Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Price of a Pet

What does it cost to be a pet owner? Well, I suppose that depends on the type and number of pets. Food, bedding, entertainment, waste management, etc. All factors in pet ownership.

But there is a hidden cost. The price of affection. This is the price you learn of when your furry (or non furry) friend falls ill, is injured or missing. I'm not talking vet bills (though that is a HUGE cost!). I'm talking that sinking feeling that your four-legged (or two or no legged) friend is going to live on only in memory.

Sometimes the decision isn't ours. After a long, happy life, the pet says goodbye. Other times tragedy strikes. In some cases the decision is clear, merciful. In others, the pet owner struggles as to what is the right option. The animal is unable to communicate in a clear way what his/her desire from the pet owner would be. Sadly, the high cost of treatment is a limiting factor in the decision-making process.

I grew up in a rural area, where, for the most part, pets were just that- pets. Not members of the family. Not "children." I've loved and lost my share of animals. And I always understood that was the way things were.

When the huz and I adopted devil kitty, Jynx, we had a long conversation about him being a pet and not more. We were on the same page. And still are. But now we are the grown ups in charge of making the decisions about our pets. We've spent the last five years double checking to make sure all the food is put away, wearing socks for the sole purpose of protecting our delicate ankle skin, and never having an empty lap.

We know we can't do more for the patient than we have. What we don't know is if this treatment is working. What we don't know is if and how much pain he is in. He seems happy to see me- loves the attention, but then he always has been an attention hungry cat. He'll eat, but only a few bites and only if I'm sitting with him. With only a day and a half left of the steroid, I see no improvement in his gait, no feeling coming back in his tail...he just wants me to pet him. That's all he's ever wanted- aside from a piece of bread here and there and maybe to play fetch once in a while (yes, he is a cat...)

More updates on his condition over the next week and a half...

Please enjoy the following pictures: Jynx shortly after we got him, the day we introduced him to his younger "brother," and his most recent portrait after returning from the animal hospital.

1 comment:

  1. You know that I know pretty much what you are going through. I was a mess when Buddy was sick and even though the circumstances are different they are the same in a way. They weasel their way into your heart and become family whether you plan on that or not. Keeping Jynx in our our prayers and you guys, too. Hang in there, I know it isn't easy. Hugs.