Cats and cars. A comparison.
You may not think that cats and cars have ANYTHING to do with each other whatsoever, save for being one letter different. You’d be wrong. See, they’re both money pits.
You know the old adage, “when it rains, it pours” – I’ve found this to be true about both.
Let’s start with cats.
Most of the time, my boys are healthy and thriving. However, I know that we’re always one sneeze/puke/bloody poop away from a vet visit. Something that is absolutely essential is to have a vet you can trust and ask a bazillion questions to and get informative answers without even a hint of an eyeroll. Someone you truly believe has your babies’ best interests at heart. I have one. This being said, while I do believe veterinarians should be paid handsomely for the work they do, my wallet says otherwise. The bills add up and up, even if you have an excellent vet who is honest about whether certain procedures are necessary. If you’re a worrier like me, you tend to fall on the cautious side and get the tests that are maybe 55% necessary, “just in case.” Then you walk out with a giant bill, and presumably, a healthy cat. Or, like me, you could go in for a simple checkup and walk out with the knowledge that one cat’s pupil is markedly larger than the other, possibly indicating a problem (this requires more tests, of course, and if I really wanted to get serious, a visit to the CAT EYE DOCTOR). It’s never just one thing. And lets not forget the constant maintenance of cat food, which seems to be getting more and more expensive.
Now onto cars.
Unless you have a brand spankin’ new car with a fancy warranty (in which case you’d also have a large car payment and the headache of the immediate depreciation driving off the lot), you have car problems. Having a trusted mechanic in your arsenal is equally as essential as having a trusted vet (I have one of these, too, and I went through a LOT of mechanics before finding Sam, who’s my godsend). Especially if you have a Volvo, which is like having a cat with special needs (okay, that’s a BIT of a stretch, but work with me here). Yesterday I went in for a new headlamp assembly (used, actually – new was a bazillion dollars) because a rock or a BB gun put a nice lil hole in the one I had. And a new hood latch, because the boyfriend broke it opening the hood to look at the headlight assembly when the hole was noticed. While I was there, I discussed having him fix a very slow oil leak that I’d been able to put off because of the very slowness of it. I’d recently noticed more oil where I park my car so I figured it was time. As he pulled my car out, there was a puddle of oil. NOT SO SLOW ANYMORE. So we bumped up that appointment. When I left, I noticed my dashboard light indicating a light out was still on. Brake light, this time. Oh, and my tires are bare. AND it’s almost time for timing belt replacement. And like the constant supply of cat food that’s needed, the car requires a constant influx of gas.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that I basically work to support my cats and my car. Neither of them appreciate it.
I’ve invested more in my cats than in my 401K.
Part 2 of vet visit. The bill. The one that made me faint.
My vet is not a bargain vet. I could find a cheaper one. But I’ve been to a few, and I’ve learned that the peace of mind that comes with having a vet you have complete confidence in and really like is worth its weight in gold. And I don’t just like my regular vet, either. I like the other vet in the office, and the staff as well. No one talks down to me, everyone patiently listens to my bazillion questions and my overanalyzing. I find that I like women docs more, too. I can probably chalk this up to the fact that I’ve only had interactions with 2 male vets and I didn’t feel like either of them were particularly affable. I’m sure there’s plenty of really awesome male docs. I just haven’t met them. In conclusion, when your cats are your children, nothing is more important. So I’ll happily pay a lil more for their care.
I’d expected a decent-sized bill. I just didn’t expect HOW much.
1. Exam. Expected.
2. Bloodwork. Expected. Not expected? Adding the charge to recheck Taco for FeLV and FIV. Suggested because one of his pupils was noticeably bigger than the other. Apparently, even kitties have been screened for this as babies, it’s recommended that they’re screened again 2 months after moving into forever home. Taco wasn’t, and either of these could be a cause for different sized pupils. This is where paying extra for a good vet comes in…Upon your kitty’s first visit, they take his or her picture for their records, as well as make a little laminated tag to put on the carrier. My vet compared the picture to the live Taco and noted that his pupils were fine in the pic. DETAILS. I LOVE THEM. I haven’t gotten the results back yet. Also another reason I love my vet? They’re super up on technology. They email.
3. Rabies vaccine. Expected. Don’t necessarily agree with this one, but it’s required for his kitty license and if we need to board them on vacay.
4. License. Forgotten about, but expected. Stupid, because they’ll never get out. Of course it’s possible, but my cats are terrified of the outside world. Twice the door has opened accidentally and not noticed for a few hours and no one went near it.
5. Kitty probiotics.
Don’t laugh. Taco has the MOST rank-smelling poo in the world. It’s impossible for me to understand how he and Moosh eat the same thing but comes out SO much more foul from his ass. Adding the probiotics helps a bit. Worth the money. I promise.
Not expected. Was reminded it’s coming up on flea season again. Wish to avoid an invasion. And yes, I know there’s natural options for fleas but I’ve tried all of them, and trust me, they don’t work in Florida. It’s all dirt here, which is flea heaven.
7. Kitty food.
Taco’s stupid prescription food. I suppose it’s not horribly expensive but in my eyes, it is for crap food that’s not natural or organic or byproduct-free. But it helps him, so who am I to complain?
And that, my dears, is why Mommy is eating PB&Js for awhile. I never thought I’d spend so much on a vaguely healthy cat. Sigh.
Still waiting for my brats to start working. The slugs are sleeping at the moment.
I’m about to send them out with resumes.
The road to the vet is not a quiet one.
Yesterday was Taco vet day. Just a yearly checkup thing. He’s been fairly healthy. Annoying, but that’s not a health issue. Only in regards to my mental state.
Getting Taco to the vet is a two-person job. I knew he wasn’t going to go quietly, so I asked the boyfriend to do the prep work and have him ready to go. However, the little MFer immediately ran under the bed when the carrier came out, at which point it required both of us to tag team the effort. Upon getting him in the carrier, he immediately began thrashing about. Not even out of the house yet. Then the meowing started. Then the meowing didn’t stop.
It’s a 15-minute drive. Of loud.
Of course, I then began embarking on the futile effort of soothing him with calming words. And I continued to despite the fact that it did absolutely nothing. Although I did discover that he answered me in different tones here and there, which amused me. It seemed that saying his name resulted in a slightly lower volume, but only the 1st two meows. The 3rd went back to gutteral. We continued like this all the way into the vet, where he announced himself loudly upon being carried in.
Thus begins part 3 of the vet experience. The shakes. For all of Taco’s bravado, he’s a big freaking baby. He scrunches into one corner of his carrier and shivers. With an occasional loud meow, attracting all onlookers to comment on what an adorable cat he is, which at this point, doesn’t even fill me with mommy pride because now everyone can see what a wussy cat I’ve raised.
Part 4. The exam room.
Still uncooperative. Still meowing. The vet and the vet assistant have trouble holding him. He is really quite a talented squirmer. I will give him credit for not lashing out with claws. Except that would kinda be less wussy. Despite his best efforts (and a loud, random meow on the scale), I learned that he was healthy, that he gained an ounce (this I don’t understand, he eats everything) and that he runs hot at the vet from all the shaking and flustering. Oh, then the vet noticed one pupil was larger than the other and suggested I take him to an animal ophthalmist (however the hell you spell that. I’m not looking it up.). I’m not overly concerned about this. My eyes do that too. My eye doc said it’s unlikely I have a brain tumor because I’d know it by now. But nonetheless, we threw on FeLV and FIV testing into the bloodwork just in case, because he’s only been tested for those once.
Then I paid the bill. Now I’m broke. That’s a whole other story for another post (although I will add that I wasn’t OVERcharged, he’s just expensive). And Taco still hasn’t gotten a job to pay his way. I’m not taking him to a cat eye doc until he earns his damn keep.
Furballs need to earn their keep.
Lil Bub has had me thinking. Maybe I CAN make money off my cats.
Granted, my boys aren’t internet sensations, nor do they possess such cuteness that comes from having a smushy face and a tongue that constantly sticks out, but I have a ton of marketing savvy at my disposal and at one time I did, in fact, consider myself an artist. Applied to art school and everything. I didn’t actually pursue it farther than that, despite having an excellent portofolio and letters of recommendation (not to took my own horn, but I wasn’t half bad except for painting — colors, argh), though, because I was an idiot at 18 (whoever allows 18-year-olds to make decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives and results in wasting their talents for 13 years at Big Brown is also an idiot).
So there’s all kinds of crap for sale on the internet. And apparently people make money off these things. Lil Bub, however, has hip, fun, quality merchandise. It sets him apart. His website is attractive and aesthetic and his pictures are always high quality. He’s not the only famous internet cat, but he’s the one with the documentary. So I need to start merchandising. Get off my retired artist ass and make MeowHearThis a brand. High fashion couture. I could even get the cats doing slave labor and make unique products with paw prints. Just put some paint on their paws and let them run around shit. I can charge more for one-of-a-kind items. God, this is brilliant. I think. Is it?
I probably shouldn’t be writing about this in the event that someone of lesser moral character steals my ideas, but it’s such a wacky pipe dream that I highly doubt anyone will feel it’s viable enough to even poach.
On the other hand, how much does a trademark cost?