Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Cats Had Better Appreciate this...

Last week, I wrote about spending $424 at the vet’s office, for three healthy cats needing only immunizations and checkups. I was really annoyed about the amount of money that cost me, but was at least comforted knowing that I wouldn’t have to do this again for at least two years.

One of my cats (I’m looking at you, Maggie) has been pissing on the floor, directly outside the litterbox for the last couple of months. I’m pretty sure she’s showing her displeasure at Sarah’s taking over the cats’ bedroom. (Yes, the cats had their own room. It was just by default though, I promise. Not like I furnished and decorated it for them or anything. Don't you judge me.) But, just to be sure, I asked the vet about it, who gave me the tools to snag a urine sample from her, or they’d want to do a sonogram for a cool $350. Since I am cheap, and am sincerely convinced nothing is wrong with the cat, I opted for the cheaper “Do-it-yourself” method, involving a syringe a vacuum-sealed tube and a drive back to the vet. She gave me instructions on how to get a sample, how to preserve the sample, and mentioned that I should get some tooth stuff for the other cat.

When I checked out and paid at the front desk, they glossed over the details of the bill. Revived me when I passed out at the damned total, then showed me all the stuff they were sending home with me. (Flea/tick control, tooth stuff for Vickie, sample gathering stuff for Maggie’s piss) In this bag, she also showed me two sample containers preprinted with the kitties’ info. The lady at the desk said the vet needed a fecal sample (forgive me for just saying EWWWWWWWW!!!) from the older two cats. She gave detailed instructions on how to get it, how soon the vet needed it back and all that fun stuff. She reassured me about the cost, “Well at least that’s it for a couple more years!”

The next day Maggie took it upon herself to piss on the floor. So, there’s that sample taken care of. We put off bringing the sample back, hoping we could also get the required poo samples and only make one trip back to the vet. This was not to be, as the cats went on a hunger/poo strike. We finally gave up and just brought the one sample, figuring we’ll deal with the others as needed.

So, we’d been manning the catbox for several days, waiting for one of the cats to leave us something. Of course, my cats are assholes, and would only use it at night or when we weren’t there. Until Friday, when I caught Maggie leaving the scene. I quickly, and with only minimal gagging, packaged up the sample and dropped it at the vet’s office.

Later that night I noticed I had voicemail. “Hi, this is Sharon from the Vet’s office. You dropped a sample off today, and it seems that this lab wasn’t prepaid. So, you do have a balance on your account. We’re going to need you to come in and pay this balance at your earliest convenience.”

Ex-fucking-cuse me? If I had told that picking up my cat’s SHIT and driving it to the vet was going to cost me more, do you think I would have done it? The answer is NO. I repeat: NO!

So, I’ve come to a decision. I have healthy, indoor only cats. They are well fed, well watered, and well loved. But, I am as now, never taking them for a routine check up again. If there is something wrong, sure, I’ll take them. (And by something wrong, I mean their legs fell off) But I will never be screwed out of that much money again.

And before anyone mentions those goddamn “clinics” held at Petco or wherever, allow me to tell you this story:

When we first got our little Fiddy, he was barely 4 weeks old, his face had been badly burned and his tail had been broken. He was found abandoned and alone at a barn in the hills. I heard about him, adopted him and brought him home to be loved on. He was too young for shots, and needed to be loved and taught to like people again. So, after about 6 weeks, he’d healed up nicely and was starting to trust humans again. We hadn’t found a vet we liked yet, so just to get the immunizations going, took Fiddy to one of these assembly-line clinics.

They put him on the table, put a metal and rubber tourniquet around his leg and tried to draw blood while Fiddy cried. Except, the tourniquet got stuck in his fur. So, the tourniquet is on, but the needle is out, so he’s shooting blood out of his leg and the tourniquet is RIPPED off while I yell at them to stop hurting my baby.
They then rip his mouth open; shove some shit down his throat while he’s STILL BLEEDING. A few more shots later we’re sent home to deal with the aftermath, as Fiddy has now been abused again.
So, no. I will not use one of these clinics ever again. I cried for a long while after that experience, and I’m not putting any of my animals through those incompetent hands again.

I also will not put my poor wallet through the abuse of my normal vet. I’m out.

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