Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I couldn't have survived the ark.

So, in between the cookie-stealing, and pancake stealing, and plate breaking, and pizza stealing, and envelope eating, the trash-pilfering, and bed wetting, et. al., Barley was definitely not my favorite pet this week. In fact, the phrase, "I hate animals" may or may night have come out of my mouth.

So imagine my delight and surprise when Blaine came inside the other night to tell me, "There is poop hanging off Blackie's butt and there are little rice-looking things stuck in it. I'm pretty sure the cat was worms."

Niiiiiiiiiiiiice.

He's not even *OUR* cat! We inherited him with the house. Of course, the first month or so that we lived here we sort of ignored him, assuming he belonged to a neighbor. Well, Blaine and I ignored him, and he did a pretty good job of ignoring us. But the kids have loved him from day one. Once we realized that no, he was actually living under our shed and most likely digging for food in trash cans, we began to feel bad for the thing. So we let him sleep in our garage. And we started feeding him. On a regular basis. And he gained so much weight so fast that we thought it was a girl cat, and she might be pregnant. Thank heavens we were wrong. Then we even cut a doggie-door (kitty-door?) in our garage door, so I guess at that point we accepted that the cat was here to stay. But do not forget that he was still not *OUR* cat.

And so, we weren't compelled to take it to vet until the suspected worm episode this week. I know, it's negligent of us, but it's the truth.

Because like I've mentioned in the past, I just wasn't feeling the love. Food? Shelter? Letting my kids play with it? Fine, ok. But he was NOT coming inside and he was NOT going to be listed on my annual Christmas letter as a family member and we were NOT taking him to the vet and claiming responsibility.

Until now. What with the rice-things, which we still assumed were worms. (sigh) (and gross.)

So I bought a pet carrier, and the kids and I took him to the vet today after school.

He needed vaccinations.

He needed flea medicine.

He has dry skin.

He has hookworm.

He has heartworm, which apparently is rare in a cat, so aren't we the lucky ones?

In fact, the vet said he's only seen three cases of actual active heartworm in a cat since the test became available. Well, good. I always like to be special.

So now in addition to the flea lotion-stuff we're supposed to put on him once a month, he suggested a combo-flea-heartworm lotion. Because, and I quote, "This won't get rid of the heartworm, but it will keep any new ones from developing. Cats with heartworm can suffer coughing, vomiting, and a sudden death syndrome. The life expectancy of heartworm is three to five years, so we recommend keeping new ones from developing."

And really, I started to feel a little guilty. Blackie only has three to five years to live? I mean, sure, I don't particularly love him like one of my own, but he *is* a pretty good-natured cat. No hissing, no spitting, no clawing. He lets us pet him, he lets the kids carry him all over the place, he even rubs up against my legs in the garage sometimes, especially if he's hungry. And Brayden, gosh, she loves him enough for all of us.

Three to five years? That's actually a little bit sad.

So I asked, "Will the three to five years the cat has left be healthy ones, other than the heartworm?"

And the vet replied, "Wait. What? No, the HEARTWORMS will live three to five years, then they'll be gone. That cat will probably live another ten or fifteen years."

And the children cheered, and I breathed a sigh of relief. All is not doomed, and we can proudly and lovingly nurse Blackie back to health and claim him as one of our family, and live happily ever after, yippee!

Then the vet handed me a bill for $245.90. The week before Christmas.

I friggin' hate animals.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh I have a similar cat. We started calling her "baby" b/c she was so tiny when she first started coming around with the "mama" cat. My DD LOVED to feed her and watch her. And after enough time, she (the cat) started trusting us. So now we let her sleep in the garage, and feed only her (cause feeding her on the porch led to other fun animals loving our house..like possums!). And I even bought a stocking so that "Sparkle" (her real name!) can get a pet bed and a fey toys from Santa! Oh the lengths we go to for our kids and thier smiles!! My hubby and I are not even CAT People!
Claire in TX

P.S. our is a black cat too

Natalie said...

This is probably totally politically incorrect, but on our first date, a cat ran out in front of our car. Eamonn tried to swerve and run over it. His favorite phrase: "I love cats, but I couldn't eat a whole one."

Just ruins your whole opinion of me, doesn't it?

Kelly said...

Oh good golly. I literally dry heaved when I read the beginning of your post....about the poop hanging from Blackie's butt with rice-worms. I guess this pregnant lady simply can't take it! LOL. I know what you mean about a cat adopting you though. Our old cat (from when I was a kid) Ginger adopted us and had a litter of 5 kittens in our yard. We weren't "cat people" but we took her, and one of her kittens in, and they ended up staying for around 18 years.

Anonymous said...

I feel guilty finding so much humor at your expense. If you didn't write so well I wouldn't laugh so hard.

Lisa said...

Kristi,
Yesterday our neighbor brought us abeautiful tray of Christmas cookies. Yummy! Last night as I went to bed I thought of you and the whole dog snatching food thing. I tought thank God I don't have to worry about my DOGS doing that. I woke up early this morning to a two hour delay for school...UGH! Showered, got dressed, fed the dogs, let them out to do their business came back upstairs to let one other out and WHAT.... the damn dog ate the whole freakin' tray of cookies!!!! Beautiful...that will make for a happy husband. So, you're not alone and lesson learned. Don't assume your animals are angels!!

Cathy said...

We have an outside cat and it's never been to the vet - I am fearing the day we may need to take it in. He is going to need shots and probably cost hundreds of dollars too - but just like your cat we wouldn't let anything continue if we knew something was wrong with him. He is such a good cat (even though he is an outside cat).

One week until Christmas eve! calgon...

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

See...I always knew you were a cat person deep down inside...way deep down inside...way,way,way...well you get it. Tasha and Tyson are so happy for you and I am so proud! HAHA :) Kim (but the bill totally stinks, not laughing about that part!)

Kristy in WV said...

I have to agree with the 2nd Anonymous post.
Sorry, I laughed, but you are funny!

Glad Blackie will be okay.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Anonymous said...

One time my indoor cat got outside and we didn't find him for two months. He was so fat when we finally found him! I was impressed that he was able to feed himself. Until I found the rice hanging off his rear end too. YUCK..YUCK...YUCK.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

DAMN!! Vet bills are always huge!! I should have been a vet...sigh...

Come on over and enter the contest at WWoW. If you won, you might feel less aggravated about the vet bill!

Hallie

Marisa said...

You are so so FUNNY.
In case I get to busy to get back on befoe next week, I wish the entire Escoe family a VERY Merry Christmas and a HEALTHY Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

If only we were in say, some nondescript country in Asia where there was not an overpopulation of critters. Heck, when we were in China there were sparrows on a stick. I kid you not! EWWWW!!! Lets just say that there are NO extra dogs/cats etc. lopping around. Our lab Duke, may he rest in peace, cost us at least $80 every single time we took him to the vet. Which seemed to be often b/c the poor guy had allergies. What are the chances?
Tammy in icy OH

Stacia said...

Kristie that is so real life funny, yet upsetting with the hassle and $$, especially right before Christmas.
I hope he brings you many years of love. :-)

The Running Girl said...

Oh, Kristie, you ARE going to end up hating animals aren't you? Yikes! Well, at least you did a good deed, right?

jean said...

I swear that animals cost as much as kids do - although since I only have animals & no kids, I can't say for sure... I "only" spent $74.00 at the vet two weeks ago for vaccinations & check-up, but that's in addition to the $25 for an 8# bag of food that I buy every 5 weeks to keep the cat's IBS at bay. Hopefully you'll start loving them again soon... :-)

Ann from St. Peter MN said...

I know the feeling! As an owner of one dog and three cats, I believe I have spent more money on their health care than I have for my two kids. And things always happen around the holidays. One year, one of the cats got into cinnamon oil and suffered from chemical burns in her mouth. I spent the holidays giving her hypos for pain and buying special food. The next year, our black lab got dreadfully ill (of course on a Friday night after office hours) and our vet thought she had a twisted gut, which was pretty much a death sentence. Happily (??), it turned out she swallowed a superball and it was lodged in her intestine. Surgery was done and she was her old self in a week. That one cost me just short of $1,000. Yeah - Merry Christmas to me. The vet staff asked me if I wanted the ball back. Hell yeah! I just paid $1,000 for it! Have a great Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Natalie's comment made me think of a bumper sticker I once saw:So many cats, so few recipes! As a non-cat person, we've had 3 in the last 18 years. Guess that makes me a cat person now.
Wish me luck getting through the next 3 days of Middle Schoolers until vacation starts, I'm gonna need it!
Sheila-MN

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

2 years ago, when I was a few months pregnant, 1 week before Christmas, our cat needed surgery. Her uterus was infected and she required an emergency hysterectomy. The week before Christmas. That bill came to over $2000 with no guarantee that she would make it. Needless to say, my husband was not amused. But at the time we had the cat for 5 years and she was our first "baby", so she had the surgery and luckily has been fine ever since. Hope Blackie is also fine!

Melissa said...

DRY SKIN!?!

Most of the time I can't be bothered to put lotion on my own skin - terrible I know, but attempting to put lotion on a cat?!

I can sympathize with "special needs" animals though, my cat is diabetic and NEEDS a pill twice a day. Yikes!

The first time my turtle went to the vet the bill was similar to yours...for a TURTLE.

Man o man am I a sucker. Hehe.

Catherine said...

Well, I'm glad the cat now has his shots since your kids are around him. Hate to say this, but you look like an animal lover to me.

Eloise said...

So sorry that Blackie has turned into a Money Pit. I think, though, that you can measure a person's character by how they care for those who are completely dependent on their kindness and mercy. Not that I didn't already know that you had a good heart, but you've proved it again.

Merry Christmas! Hope Blaine is getting some relief and feeling better.

Ryley said...

Dont worry.. God will save a special place for you in heaven! :)

Too funny.. you have the worst animal luck... and why do they always manage to do things like this at the worst times????

Anonymous said...

Not to bear bad news BUT...What about your dog(s) they may need to be checked right? Good Luck

Life with Kaishon said...

OH MY GOSH! I just laughed so hard : ). I want to read more of your blog. I know you are a nice person because you cut a door in your garage for this strange cat. That is SO nice!

My Daddy John donated to Mary's blog and he won the purse. He is not that excited about the purse, but my Mommy is : ). Although, I had to give her STRICT instructions not to harm it in anyway. One time I gave her a coach purse and she didn't like part of the straps on the front so she CUT it off. CUT A COACH purse. I couldn't talk to her for a few days : ).

I will go look around and see if I can see an email for you so I can send you their address. Thanks!

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

laughing out loud...with you, of course.

Anonymous said...

I'm sending you the Mother of the Year crown because you've earned it just by this incident alone.

Dixie

DeborahB said...

OMG. The same thing happened to me Monday with my dog. The pug is medically challenged, that's for sure. He has 2 ear infections & a skin yeast infection. MY bill was $280. Right before Christmas. Farkin dog. He's cost me thousands of dollars over the years. So I feel bad for you. You'd think they'd defer payment until after the holidays, but NOOOOO. So I'm sorry. Happy Holidays anyway!!

Cindi said...

Hey, it could have been worse. You might have had to take Barley to the vet too and then the bill would have been DOUBLE because Barley would have gotten everything that Blackie had, even though issues like Blackie has don't normally cross over to dogs. So count yourself lucky that you got out of the vet's office so dang cheap, hahaha!

Jordyn said...

De-lurking b/c this is one post I can't ignore. As I'm sitting here typing this my puppy is in the hospital after eating an entire pack of sugar free gum (which apparently can be deadly to a dog). As of right now my vet bill stands at $147 (CDN $) and I haven't even picked her up yet. I had the same thought....it's a week before Christmas and I'm getting hit with a vet bill........should've been a vet myself

Merry Christmas and may our puppies out grow the counter surfing :)

Amy said...

Seems like maybe Blackie and the pup could take a long ride into the country together.

OOPS -- I mean, seems like they've found a wonderfully loving family.

Dianna in Louisiana said...

Oh Kristie--- we were thinking about getting my daughter a dog AND a cat for Christmas.......... Glad to read that Blackie will live the treasured life of an Escoe pet for many years to come~~~~~

RSMDianne said...

Ok, here's my cat story. We have an old cat (11 years old), and a 9 year old dog. The dog and cat do not get along, so the cat lives in our master bedroom and bathroom, and rarely comes out. A year and a half ago, my daughter's friend's cat had kittens, so she suckered us into getting one. It's been the best cat we've ever had, even though it was $380 for it's kitten shots and neutering. We try not to let him go out because of the coyotes and hawks, but he sure tries, and sits at the door and meows and waits for someone to go outside so he can try to escape. Long story, we live in So California, but we had plans to go to Orlando for Thanksgiving last year, but my son was cast in his high school play. He stayed here with my mil until his play was over, then flew to meet us. The Sunday before Thanksgiving, right before they left the house, the cat got out. My mil found him under the bushes, grabbed him by the tail, and carried him by the tail into the house. Then they left. I had a neighbor feed the cats (we boarded the dog). We came home on Friday, and something wasn't quite right with the cat. I took him to the vet on Saturday, and the end his tail was broken and dying and necrotic. $780 later, including laser surgery, the cat came home with half a tail. He was only 6 months old, so what do you do...you can't leave him with a dying rotting tail, and we'd already spent the money to neuter him and for shots, so we just sucked it up. But still $780 to AMPUTATE a cat's tail...And he is still the sweetest best cat we have ever had and boy, does he put the dog in his place, unlike the other cat who runs away and hides under the bed. It's always hilarious to see the cat sitting behind the dog batting away at his wagging tail and there is just something about the two of them sleeping on my son's bed together, but a comfortable distance away from each other. Now my son's friend's mother does kitten rescue, and weekly we hear the pleas and see the phone pix of the rescue kittens.

gorillabuns said...

I'm gonna have to tell ya, I'm not partial to animals. They never seem to grow up and get their own damn drinks.

Jackietex said...

My vet bill this week? $2200. And now the dog is sick. UGH! My husband said on Monday that the next animal that eats something it's not supposed to is up the proverbial creek.

katy said...

Two quick cat stories. I was at work a few months ago and a neighbor of the person I take care of brought over a tiny kitten, not more than 3 weeks old. Someone had dropped it and her husband was going to walk across the road and throw it in the Ohio River. We adopted a kitten. My daughter fell in love with it until a week later when it literally threw up a huge pile of worms (in my daughters floor), then it became mine until we got it taken care of.
We had a stray male cat outside that was about a year old that we all liked. Sweet cat/good mouser. The other day my husband walked outside and the cat rubbed on his leg like it always does when it wants food, fell over, blood started pouring from its ears and it was dead in 30 seconds. No idea what happened. I'm sticking with dogs in the future.