A conversation with a friend who had a sick dog and needed an emergency vet got me thinking about the emergency vet phone number that SHOULD be posted on MY fridge. I have three, count them, three dogs. Do you think I have the emergency vet number posted on my fridge? Of course not. That would be too logical. And, I know the emergency vet exists. I’ve called them. I’ve used their services.
It was a wintry, cold Sunday morning in December. We had a BIG cat named Hooter Bear. I’m talking big. Raccoon size. 26 pounds, if I remember correctly. He was born during Hurricane Hugo, so was named Hugo, which turned into Huey, which eventually became Hooter Bear. It doesn’t matter what you call them, they don’t come anyway.
It all started during our quiet Sunday morning. In the middle of making coffee, Hooter Bear started screaming from the other room. He suddenly ran into the corner of the living room and was screaming and screaming. I don’t understand cat-speak, so I had no idea what was wrong. The hair on his back stood straight up, and he screamed and screamed.
The rest of the scene went something like this…
Me: What the hell is going on with the cat?
Hubby: I don’t know.
Me: Well, what’s wrong with him?
Hubby: I don’t know
Me: Did you do something to him?
Me: What should we do?
Hubby: I don’t know
And so it goes. I guess we now know why I always feel the need to take charge of everything.
So, I searched for the phone number and called the emergency vet. I took him in and dropped him off so they could figure out why he was screaming. After a few hours, they called and told me to come back in. Hooter Bear’s tests were back. When I arrived, they showed me an X-ray of the cat. I would scan it so you could see it, but it’s too big. You won’t believe it if you don’t see it for yourself.
Let’s leave poor kitty right here and go back in time a few weeks, shall we?
Remember from the beginning of this post that I mentioned this was a Sunday morning in December? Yep, December. Holiday time. Time for families, baking, friends, presents, shopping, going into debt, credit card bills, etc. I decided this particular Christmas season, with two small children, that I did not want to spend gobs of money on distant relatives. I wanted to spend what I had on my kids and to stay out of debt. So my ingenious idea was to not BUY Christmas gifts, but to MAKE them instead. I guess I had delusions of Martha Stewart or something. I was young. Whatever. So, I trotted off Martha-style to the nearest craft store and purchased kits for a dozen or so holiday wall hangings and Christmas stockings. They were only $4.99 a piece! The great thing about them would be the love I put into them. Hahahaha.
I set up a card table in my living room, turned on the radio, got myself a glass of iced tea, and went to work. I worked at that card table nightly for quite a few weeks. Sequins, thread, felt, needles, sewing my little holiday tush off. These would be the best (and cheapest) gifts EVER. I was so proud of myself.
Don’t you think that was the best idea I ever had? The whole family would have beautiful, hand-made Christmas gifts for the low, low price of $59.89 plus tax. Heck yeah, I’m a genius!!
Let’s return to the emergency vet and poor kitty and see what that awful X-ray showed.
“A what? With what still attached?”
Yes, I can see the eye of the needle right there, plain as day, with the thread attached, but I still don’t believe it.
Hooted Bear apparently found a piece of thread and started playing with it. Apparently, said piece of thread had pointy, sharp needle attached to the other end. Apparently, stupid cat swallowed the whole thing, needle and all. It went all the way through his system and was being deposited into the litter box early that Sunday morning. Then, catastrophe, it turned at the last minute and punctured his bladder. Hence the screaming.
Here’s my choice:
A) $30 to put him down or B) $590 for surgery and he’ll be fine.
I loved that dang cat. I opted for the surgery. He turned out fine and had many more happy years in him.
This experience left me with one, and only one, thought…
I could have bought some really nice Christmas presents for $590.