Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Meow Mix

Liz puts a price on love:

Loyal readers know that I have two cats, and only two cats, even though Killer likes to exaggerate this fact and say that I have anywhere from 8 to 15 cats. I'm not a crazy cat lady but I do enjoy the attitude and companionship of cats- versus say, dogs or boyfriends. This is continued proof of my superior intelligence.
My cats, as most I would suspect, have unique personalities and quirks. Leon, the cat I love the most, meshes well with my style. He's independent, he likes to hang outside, and he never uses a litter box- it's always the neighbor's flowerbed. Strangely enough most of friends are the same way. I guess that's why I love him so.

Sneaker, on the other hand, was a cat I acquired by sheer force on his part. He showed up one day and the next thing you know he was living with me. He's a beautiful cat, but he's weird. He is quick to bite, he sheds a lot, he stays inside and even when I force him to stay out all day, the second he walks in the door he goes straight to the litter box and leaves a giant stinky shit. But I still like him, I just don't connect to him like I do to Leon.

Sneaker has developed an awful tic. He has started pulling all of his fur out. There are fur balls all over my house. My carpet is layered with cat hair and my Roomba is starting to revolt. It's gotten so bad that he's bald in places and has begun chewing down to his skin, where it will bleed and scab. I've taken him to the vet 3 times over this one issue. We are currently trying a liquid Prozac, which is costing me $55 a month. When I do the math, I realize that this skin condition has thus far cost me around $275. So, my delima becomes WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?
Some work friends and I were discussing this very issue not long ago. We were debating at what price you put your pet down. D, who has Joe, a 10 year old mut, says $250. I could never go that low, but I understand D's delima. Joe is basically a junk yard dog that D throws food out the back door for. It wasn't until I convinced D that not having Joe fixed was going to ensure that he went to Hell that D even spent any real money on the dog. To let your animal roam around without being fixed is a sin. It says so in the Bible. It's next to the passage about boyfriends being obligated to give back rubs.
S, who has two dogs, Lily and Harry Jiggins, both under two years old, has set his price at $500. Since Harry Jiggins has "papers", S is willing to spend what he thinks the market value of the dog is. Lily just lucked out.
I said that for Leon, at 5 years old and being the light of my life, I would go as high as $1500. That sucks, too, because I sure could use $1500 for some other things in my world. But I love that damn cat. I love him so much that I LURVE him... it's a little crazy, but pet owners understand. Sneaker, on the other hand, I like more than "like" but there isn't really LURVE involved. And I adore kittens. I can't help but be tempted to think that if I could raise another kitten from 6 weeks, like I did Leon, he would be much cooler than Sneaker is. It's nurture, not nature.
I refuse to have more than 2 cats at a time. I refuse to pay for a well-bred cat. I like to think I can save the world one free kitten at a time. I'm a very responsible pet owner and if you ever have the chance to pick what to be reincarnated as, you'd be foolish not to select "One of Liz's Cats" as your top request. I let my cats live life on their terms.
But if you came back as Sneaker, you would be wise to note that I am considering snuffing you out. He's becoming a flabby bag of bones, balding and scabby. We don't know how old he is, but I'm guessing 8 or 9. I just don't know what to do.
Any ideas? Nothing cruel, remember, he's one of my babies. No suggestions of feeding him to the dogs or shaving him and getting it over with. What would YOU do if this were your problem?

12 comments:

Susan said...

A friend of mine had a cat that had this exact same problem. It turned out the cat was allergic to the catfood she was feeding him. They changed to whatever the expensive stuff is they sell at the vet and wham, he was cured.

Babybull40 said...

My cat Fidgie The Fat Flop has been pulling all her fur out too.. it appears to be a common problem.. I know if we take her to the Vet they will make pay through the nose.. Is she worth it.. Yes.. Even with all her fatness.. She is adoring and stays to herself.. She doesn't like been around alot of people unless it's on her terms.. like when I'm eating a bowl of cereal.. She loves the milk part.. She will be going to the Vet soon.. for her shots.. she and Mr.Riley do not go outside.. The farthest she she goes is the front porch.. Mr.Riley though loves to walk on a aleash and halter type collar.. Goes around his belly.. Or he stays on the porch with said leash on.. He likes his freedom too much for me to let him go.. Ya know you just inspired me to post about my cats.. as far what to do with your cat.. I'm too sentimental so love him and love more.. And if all else fails.. take him for a drive...

Churlita said...

I don't have pets because I can't really afford my kids. I'm trying to think what I would pay before I put my kids down. They're teenagers now, so the price is going down.

Roadchick said...

A previous kitty had this problem - and . . . we ignored it because it would have cost too much money to fix it. Other than looking odd, she was fine. Consider aversion therapy - when Sneakers is pulling out his fur, squirt him with a spray bottle of water.

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I've never really thought about a price for my dog. I can't say that there would be one. If whatever was being treated wasn't determined to be life-threatening or simply incurable, then I'd probably continue forking over my cash to the docs. I've had vet bills in the $500 range for my mutt doggie early in our life together when he had heartworms. Totally worth it. I know my childhood dog was a couple months shy of 12 years old when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. My mom spent almost $2000 on his treatment, which ultimately was not successful. Tough call, but maybe Susan's got the answer to Sneaker's ailment.

Sebastien said...

Hmmm, that's such a difficult question. I think amount of money to spend depends on several things: your connection to your pet (and between you and Sneaker, it's not the bestest from the sounds of it), your means (if you a bigger bank account, it's easier to spend more to keep your pet healthy!!!), how badly the animal is suffering, and is this pet becoming too much of a strain on your life in general...

I dunno, I dunno, so hard to make these sorts of choices. Wish you the best of luck in coming up to a decision that works for both you and your animal.

laughingattheslut said...

If the cat just looks funny, well, you're not getting rid of Killer, are you?


I love my hair, but I don't think that I'm ready for the big sleep if it starts to fall out and I'm doing okay otherwise.

Killer said...

I have this same issue with my parents. I see them getting older and I decided that I would spend maybe 200 bucks on them combined, but if they started walking around my house, pulling their hair out...I would probably go ahead and put them down.

Just comb sneakers good hair over the bald spots.

Disco said...

I think it all goes back to what Sebastien said. It depends on the severity of the condition and the monetary standpoint. If you have the money, and you like the cat, I would just pay it.

I personally like my dog more than I like most people and there is no pre-set amount I would pay but short of it being a hail mary medical procedure I would do whatever I could.

othurme said...

I spoke with the proprietor of the Filipino restaurant around the corner from my house. They said you could actually MAKE money for pre-plucked cats. Apparently it saves them the work.

heather said...

i'm dealing with the same thing with bear. he ~just~ started coming out of the bathroom after living there for the last 7 or 8 months. no clue why. i'm gonna try kiddo's comment first and i'll go from there. i'm all for the quality of life. i put boo down when he got sick with feline lukemia. within 2 weeks he went from perfectly healthy looking to yellow skin and gums and not moving at all. ~not~ good. bear however still plays and seems happy.

speedwobble said...

do you feed them canned (wet) catfood? that seems to cause a lot of cats problems. you could also try the anti-lick stuff you can get at the big pet sotres.