Monday, March 30, 2009

Sticker Shock

This is a photo of a 1974 Chevy Nova. Yes, the two door, three on the tree (which I hope means something to someone out there) was my pride and joy. I was finishing up college and working at the local Target when I bought it and proudly took out my first ever car loan. A whopping $900 which I paid in installments for a heck of a long time. I remember it so well. Not so much the car, but the whopping amount of money it cost me back in 1982.

Fast forward to a fine March morning in 2009. I'd just dropped both cats off for a teeth cleaning that "might" include an extraction or two last Friday. I was given an estimate, and asked to provide a number where I could be reached if they found more problems once the cleaning began.

The call came about two hours after I'd dropped them. Harley was in surgery (general anesthsia--cats don't sit still for teeth cleaning.) The doctor let me know that the cat had some pretty major teeth problems. "Down to the nerve", "not much tooth left in some places", "jaw might need some hardening solution once they extracted the bad ones".

"Looks like 8 teeth will have to come out. The Oral Resporptive Lesions are pretty bad."

What was I supposed to say? Oooohhh...that's getting pretty expensive doc. Just take a few and leave the rest? I could hear the "beep, beep, beep" of the little monitor in the background.

"Go ahead, do what you need to do."

So Harley ended up with 9 teeth removed. I got a call about CJ in the afternoon. She needed 5 teeth out.

So, where was I? Oh yes, both cats came home with pain medication, Harley with antibiotics and they are now on soft foods for two weeks. Ironically, the diet we've been feeding them is exactly right. Some cats just get these lesions we are told.

It's hard to reconcile wanting to be good and responsible pet owners with this kind of money. We would not want them to suffer unnecessarily (and we suspected Harley was from how he was scratching his face of late.) Do you get a second opinion? I've never heard of that with veterinary care either.

The fact of the matter is that this ended up being a huge and frankly unexpected expenditure. Heck, we could have been the proud owners of two and 1/2 circa 1974 Chevy Novas for what we ended up having to pay for this "teeth cleaning".

Anyway, now I've just got to figure out a way for these two toothless (well not really since they each have 30 teeth) felines can be put to work to earn their keep. Maybe we'll get a generator to charge our cells that the cats will have too run on a treadmill to provide the power. Because they are so obedient.

Oh, in re-reading this I realized that I sort of forgot to communicate how worried we were about both kitties, and how glad we were that they seemed to recover fairly quickly from some very invasive surgery. Here they are--our portly gentleman Harley with the grey coat and his littler sidekick CJ. We love our little kitties. What? No smiles for the camera? ;-)



Jenn said...

Poor kitties and poor mommies!
I hope that they are feeling better after that ordeal.

Jenni said...

oh my god, that's a small fortune! thst's expensive dental care by human standards!

but, as a fellow pet owner, i know how it is. we are responsible for them, we love them, they rely on us to keep them healthy. those are lucky kitties.

Casey said...

Youch! My first car was a 1978 VW Bus (In 1993, I was a wannabe hippie born too late) and I saved up the $1300 to buy it.

We have a PITA (not to be confused with PETA) dog who has cost us a small fortune on several occasions. She may be a pain but she's our pain.

Stimey said...

The best part? The beep, beep, beep of the monitor in the background. How could you possibly say no?

I have spent so many thousands of dollars on my pets in the past ten years and none of them have earned me a dime. It's all, "I unconditionally love you, please keep me healthy," and I fall for it every time.