to cats.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our cats are indoor / outdoor with their preference being outdoor. My father always believed that people who were kind to animals were in a separate category as well. Having him at home and seeing how well he is doing lets us know we made the right choice. My daughter compared him to a Panda (He is black and white). Guinea Pig has also come to mind.

      Delete
  13. The poor darling. I am a believer in keeping dogs and cats indoors. There is so much harm to come outside. I know what you mean about the cost of Vet bills. I cannnot remember exact costs but I do recall our cat, which went in and out, formed an abscess, which cost $1200.00 for and I&D and antibiotics. I so hope your kitty recovers nicely.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is a very hard decision, very difficult. Glad Scooter is going to be OK. For me, my fur girls are our family & I must say within their comfort, I would do anything to keep them well. I have had to say goodbye to many of my "pet" companions; horses, dogs & cats (oh let's not forget the odd hamster & rabbit). We once found a kitty on the side of the road which we thought had been hit by a car, we checked all the homes around, no one claimed, we took to nearest vet, said yes to paying for x-rays, found she had been shot! Vet said because she was stray they would gently put her to sleep to which I cried can you not do something other than that - yes, they amputated her front arm & we had 15 years of the fastest 3 legged cat who gave us SO much joy & love - no regrets to the money spent.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't know how I missed this post. Bravo to you for having him 'repaired' as opposed to euthanized. Poor guy. I'm an indoor cat person but I know in some areas (not the city) outside is safer than here. I so admire your sticking with him, despite the hefty cost. (And yes, all my cats have been adoptees from either the street or someone else's street. And all good.)

    Here's a thought in the pet insurance line that I started for cats after Stimpy cost $1700 at the vet (and he never came home) -- In my credit union we can have multiple accounts and I have one called cat care. Every month I try to put in $50 or more. From this account we go to the vet and I get Lizzie's can food or I pay for a sitter if we travel. Even with those expenditures, it still grows pretty regularly. I know I'm saving for the day when she has a problem that will cost a lot -- they all do. And this way, it won't strap me later. (And that said, I know if the chips were down, I could "borrow" from her!)

    ReplyDelete
  16. PS -- I'm following now via google. I was following with bloglovin, but sometimes I don't get to all those first! I do love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We had pet insurance for our first dog which was an almost free Lab. The biggest bill was $2000. for a torn ACL. She was 10 at the time and if we didn't have the insurance we certainly would have thought twice about having that surgery. It sounds harsh to make it all about money though.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My heart goes out to you..........so glad that your cat made it through and will hopefully be fine. I spent $500 on our cat when he got very sick. We had a house payment to pay.......but delayed it to save our cat.........it was worth it..........the house payment got paid a week later......our cat survived. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my . . . happy your cat is out of surgery, rolling around purring, happy.
    The cost for animal care seems out of sight to me . . .
    Yet . . . like you have said, trained medical professionals . . . and they are there for care when needed. We spend plenty of "nickels, dimes, quarters and more" for our very loved dog Snickers. Four months of last year she was very ill, surgery and more surgery. The cost, gigantic . . . but what are the choices . . . Facing suffering . . . it is what we do . . . I have no solutions. I have great respect for you in your regard and care for your pet.

    ReplyDelete