I woke up this morning with a to-do list a mile long and a sick cat. She was having… bathroom issues. (Nope, I won’t go into detail, you’re welcome.)
And then we couldn’t find the cat carrier. And I didn’t get out the door as early as I wanted to. And then there was a huge bird poop on my windsheild that took forever to get off and totally grossed me out. And then the Starbucks carline was so long it made a “Y” with cars trying to push their way in and then I realized my contacts were drying my eyes out and I probably should have changed them. And then work got more “worky” and while I had a half-day today, that to-do list and various technical issues made all of us there feel more “Monday” than “Friday.”
But, oh yeah, my cat was still sick. I called and got an appointment for 2:30pm.
So much for grabbing the kids and heading to the beach, which had been my original plan.
Yes, my day was filled with “first world problems” — that stuff you feel guilty getting irritated by but let it get to you anyway and storm around and secretly feel sorry for yourself. Could that Starbucks line be ANY longer? Did that bird poop have to smear like that? My life is awful.
So I gathered the kids after work and told them we were “going on an adventure to the vet!!! Oooooh.” They bought it, they were excited. Yay, we get to stuff the cat into a carrier and poke our fingers at her while she howls all the way there. Best day ever.
(Cue more feeling sorry for myself.)
My cat got poked and prodded. And then, when they took her in the back, that 16 year old granny-cat threw a hissy fit and King Fu chopped and hissed and lunged at anyone until they finally sedated her. I secretly cheered her on. That will be another $100.
It was a couple hours later, after the kids had enjoyed Frosties at the Wendy’s next door and then met about 10 different dogs (the vet may actually be better than a petting zoo), that I got my wake-up call.
The doctor talked to me about my cat. She is sick. And this medicine may work. But it may not. And it may be something bad. And there is more potential testing. Oh and today’s visit is about half a paycheck, thank you very much. But your cat needs to be treated so… what are you going to do?
He then gently said the dreaded, “Let’s see how this goes but we may need to have a conversation about testing and what it means for a 16 year old cat.”
I would trade a hundred “Y” shaped lines at Stabucks for conversations like those and dropping money like that.
Because I feel horrible about all of it. Yes, that’s my responsibility as a pet owner. But that money!! But what kind of person AM I to think about money when her life depends on this care?
When, as a pet owner, do you decide that your animal’s life is not worth the cost? When are the treatments and the money not going to give her a better quality of life? When do you arrive at that point? What is humane? When I am being selfish, when am I being reasonable? What is RIGHT?
That is an answer I have to arrive at.
With humans, you treat them until there is no treating left. No question, who cares what it costs, you do it. Not with pets. There comes a point when they won’t get better and cost matters and it’s up to you to “do the right thing” for both your family AND that animal.
I don’t like having to make decisions about money and health and whether a family member (because my animals always are family members) lives or dies.
Nope. I don’t like it one bit.
My cat and I go way back, after all. My husband and I picked her up in a fit of nesting after we first moved in together in… wait for it… 1997.
Times goes by and our cat is aging and decisions need to be made.
It’s funny how perspective kicks you in the ass and tells you to stop obsessing over to-do lists and Starbucks. It’s funny how your soul checks itself when it considers the very real possibility of choosing to end a life.
Compared to your children, it’s just a cat. It’s more than a cat, it’s family. Round and round I go.
Let’s hope these antibiotics work so I can go back to worrying about the little stuff.
(What a luxury to worry about the little stuff!)