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.