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.
I admit, sometimes I’m not the best kitty mommy. For example, I let the boys go without wet food for almost an entire week because I kept forgetting to go buy some (but then, I also forgot to take back my Redbox movies for a week too, I might as well just keep them at this point). In all fairness, there was a tropical storm going on earlier in the week that hindered errands a bit, and I do work two jobs. But I felt bad at my forgetfulness nevertheless.
Sometimes I forget to clean the litterbox. This is rather hard to do when there is a big stinko in there, but if there’s not or it’s covered well I’m prone to forget. Then I feel awful when I finally do and discover they’ve been slogging around in 10 pounds of waste.
I also don’t completely change out the litter every 2 weeks. I let it go sometimes. I’m pretty sure this is bad.
When it’s kitty dinnertime, if I am doing something more important, I make them wait. I also don’t completely clean their dishes all the time, or at least as well as I should. This is shameful.
On occasion, I torture them for my own amusement, like holding them on my lap and laughing at them as they struggle to get away. The horror!
Once, I left Taco in my car for 3 minutes while I went inside a store on the way home from the vet. It was a very nice and un-hot day, and I was parked in the shade, but I felt like I deadbeat mom as I waited in line and craned my neck to look out the window.
I’m not even remotely the best kitty mom in the world, but I justify it by telling myself that my love for them is so enormous that it eclipses my bad momminess. So far, that still assuages the guilt.
I talk to my cats. This may make me wacko, I understand this. This is ok with me. All in all, it’s probably a lot like talking to one’s self.
I do know that both Moosh and Taco respond to the sound of their names.
If I coo “Mooshymooshmooshy” real low, Moosh gets all lovey, and will come smush my face, but first he’ll “mrrrp” at me.
Taco, as per usual, will respond to his name loudly. A conversation between Taco and I goes something like this:
“WHAT DO YOU WANT???”
*jumps on lap, usually at an inconvenient time*
I will discuss things with them as if they understand. I tell Moosh that if he doesn’t finish his food, his brother will eat it. Then I tell Taco not to eat his brother’s food (neither takes my advice).
When Taco takes a dump, I tell him how much it stinks, and ask him what the hell he ate to produce such disgusting waste, as if he has a choice in the matter of his food (somewhere, subconsciously, I think he’s stealing shit from the fridge, I guess). He ignores me.
When they’re fighting, I tell them to cut it out and be nice to each other, or to play nice. They stop to look at me for a split second, then immediately resume fighting.
I ask them why they’re not bald, since their hair is EVERYWHERE, mostly stuck in my eyes. Also met with ignoring.
I alert them when there’s another cat or a bunny outside: “Ooooooh it’s a bunny! Look at the bunny, kitties!” while pushing them toward the window to look. This sometimes gets a response in the bunny’s direction, or prompts them to rub on my legs.
Most embarrassing is snuggle talk. This is when I talk to them like they are little babies while making myself sound incapable of brain activity. “Who’s my boo-bear? Who likes a snuggle? You’re my cute-face snugglebunny. You love mommy, don’t you? Mommy loves YOU. Look at that belly! You’re so silly.” As hard as this is to admit, I can go on like this for hours. You know your relationship with your significant other is solid when you can do all of this in front of them without care, and without them batting an eye.
The point of this is, science tells me that they don’t know what the eff I’m saying, that it’s the tone of my voice, blah blah blah. But then, science also tells me that cats only meow at humans…so isn’t that equally as futile as me talking to them? Taco doesn’t have tones in his meows. It’s either WHINE or OMG EMERGENCY. If there was an actual emergency, I would have no idea, because I gave up on running out to find out what’s wrong with him when he makes that cry, because there is never anything wrong with him.
It’s not like people really listen to each other anyway. At least my cats cock their head and give me the impression what I’m saying is important. And for that, I thank them.
Maybe it’s just that mine are overly rebellious, but they seem to do things that will ultimately put themselves in harm’s way.
Jager ate my hair ties. He also would play with shoelaces, get his claws stuck in them, then frantically try to jerk them out, getting himself more tangled and more freaked out, then retreating to an area I couldn’t reach him making it impossible for me to help him.
Moosh Moosh sniffed a lit candle and singed his whiskers.
Taco will scoop needles out of my pin cushion if I leave it somewhere accessible. He also finds it fun to pounce on my scissors while I’m in the middle of cutting fabric.
A few weeks ago, Taco went after a hornet that got in the house and got stung in the mouth. Today I found him with a spider that I have never seen before and had to google a bit to assure myself it wasn’t a brown recluse. I’m still not totally sure, but I guess I’ll find out if his flesh starts rotting away.
Taco had blood in his poo and when we took samples to the vet, they discovered pink sparkles. He had been eating the pink metallic fluff toy that Moosh Moosh loved. The ONLY one he really loved. Apparently pink sparkles will make a cat’s a-hole bleed. More than you wanted to know, I’m sure.
I guess this is why they have 9 lives? Why can’t they play with the toys made for them to play with? There can’t be much nutritional value in a spider or a hornet. Why is there a cat toy for sale that causes bloody poop? WHY DOES TACO HAVE TO EAT THAT TOY? I don’t think Moosh really ever got over that loss.
I, on the other hand, do not have nine lives. These cats, they’re giving me premature gray hairs, I swear.
I’m vegan. This is partially because I have never really been a big fan of meat, partially because I find slaughterhouse stories revolting, partially because I really like animals and helped along by reading Skinny Bitch.
It is absolutely AMAZING to hear the reactions from people when I tell them I am vegan. Sometimes they feel the need to defend their meat eating, as if I care. Some ask me “Well, what do you EAT, then?” Dirt. I eat dirt. What exactly do you think I eat? What do YOU eat that you think meat, dairy and eggs are the ONLY sources of sustenance?
My favorite is when people ask me if my cats are vegan.
I am a lover of science. A devotee of evolution. A student of logic. I understand, know, and appreciate that cats are carnivores. Their little bodies are made to eat meat. I probably know more than I should about how they have different enzymes than humans do, to help process all the flesh they eat. How their stomachs are longer to digest, but have a smaller intestinal tract. Why would I buck the trend and try to perfect what Mother Nature already perfected? There’s a food chain. Some things are meant to be eaten. Some things are meant to eat. I could make the argument that humans are meant to be herbivores, but I’ll refrain here. Vegan conversion is not my goal, it’s my personal choice.
So yes. I feed my cats what they are supposed to eat. I am a little too squeamish to do the raw food diet, and with Taco’s Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, he’s on prescription food anyway.
Here is where I will rant. Cat food is CRAP. Total and utter crap. Grocery store brands? You might as well serve your cat roadkill that’s been sitting out for days and crapped on by other half dead animals. It’s disgusting. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think I’m ridiculous for only wanting to feed my cats organic food without chicken meal and grain and fill, but I wouldn’t stuff myself with fast food pink slime, so why would I do it to my cats? This prescription food he has to eat, it helps him not form crystals, avoiding a very expensive-to-fix blockage, but it is made with CRAP. My vet had an amazingly long discussion with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick. Because I trust her and because she had this amazingly long conversation with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick, I listened. In the end, he’s eating the ick. I’d rather not rush him to the emergency vet or have him die because I am too stubborn to feed him what is apparently the ONLY scientifically proven thing to help him. I tried feeding Mooshie the good stuff and Taco the prescription, but Moosh is a stupidly picky eater and will only eat the crap. He won’t even touch wet food, which I know is bad but I can’t FORCE him to eat it. I will shamefully admit that I have, once or twice, KIND OF smushed his face in it a little, just to nudge him into eating it. It doesn’t work. I just give them lots of water and leave it at that.
I have two cats. I had two litter boxes. One preferred one, the other preferred the other.
Then Taco started peeing on the couch and in my attempts to try everything to discourage this, we added a third.
They say that you’re supposed to have one box per cat plus one, but I had resisted this as there is really no good place in my house for various litter boxes. As I write this, I have one next to me, in the spare bedroom that serves as an office/craft room. Another is in my boyfriend’s bathroom under the vanity. The third, the one that I tried not to have, is in my “dining room,” which is really just a space with cat stuff. We tossed the table a year ago, we never ate at it and it was ugly. We keep meaning to get another, smaller one, but haven’t gotten around to that either.
I buy three different kinds of litter. I refuse to use clay, because, if you don’t already know, it’s incredibly bad for the environment, the cats and yourself. If you’ve ever poured a batch and inhaled the cloud of dust that ensues, you’ll understand. So I have S’wheat scoop, Feline Pine and Feline Pine clumping. Taco always preferred the pine and Moosh likes the wheat, and I did the clumping downstairs because it’s miserable to step on those f&^#&ing pellets.
Nothing really stops the stench, and now BOTH cats have taken to almost exclusively using the downstairs box…the one I would really prefer them NOT use, as it is right next to the kitchen.
I cannot fathom why. They both spend the majority of their time sleeping upstairs. Moosh’s current favorite place is in my closet, and Taco’s is under or on the bed. They have developed relationships with the boxes they’re already used to. Why is this new box so special?
They are both total opposites when it comes to USING the box, too. Moosh digs to China. He spends a good 15 minutes covering. This leads to what we have affectionately labeled “the poop face,” because he is covered in pine/wheat dust. Then he likes to do what we have affectionately labeled “the poop run,” which is running up (or down) the stairs excitedly, ending with a little prance. I assume he feels lighter and freer and wants to show it off.
Taco rarely digs. His poop run consists of dropping a deuce and then hauling ass, leaving the stench to permeate. And boy, is he stench-y.
So this is why, sometimes, I am really tempted to train my cats to use the toilet. In the end, though, I’m personally too selfish to give up the use of one of MY toilets to do so. Nor do I have the patience or time. Sigh.
As any kitty mommy and crazy cat lady knows, one’s purchases revolve around one’s cats.
For example. I went to Target yesterday for kitty litter, among other things (I never leave Target without spending far more than I’d planned to).
I spotted this.
Despite not having any human children of my own, I’m familiar with the Diaper Genie and its place on the “must-have” list for human parents. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS??? Literally everyone I know with cats saves their bags from the grocery store and uses those for litter. This normally would create a problem for me because I (try to) use reusable bags at all times. Fortunately, my boyfriend is not as environmentally savvy and never uses the reusables. (Side note: I also collect plastic bags from people I know for my mom to use at her used bookstore, if you live in the Tampa area or even if you don’t, check out Sam’s Books. Thank you in advance for allowing my shameless plug for mi madre.)
Litter Genie. Really. And it was cheap! 15 bucks to avoid the spillage that usually occurs when I try to scoop the TONS (I do mean tons, I cannot fathom how my 2 cats expel SO MUCH) of used litter into the plastic grocery store bags.
I realize that many of my purchases are done with my cats in mind. For example, my fancy vacuum cleaner. I would have bought a Dyson except this one came just as highly recommended for a lot less money. I love it. It’s changed my life. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how much fur this thing picks up. Every time I dump out the canister I wonder how my cats are not bald. WHERE DOES THE FUR KEEP COMING FROM???
Bucket of cat toys. Filled with all the toys the cats only mildly like, because the ones they adore inevitably disappear into the abyss of I-don’t-know-where. Like those mousies with the real fur. Those are pretty much universally adored, right?
Other various cat things.
I have yet to buy a cat tree, though, I can’t find one that I like enough to spend that much money on, or I find ones that I like that I can’t possibly afford. I keep telling myself I’m going to make one but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.
There’s also the useless purchases, like the beds they won’t sleep in, or the litter mats that do absolutely nothing to keep litter from getting everywhere. But there’s more used than not.
Had you told me, say, 10 years ago, that any of these purchases would one day excite me so, I would have laaaaaaaughed and laughed. But now I am a grownup, sorta, and a full-fledged kitty mommy. So I’ll just shrug. I did it all for the kitties.
Hi. I’m Sarah. I’m a 30-year-old crazy cat lady who has two cats at home (with her boyfriend, yes, I am not a single crazy cat lady) and two at her mom’s. I am reasonably sure that at least one of my cats (Taco, you’ll meet him later) could successfully fill a reality show. I have continuously had at least one cat since my parents divorced when I was 9 with the exception of two times…once when I moved out (even though I still really had two at my mom’s) and again after we had to put our Jager to sleep (even though I still really had two at my mom’s). I have enough google and real-life cat knowledge to put me through vet school, but as my mother so nicely pointed out, “You couldn’t do that. You’d cry over every single one.” And, she is right. I currently have Fatty, the big fat black cat I have had since I was 16, in my lap as he is trying to recover from anemia. So I thought, “Hey. Why don’t you blog about cats?” That’s what crazy cat ladies do in the technology age, right? So that’s me. I don’t believe in god or fate or anything but sometimes I do feel like the universe gives me the lemon cats so I can take care of them. I don’t mind so much until they make me cry. Which admittedly isn’t that hard, I’m a pisces after all.
So what else makes me a crazy cat lady? I’ll have to post a picture of my office. I didn’t realize I had decorated almost entirely with cat until a short time ago. I’ve probably spent more money on cat toys, cat food, cat litter and vet visits than it costs to feed a small army. I have googled such terms as “green cat poop,” “what happens if a cat eats a diet pill” and “feline idiopathic cystitis.” I talk to my cats as if they are babies and I imagine their responses. I know they have tiny brains but I just KNOW they know what I’m saying. I want to adopt every cat that I see. I could probably go on like this forever but that would really ruin future blog posts, so I’m going to leave at that for now. Just trust me. Eventually I WILL be that lady in a robe on the Simpsons who walks around with cats stuck to her.