That’s right, cats ain’t cheap!
I mean, they’re pretty cheap.
In terms of day-to-day cat maintenance, they’re pretty easy.
Cat litter, cat food, occasional
weed cat-nip. That’s pretty much it.
We COULD go crazy on cat toys, get harnesses to take them outside (yeah right), feed them treats throughout the day, and spoil them with scratch-posts and other whats-its.
But these are two old men we’re talking about. They’re low-maintenance. All they want is their raw chicken, belly-rubs and that thing you’re holding right now (phone, book, human food, a pen…).
The outdoors, with all its birds and bugs, intrigues them but they can’t be trusted with that freedom. And we haven’t found treats that meet our newly-acquired ethical standards. We watched a pet food documentary, and now we feed them like they are Princes Graham and Harley.
That being said, their new raw diet isn’t actually more expensive than their old, evil, full-of-possible-poison-and-definite-carbohydrates, diet. The large bags of dry food were about $60, and we’d go through one each month. Now we buy one bag of 10 chicken patties every 10 days or so for $20. So, same-same.
There was an expensive learning curve/investment when we first switched though. We needed to buy taurine to mix in with the thawed patties, and we tried a couple different patties (turkey, beef, pork, etc) that they turned up their noses at before we had success with plain chicken. But now we know what they like and the cost has evened out.
We also had an expensive incident this summer, wherein Harley faked a UTI and it cost us $150.
He started peeing in the tub one day.
Then he did it a couple more times that week.
We’d hear this loud echo-ing wizz from one end of the apartment, and then the sound of his little de-clawed paws wiping on the shower curtain.
The last time it happened (the day before I took him to the vet), I heard him get in the tub, and when I pulled back the shower curtain, I found him sitting on his bum. He looked up at me, as calm as could be, and then a yellow puddle seeped out from underneath his soggy ass. Of course, now I had to bathe him, because there’s no way I’m having a little animal trouncing around my apartment with pee all over himself.
Have you ever tried to bathe a cat?
Cats don’t get bathed. They get water-tortured.
Paws flung sideways, pissed-off yowls could be heard three towns over, cute little eyes became windows to his forsaken soul.
He was not happy.
Anyway, while he licked himself obsessively, trying to get his drowned-rat look back to its fluffy norm, I Googled “why is my cat peeing in the tub?”
Turns out, he might have a UTI.
So I booked an appointment at the closest vet, which is conveniently 500 metres up the road. They got us in the next morning, with the instructions “don’t let him pee before the appointment.”
Joe had to work, so I got the car ready, got the carrier from the closet (immediately, both cats on edge), got all of my stuff together and then shoved Harley into the carrier and locked it before his little teeth could try to jam the lock. Sneaky bastard.
I had kept him out of the bathroom all morning so he couldn’t use the litter-box, so I was fairly certain he’d pee in the carrier on the way there (a 30 second drive). I lined the back seat with garbage bags, just in case.
He behaved though. We made it that tense 30 seconds (him yowling and snarling from the back) and pulled in at the vet. I carried him in and they got us in a room right away so I could let him out.
The vet came in, got all his info and tested a bunch of other cat-related things. I felt like a mom at the doctor. Whenever she said things like, “gosh, he’s 11? He’s so bright-eyed and curious!” I felt a weird sense of pride. As if I had absolutely anything to do with that at all.
Finally, she took him into another room to get a urine sample. For some reason I imagined her just pushing on his belly until he peed in a cup. I don’t know why I thought a cat would also need to pee in a cup. So when she came in and said that he had been totally cool with the needle, but he didn’t like the smell of alcohol, I was so confused.
“You used a needle?”
“Oh yeah, we just drew out a bit of urine for the sample.”
At that point, I should have realized that the poor dude wasn’t empty. He still needed to go.
Finally, she came back and said that his urine test was normal, and everything looks fine. Perhaps he’s just stressed with all the changes (we had just moved, he had different kitty litter, we had just switched to raw food, etc etc etc), and needed some anti-anxiety meds.
I asked her if getting him high on cat-nip would help. She said it might.
I decided to try that first. He hasn’t peed in the tub (or anywhere besides the litter box) ever since. Herbal remedies for the win! Ha!
Anyway, of course the trip couldn’t end without a $150 vet bill for the check-up and the critical diagnosis of 100% normal, healthy urine.
I got him (forcefully) back in his carrier, whispering
accusations of fraud sweet nothings at him as I lugged it to the car.
We had almost made it home.
I was pulling into our driveway.
I hit the teensiest non-bump, and his carrier tipped over.
And the smell of cat piss emanated from within.
But how can you be mad at this?
The moral of the story is:
Emergency funds are good for those times when your cat pretends to have a serious medical issue, when really he’s just “stressed” and acting like a dick, but you have to pay a professional to find out he’s faking it.