Ah…it was all going so well…the chutneys, the apple pie. And then frugal disaster struck. Perhaps it was the smug jam making that did it. The pride before the fall. Drat.
Whatever it was, my cat Dougal’s thirst for fighting/status as the neighbourhood tomcats’ walking target (he doesn’t look tough and he’s actually a complete wimp, bless him) is ultimately to blame. The Doogs, as he is more commonly known, is grouchy at the best of times but showed up the other night in less than the best of moods. Investigation revealed a big lump on his chest that felt suspiciously like an abscess (probably from a cat bite). Foolishly I let him go out again and when he returned the hideous thing had burst. Lovely. Bizarrely he seemed to be in better spirits. He wouldn’t have been had he looked in the mirror. Ah. This was going to be expensive.
In a panic I rang the emergency vet and they quoted me a £95 out-of-hours fee just to see him, let alone treatment. “If he’s ok in himself then bring him down tomorrow morning,” they said after I‘d recovered from my faint. I did just that and bathed the wound in salt water. Anyhow, after chasing Doogs all over the house the next morning to get him in his basket (which included a James Bond-style scenario in which I locked him in the bathroom and he escaped out of a tiny window and along the roof into the back garden without me noticing) I got him to the vet and they said they’d operate.
I spent all day guiltily worrying about whether he’d be alright – he’s getting on for nine years old and the last time I’d visited the vets she’d (rather rudely I thought!) said “he was an old eight”. Luckily he was fine, although not very pretty as you can see. I waited for the bill…£187! Agghh! I smiled faintly at the vet nurse and hoped there was enough in my bank account to cover it.
Fortunately I do have pet insurance that will hopefully pay out about two thirds of that figure, but I’m wondering if it’s been worth it. Over the past eight and a half years I’ve spent just over £600 on it but probably only claimed twice and for not more than £150. In hindsight it would have been better to stick £600 in an emergency treatment fund, but at the time I really didn’t have that kind of money spare and nor do I now really. My neighbour, whose cat rules the roost around here (and might be the abscess culprit), says she’s given up going to the vet as he’s in so many scrapes and treats his wounds with Savlon. But I’m not sure my pet owner’s guilt complex can allow me to do that. Despite how often Doogs bites the hand that feeds him…literally…Ah…as I blog he is sitting at my feet looking very cute for once but will no doubt keep DJ & I awake all night again tonight with his pathetic mewing as he’s not allowed out.