Sunday, December 13, 2009

Four-footed Hostages to Fortune

In the 17th century Francis Bacon observed "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." (Essays, 1625). Well to that add pets. Once you have them, you have assumed a responsibility and all the associated costs.

Last week my cats, Mungo and Percy had their annual trip to the vet for a check up and their vaccinations. Mungo is 12 and Percy is 11, so they count as senior felines, and they need a bit of extra attention. However, Percy has had a benign cyst on his side for a couple of years, and the vet has drained this cyst in the past. Last year the cyst came back really quickly, and got much bigger, so last weekend the vet announced that both cats needed their teeth cleaned (no surprise there, I had had a look at their gums myself, and I thought they needed attention), and that Percy's cyst should be removed, lest it rupture and ulcerate.

So on Wednesday afternoon I hauled Mungo (10.85 kilos of ginger cat plus a 2 kilo carry cage) to the vet. I picked him up on Thursday afternoon, and dropped Percy off at the same time. I got Percy back on Friday afternoon. Both cats recovered well from the anaesthetic (thank goodness that anaesthesia for cats has improved over the years, it used to be quite chancy), apart from Mungo needing time to get his paws back under control while the anaesthetic wore off. Both are eating and drinking, and seem unconcerned, but grateful to be home. I put my back out (probably moving Mungo), and had to see the chiropractor on Saturday to get it straightened out (thank goodness for Chirosports Coogee).

However, the bill was over $AU2,000, which included vaccinations, dental work, anaesthesia, intravenous fluids and shaving Mungo's rather daggy nethers. We have an excellent vet, and $2K is less than I charge for a day's work, but Mungo and Percy came from the pound: they are rescue cats, not pedigree. Still, I adopted them, so my responsibility.

And Percy now has this big shaved square on this side, and looks as though someone has fitted him with a zipper:

So the next drama will be getting the stitches out in a couple of weeks.


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