at what cost, love?

Poor George. The past few days have been a trial. Apparently George was feeling a little bit, well, lovey dovey, shall we say? And went out looking for a little amour… (And lest you think I am irresponsible, I already had the “cure” for what ails him scheduled…but they couldn’t get him in for a few weeks yet.

So two days ago he was gone all day. All day. I usually see him back at home base every couple of hours, so I was starting to get worried. But I also knew he was feeling a little affectionate, so I figured he was out cruising chicks. Which he probably was, but hours went by and I was getting more worried. Finally, at 10 o’clock in the evening he showed up, a little blood on one of his legs but he seemed okay, he didn’t look seriously injured. I figured he had found himself a girl and she wasn’t very happy with his advances.

But. The next morning he wouldn’t get out of his bed. So I picked him up and felt him over and there was a bubble on his stomach. I took him to the vet right away.

I turned out that he has several puncture wounds, one pretty large and deep, right in his “armpit,” several other scrapes and scratches, a muscle injury to his right shoulder, and worst of all, three hernias. Yikes. So all of that is bad enough, and surgery is necessary to fix the hernias, but he also has seriously elevated liver numbers and his potassium level is through the roof. And they can’t figure out why. And surgery under these conditions could result in a heart attack.

So now we must wait, until Monday, to hope that his potassium level goes down. If it doesn’t, we may have to risk the surgery and hope for the best. Usually a potassium level this high indicates heart problems, but he shows no other symptoms of that. They are saying it could just be the result of the muscle trauma, and it may go down as he heals.

Meanwhile, he is confined to a crate in the hopes that his hernias won’t worsen before Monday. And he is not happy about it.

Meanwhile I am worried about him, about what could happen. And, as much as I hate to say it, about how much all of this is going to cost. The vet has already been very generous, and we are so grateful. My sister works there, and they know that George was a stray that just happened to show up, so they are being very kind and giving us reduced prices on everything, but still, it is adding up. All the extra tests, the unknowns.

Which made me start to think about the cost of health care, how hard it is to make these decisions and he is a cat, a cat I’ve only know for a couple of weeks. (But have already grown to love.) What if it were my child, my husband, my parents, and there was no insurance? How do people make these decisions, deal with the cost? How do you say that is too much, when do you say that is too much? You can’t really, can you?

And what happened to George? His injuries don’t add up. If he was shaken or slammed by a dog, his puncture wounds shouldn’t be as clean as they are, they should be jagged. But to have the muscle damage and hernias that he has, it would have taken blunt trauma. And nothing really explains the liver and potassium numbers.

George, your density (destiny) brought you to us. (In case you never saw Back to the Future, that is a reference to George McFly, his namesake.) And we love you, George. And you went looking for love…

And now, as so often happens, you are paying the price.

Get well, George.

13 Responses to “at what cost, love?”

  • Tracy Says:

    Oh I am so sorry. Poor little guy. I will keep him in my best thoughts.

    Vet bills. I was just crunching some numbers this morning for the routine shots and such. It is expensive, but how do you not try your best to help, you know?

    You probably will never know what caused his injuries (and probably do not want to know).

    Wishing you well, George…

  • Deetz Says:

    McFly, you are too cool, God is watching over you.

  • Debi Says:

    oh i don’t even know what to say. he is in my prayers – those stupid potassium numbers, i HATE them! i hate all the decision making, the powerlessness, the what-ifs. but you do what you have to do, like you said, and pray for the best. give him a rub under the chin for me and tell him he can do it. and by the way, you are a good person. xoxo

  • wholly jeanne Says:

    blood: gulp.
    puncture wounds: gulp.
    surgery: gulp.
    cost of surgery: gulp, gasp, gulp, gasp and repeat often.

    this is one of those rare and frustrating times when there are no answers. nothing adds up (except the tab, of course). you look for meaning and in its immediate absence, you try your best to create some. you draw on your wells of patience and optimism and surrender – a word that makes he shiver to read, and is almost more than i can bring myself to type, but it seems applicable here. surrender to what is and what will be, knowing that you can – that you will – shoulder it, whatever the “it” turns out to be.

    xo to you and george

    ps: it has occurred to me more than once that it might’ve been cheaper if i’d’ve sent one of my kids to vet school.

    ps2: and will somebody tell this inquiring mind why these things tend to happen at night and on weekends?

    ps3: i will admit that every now and then i still (almost a year later) consider putting out a mayonnaise jar with a picture of adonis (my daughter’s amazing cat) and a short version of his sad story (last fall/kidney stones as final guess, i mean diagnosis/$1400+) at cash registers around town.

  • jill Says:

    we have been through similar decision making with our Yorkie when he was younger. Very serious health issues, but like you said…you can’t put a price on love!

  • jill Says:

    PS…I hope he is okay.

  • margie Says:

    poor george. poor you. literally.

  • Quinn Says:

    best of lucky georgy.

  • Marcie Says:

    Keeping my fingers crossed..and hoping for a speedy recovery for George!!

  • Toni Says:

    Oh, poor George. Poor you, too. It’s hard when our furry loved ones aren’t well and can’t tell us what’s wrong. So kind of the vet, though, to help you out with the costs. There is pet health care insurance that I looked into for my dog shortly after I got him, and as resonable as it was, I still couldn’t afford it. As they say, time heals all wounds – I hope that is the case for George.

  • jane Says:

    get well soon Georgy

  • georgia Says:

    oh, yes… get well sweet george. wow. you’ve caused me to really stop and think. my husband recently told me he’d rather not have insurance, because we pay so much for it. i saw his point, but it’s only times when you need it that you realize how valuable it is, and how worth it is to lose $500 a month for the cost of peace of mind of two people.

    i hope george is doing well by this time. your story brought to mind so many memories of my twin sister’s and my cats growing up. we lived out in the country, and they were outside cats… always wandering away to mate. oh, the stories we could tell about those two cats and all of their offspring. : )

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