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Four-legged Drama

John Turnbull

Posted on December 17, 2018 06:04

2 users

What do you do when your beloved pet needs expensive surgery?

I don't have pet insurance. It's simply something I have to file under "luxury expense" with my current financially-challenged lifestyle. I'm not whining, it is what it is. Besides, I didn't anticipate my cat Frisco, a six and-a-half year old Calico mix who flicks little turds out of his box when I don't feed him the exact minute he wants me to (true story, but he IS the world's coolest cat!), would need any expensive surgery. At least not yet; hopefully never.

I was wrong. I noticed him excessively drooling and his breath was awful, so I took him in to the vet - a reputable clinic that I trust and have history with, so they're not the bad guys here. Turns out Frisco had a tooth issue. I booked him in for the surgery, paid the grand and felt good that he would come back a little sore, looking funnier than hell all lion shaved (like a rat with cotton balls glued to its legs and tail), but overall a few days away from status quo. Again I was wrong.

Once the vets were in his mouth, they discovered he has advanced tooth resorption disease, or feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions if you want to get fancy, and had to get EVERY tooth extracted. I mean literally every tooth.

My immediate response was guilt. What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? It turns out nothing. This is a moderately common disease in cats, to varying degrees of severity, and is believed to be a genetic disorder, although that is hard to ascertain because so few cats are pure bred.

My next response was shock and dread - a two-punch combo to my gut and wallet - when I got the estimate for the surgery: $3000! On top of the grand I just forked out! I had to visit some dark places when I heard this, including some options for the cat that one doesn't normally consider until the cat is old and ready, if you know what I mean.

So what to do? Get insurance really quick and then make the claim? Get a corner store loan? Hit up one of those pet medical funding companies, with interest rates akin to a Capital One Credit Card, ones that would make Tony Soprano do a double take? Or worse yet, start up one of those pathetic GoFundMe pages, something I swore I'd never do? Well, I did just that. And have raised $50 to date, mostly due to my atrophied social media skills.

It turns out the solution came to me just by staying positive, as most things in life do. My parents and my work came through for me big time. I can't thank them enough. I'll keep the $50 GFM and buy the cat some imported tuna.

The real lesson here? I should've become a vet so I could afford to visit one.

John Turnbull

Posted on December 17, 2018 06:04

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