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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Friday I'm In Love




Got cats? Lovely critters aren't they?

We've just found out that they cost about as much to run as a 10 litre Cadillac DeVille.

As you will recall, last month Tom, one of our delightful cats well into her late 70's, was trundled off to the vets for her 6 monthly check. That cost a shadow short of a ton, plus a prospective bill of £250 because her teeth were so bad.  Whilst we were there we booked in the Ninja for his MOT and jabs.

However, Sherry, Tom's twin sister had been  worrying us; especially as she appeared to have a sore patch on her neck which we thought she was aggrevating through excessive grooming. The missus became so concerned that we took Sherry to the vets in place of Ginja yesterday.

It turned out that her teeth were in a terrible state and the vet, a lovely woman who must have trained with St Francis at Assisi, 'cause Sherry, normally unholdable, became putty in her hands, advised immediate treatment.

So we left empty handed. Sherry was to be operated on the next day. Gulp!

At 3 pm today the Vets phoned. She'd survived what we imagined to be the most major surgery since Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant on Louis Washkansky.

We needed to be there at 5 pm to get a full debrief from the vet (and, I was thinking, the bill). She had been the perfect patient, docile, cooperative and asking for the bed pan in plenty of time.

The debrief took 5 mins. Cognisance of the size of the bill, instantaneous. I swear the nurse did not look at me as she printed out the mile long tab.

She smiled as she muttered ..54 pounds. I thought she said £254, so it was a bit of a surprise when the cash absorbing device threw up £554....I don't think I stalled as I keyed in my four digit code which in my head sounded remarkably similar to a four letter word.

I worked out that on a pound for pound basis a similar procedure on me would have cost about £25k. Thank God for the National Health. 

Which brings me to the thorny question: what's the value of life. I have no idea. Except I know that seeing Sherry today after the surgery was wonderful. She was lively, and, I imagine, no longer in pain.

Yet she's "just" a cat. The money we've spent on her and our other beloved felines, some will say, could have gone to relieve the misery of many suffering children. The pounds we have lavished on our pets would have lifted hundreds out of poverty in Africa, India and South America. Selfishly we've condemned hundreds to a cruel and early grave.

I can't argue against that.

My whole life in the West, my wealth, my health, my freedom from fear is so undeserved.

The least I can do is to recognise that and be thankful. I'm not that strong that I could give up very much.

P. S. The song is chosen for no other reason than it is so,so lovely. It's a cure all.

4 comments:

Steve said...

Just a cat? Just a dog? Just a pet?

No. Never "just". They're family members - fully paid up and contributing in their own way. And loved.

There is no price on love.

Marginalia said...

Luckily we're in the position not to have to test that.

But last night I dreamt I was feeding a ticket machine and however much I put in, it was never enough.

Layclerk said...

Yes, they're expensive wee buggers aren't they. But Steve's right, they're family and you can't put a price on that.

Marginalia said...

Steve/Layclerk. It's true deep down men are just softies.