Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Of Cats And Veterinary Health Care Costs

As some of you may know, my cat is sick. He has a cardiologist appointment tomorrow.

You know how there's always people who, when you say, "I'm having my tonsils out." they say, "I know someone who died from that." instead of "good luck" or "I'll be thinking of you"? Like you needed that in your head at this moment?

Apparently there are also people who want to tell you why your money is more important than your pet when your pet is sick.

The Disposable Society. Why get shoes repaired? Just buy new ones. Why fix your sick pet? Just get a new one.

ProTip: Don't ever say that to someone who considers their pets their children. Unless you'd also advocate disposing of sick children. Then you might be a Fascist.

Someone told my husband about how a vet told someone else that her cat only had two months to live and instead of euthanizing her cat, she spent $4,000 to keep her cat alive those two months and how horrible that vet was for milking her out of money.

There's so much wrong with that story. Give me a moment to stop pounding my forehead on my desk.


First off, the vet gave her the options. The vet didn't "milk" her out of anything.

In fact, had the vet refused to provide health care and demanded euthanization, THAT would have been a crime against their profession to heal the sick.

Second. Now that we've established that the woman chose to spend her money, we can unpack from this story that the teller thinks the "loss" of the money was A Bad Thing.

Why? The woman had the money. She wanted to spend it on having more time with her cat. What's wrong with that?

For this to be A Bad Thing, presupposes a cat's life can be reckoned in dollars and that this amount is less than $4,000.

I'll get back to this.

Third. The teller frames this story around the cat owner being a victim. If not a victim of the vet, a victim of stupidity by spending so much money on just a cat.

Because people who value animals so much are crazy, tree-hugging leftists or something and ought not to be let outside without supervision.


Now then.

If you want to tell me why I should not bother taking my cat to the cardiologist, I want to tell you about this Abrahamic concept called Hell and how speedily you can go there. I hear hand-baskets are quite popular.

I believe my cat is priceless.  I believe this very strongly.

Polite people who value not being beaten to death with the bloody stump of one of their own limbs won't tell me I'm wrong to my face.

Green pieces of paper, even 4,000 of them, will never keep me warm the way my cat does when I've had a bad day and he comes to comfort me.

Being willing to eat macaroni and cheese for weeks on end so my cat can get proper medical care does not make me crazy. I did that to be able to get a college degree. I'll certainly do it for the animal who listens to me moan about how an Arts college degree qualifies you to bag fries these days.

I personally can imagine no greater guilt than being forced to euthanize your pet because you don't have the money to fix them. I really, really, really hope I do not have to face this situation, because I don't know what I'd do. I just can't.

By the way, there's probably a clever parallel to be made here with the human US health care industry, but I'm not in the mood to make it.

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