Good things…can be expensive.


 Money. It’s on my mind.

Tomorrow is my third appointment at the chiropractor. It’s great, because I do think it’s helping. On Wednesday, they added a couple more things. Ultrasound on my lower back over the sprain area, and then lying on something called the rolling table. That wasn’t super comfortable because the rollers went over the sore spots in my spine repeatedly for about 7 or 8 minutes. I know it helps, but it’s still not totally fun. Overall, though, it all adds up to a cumulative effect that improves my flexibility and reduces the pain, so… I’ll take it.

It does suck that it’s $35 every time I go. So, this week alone, I am spending $105 on co-pays. NO FUN.

And I need to do it again next week. Another $105. I’m still trying to reconfigure my bank account to cover the $226 windshield last week, too. There’s honestly never enough money anymore. I seriously wonder sometimes if I am living outside my means. Maybe I should get rid of cable. I’m slowly working in the new habit of bringing lunch from home (it’s easier now since I have good reason to eat properly and there are no good salad places near my job, anyhow) so that should save some money, too.

The second unexpected expense these days is voluntary. I mean, I really do NEED to go to that chiropractor. But I don’t have a serious obligation to do the other thing, which is…

…helping an abandoned kitten my sister rescued from her property this week.

It appears that someone moved out and left the cat behind. Sigh. Why do people do this, all the time, anymore? It’s pathetic and horrible. It’s the hottest week of the year so far, and the cat was left outside. Some of the neighbors were leaving out water and some food for the cat, but she was pretty much hanging out around one apartment that’s now vacant. My sister couldn’t NOT do something about this, so she brought her cat carrier from home and, although it took two days, she was able to entice the cat to walk into the carrier without a problem. Again, this was no feral cat. This was a domesticated, sweet cat that someone just left behind, like a bag of trash.

Animal control here only accepts stray cats on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and since T caught her on Wednesday, the cat needed a place to go for a night. My house was the logical choice. Heh. Because, as everyone knows anymore, my house has a big flashing VACANCY sign outside to welcome strays. If strays were hobos in the 1920s, there would be some complementary hobo-signs carved into my fence saying I was a nice lady who could provide shelter and some food for hobo cats and hobo dogs.

Anyway, T brought the nameless kitty over before I even got home from work, and got her set up in my hall bathroom. (This was where I housed my Mom’s cat for a few nights while she was moving this winter. It’s a good place for a cat.) When I got home, I finally got to see the little thing.


She’s so small. Yet, she had to be at least 6 months old. The difference between her and Simon was so weird to me. I’m really used to seeing huge cats with muttonchops and fluffy, swishy tails. This little thing was thin, with tiny legs and a long, skinny neck. She’s very unique looking, too: she’s mostly gray, but with cream and tan coloring in there, along with dark gray/black. Not a tortie… no, some kind of cross with a Siamese, we think. Probably a flame point. Her tail is small compared to Simon’s. Thin, short-haired, and ringed gray and black like an anorexic raccoon. Yet her legs are kind of spotted. She has pretty blue eyes. Like I said, she’s unique.

And affectionate. All she wanted was to be pet. T and I spent some time just rubbing her face, neck, ears and back and she purred like CRAZY. She’d come back for more if we stopped… yeah, again, it was obvious she wasn’t a feral stray.

I didn’t want her to go near my pets, though. What if she was sick or something? I can’t put my boys at risk. So, if she was going to stay any length of time, she had to be checked out by a vet.

A nd something inside of me very calmly, very easily, just knew she was staying. T clearly wanted me to “try her out” too before we took her to the pound. I can’t explain it, why this is just so mellow and non-stressful. I KNOW I have no extra money right now, yet I was suddenly resolved that I’d spend some money making sure she was healthy, had her shots, and was spayed, no question. Even if I wasn’t going to ultimately keep her myself, I want to adopt out a healthy, spayed cat to the right home. I can’t NOT do the responsible thing and get her taken care of. It was settled within minutes, in my mind, that this was OK and what I was supposed to do in this situation, right now.

Soooo… this afternoon, I took her to the vet after work for a checkup and to get her shots. $172 later, we left.

She is probably between 10 and 12 months old, and seems to be healthy, but I’m waiting for the blood test results, which should be tomorrow or Saturday, before she can get close to Hurley and Simon. However, there is one intriguing and sad problem: She recently had kittens. The vet showed me that she was still lactating. She didn’t seem to have given birth recently, so that was somewhat comforting. (I keep thinking of tiny, helpless, starving kittens looking for their mamma and I want to cry!) Maybe her kittens were older. But where were they?

I texted T and she immediately put the word out to her maintenance guys to be on the lookout for any kittens on the property. Everyone’s a huge animal lover there, so they’re definitely going to look everywhere they can. I suspect that the cat’s owners either got rid of the kittens recently (hopefully by finding them new homes and not something worse), or took them with them when they skipped out. But who could leave a mother cat behind like that?! It makes my blood boil, and I don’t even know what the real story is! Just thinking of the possibilities pisses me off.

She needs to be spayed SOON. She’s not that far off from going back into heat again, and as Will Smith would so eloquently say: Oh, HELLLLLL no! I’m not having that. Nope. Now I am looking up low cost spay clinics, and fortunately there are a lot of options to choose from. (My vet quoted me the cost of spaying her. Guess what it is? $600! SERIOUSLY. They are charging that kind of money to do a spay. Holy shit, that’s highway robbery! I am absolutely not paying that when I know the clinic where Simon was neutered charged $50, for instance.) I hope to get it done maybe even this weekend. We’ll see.

I am having camera issues, both with my phone camera and my regular camera (the computer won’t recognize it all the sudden, for some reason so I need to play around for awhile to figure it out), but I’ll hopefully get some photos of her soon. I hesitate to announce this on a widescale basis, yet. Because I don’t really know what’s gonna happen.

If Simon and Hurley do not like her, she can’t be our cat. It’s as simple as that. They come first. ALWAYS.

But once things are proven to “be cool,” then I will say something on Facebook or wherever. For now, though, it’s just a possibility. A pricey possibility, for me, but still.

Things happen. I guess this is better than me blowing a bunch of money on clothes, music, books, shows, etc…  Yeah. Yeah. As fun? Maybe not, but what can I do, really? I’m destined to a) spend lots of money on medical bills anymore and b) help homeless animals. It’s who I am, and what my bank account is getting used to.

So, stay tuned. It’ll be an interesting weekend, I think! (I have a Saturday morning practice with TNT, too. I’m going, but just walking.)


5 responses »

  1. Good luck. yeah, thats exactly what happened with the strays I take care of. Somebody dumped a preggers momma and she had her babies at my house.

    Hey, call Animal Defense League. They do spays for a donation of $25 but you gotta put them in one of THEIR carriers. They do Sundays in Tempe in the REI plaza. Well, they do them all week long but during the week, they will try to get you to pay for extra meds. On Sunday, you just drop em off and they call you and you pick em up. I can give you the money if you want. I believe in the program.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Hmm. Sunday would be good… I want to get it over with, to be honest. (And I do NOT want her to go into heat!) I could afford that.

    The low-cost clinic near me on Gilbert & Southern is really good, but only does it during the week. And it’s $47 ($28 for male neuters). Still, that does include pain meds. I’ll do one or the other, for sure!

    I wish I could take all the cats (and dogs) in the neighborhood and spay/neuter the HELL outta all of them, if they aren’t already! I’m turning militant about this. I’m so heartsick over hearing constantly about the thousands of cats in shelters right now– $5 adoptions, adopt one/get one free deals, etc… they’re doing all they can to get them all homes but it does feel like an uphill battle we’ll never win. 😦

  3. I don’t understand all the astronomically high quotes people are getting regarding spay/neuter surgeries these days! In all parts of the country! I never paid anywhere near that much with any of my 7 current pets, but maybe that’s because my vet knows I’m a “no frills” customer. I want the quote that’s the old school scalpel surgery, not the fancy laser one. Most of the time I won’t even do the pre-op bloodwork- you know, the one that determines whether or not there might be any sensitivity to the anesthesia. I haven’t had a pet die on the table yet, and, honestly, if it happened with a new pet or a stray I was doing a good deed for, I’d consider it a kindness. It sounds harsh, but there are so many homeless animals out there right now that an accidental death from something like that would just make room in a home for another. I think that kind of bloodwork is more important if it’s an older animal, or if it hasn’t been done in a while, but for the most part young animals are healthy and should do ok. Same with any extra “pain package” deal. Yes, laser surgery = less swelling, faster healing time, less pain, etc… but it also costs more money. I’ve never seen an animal completely miserable after a spay/neuter. Groggy, maybe. But you know how impossible it is to “keep them still” for the requisite amount of days post-op, and how happy they are to be home. The old routine antibiotics and just a couple of days of pain pills has always been sufficient.

    I’m just sayin’, if you ask questions you can cut a lot of the cost down like that. Everybody these days wants to cash in on the new, fancy equipment they purchased by duping the customer into using it, but many people will still do procedures the older, cheaper way if you ask.

    I’m all for low-cost options, though. Especially if it’s by donation. I’d like to support low-cost programs. The one time I tried to make use of them here, they quoted me an appointment date three months in the future. Uh… I thought the whole point was to get stray animals spayed/neutered in a timely manner? I wasn’t gonna wait three months to spend a little less money when another vet could do the procedure sooner.

  4. You are such a good heart. I would have done the same thing, however, hubby would never let another cat come into our home because our cats are so integrated with us they do not like other animals. We have tried it twice, did not work. So no more animals for us. I hope Simon and Hurley like her because she sounds darling. And good for you keeping her separated.

    I can’t believe she is as old as you said she is and already had kittens. I know those out in the wild have them really early but if this was someone’s pet, first of all, why was she not spayed? And second, why was she out enough to get pregnant? And then abandoned? People make me sick!

  5. It happens all the time, unfortunately. Just a few weeks ago, on our own street, actually. Some tenants who had recently rented a house a few doors down were evicted, and the kittens they’d been caring for since moving in were left behind. The two females (about 6 months old, which is when animals typically experience their first heat cycle) made their way down to our end of the block, and the wandering neighborhood males weren’t far behind. The couple next door and the family across the street each decided to take one of the girls, and were constantly scaring amorous suitors away til they could get an appointment with the local free clinic. I kept my mouth shut while listening to my neighbors’ tales of hoping the cats could be “outdoor” cats and that they could get them spayed, etc… because it was obvious to me that both of them were already pregnant. Funny how easy it is to tell once you’ve ever seen a pregnant cat at all. Anyway, both kitties did eventually get spayed, and, yes, both were already pregnant. The couple next door was a bit frustrated when the vet told them their cat had to stay inside for two weeks, at least, but they complied, and now she gets time in their backyard every afternoon, much to my dogs’ fascination. The folks across the street already have one indoor female, are keeping a niece’s cat as well, and just had one of the in-laws and her two male cats move in, so they’re trying really hard to keep their little female an outdoor cat. She’s constantly in the street, sleeping under parked vehicles and in the neighbors’ trash on trash day.

    Oh, joy.

    But, at least they’re both spayed.

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