Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

$500 and counting...

How much would you pay to fix a 20 year old cat? Many of our regular readers will remember that when we set off motorhoming five years ago, we gave our cat Molly to my sister Elaine. Molly was already 15 years old at the time, and we didn't think she would readily accept the transition to living in a motorhome.

So Elaine agreed to take her, with the understanding that we would pay the vet bills because we didn't want Elaine saddled with any expenses related to an older cat.

Molly, sitting with Ruth in June of this year.

So Molly turned 20 years old on July 1st of this year. She's been doing really well. Doesn't jump at all any more, and she's definitely looking like an old cat. Has some arthritis we think, and she moves pretty slowly, but still seemed to enjoy being around. 

Then we got an email this morning that Molly hadn't been well, and Elaine hummed and hawed and made the decision to take her to the emergency vet. We had had a discussion in the summer about this possibility and had pretty much made the decision that we wouldn't be willing to spend a ton of money on an older cat, but that we would treat each instance on it's own merits.

So for the emergency consultation, it is $150...then $270 for a urine test and $30 for a blood test. And of course another 13% to the government. So we're over $500 already. Then, he may want to do x-rays and other stuff depending on what comes back from these two tests.

We're thinking that's enough. If there are x-rays required for diagnosis, then whatever they find will require surgery to repair and then of course you're at least another $1,000 on top of the $500 we're already committed to.

We learned last year at this time that extending an elderly pets life is a trying event, both financially and emotionally. It is such a tough decision to have to make.

On to other news.

We did a huge grocery shop yesterday. Rick and Helen drove us to the Lidl grocery store in Hereford, and then to the big Tesco store. Spent £155 ($256)!!! On food, beer, and wine. Should keep us going until Helen and Tony arrive this Friday night...too funny. But seriously, we're going to be here for three weeks, so we bought as much as we could in the one shop.

Ruth, Rick, Emily, Helen, and Annabel. Oh, and Harvey on the far right!

Helen made a (very!) spicy curry for dinner last night and we all sat up too late having drinks and talking. They were up at 5:30am this morning to head for Heathrow airport for their flight to Canada.

We took Harvey out for a nice walk this morning, and then sat and had a coffee and tea outside.

Ruth and Harvey.

Kevin, Harvey, and Ruth outside having our coffee and tea this morning.

Oh, and we hadn't been by the front door until this morning because we've always been using the back door.  So we came across our welcome sign set up by the front entrance...

Thanks for the welcome!

27 comments:

  1. It'a a tough decision. My 17 year old cat became ill about a month ago, I could tell by looking at her that she would die soon. But her heart was strong. It cost me over $1000 to diagnose the problem and then she died a week later (cancer) I miss her greatly but I needed to know what was wrong with her so I paid the vet bills. If I had a sick child I would not have questioned it.

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    1. If it is something that can be corrected easily than of course it is worth it but as Kevin said if it should require an x-ray then chances are it will be something more serious and at 20 years old you have to question it, at 4 or 5 years old than it would be different. Owning a pet definitely means loving it and caring for it. We have been through this with our dog, at 4 years old we paid out over $2000, even at 14 and 15 we paid the money, although near the end we started to question ourselves too as to when is enough, enough. Luckily, we didn't need to make that decision ourselves. So this is certainly not something we are taking lightly.

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  2. That sure is a lot on a twenty year old cat than can pass on any minute now. I do think a good long life was had.
    That's pretty good for three weeks worth of beer, wine and a little food, have fun!

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    1. That will not last us three weeks but hopefully it will make a dent in our three weeks here.

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  3. I agree with Teri..there is peace of mind knowing what is wrong..the money it seems is always a big issue with pets and vets..it is your decision and yours alone. :*(

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    1. Yep, and it's not an easy one. We love our pets and always have and want what is best for them.

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  4. being a registered show breeder of golden retrievers at one time...I think its a decision only you can make..try to think with your 'head' instead of your 'heart' which is a very very hard thing to do..they become like our children...we love them dearly and they gave us so much comfort through out our lives...that being said...you owe Molly the love and support at her age to love her enough to let her go..she is not a young lady anymore..if you do the vet thing you could be spending alot of $ for alot of heartache....Rainbow bridge awaits her where there is no pain....enjoy the rest of your journey....

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    1. Not sure she is in pain but I think that her body is just starting to give out on her. Elaine, (Kevin's sister) came home to find Molly meowing pitifully and there was vomit on the floor as well as urine. It is possible that she may just have an infection and that hopefully antibiotics will take care of it, I hope that is all it is.

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  5. Hope there is some Beer and wine left for Friday!!!

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  6. I am a product of growing up on a farm,and I think I look at pet care a bit different than most. You have an obligation to care for your animals, but many people think that are just different people. Often they will put the pet thru terrible treatments and the animal will never understand what is going on and in the end they will still die having gone thru unnecessary suffering first.

    Modern vet training and care is largely based on the principle of gaining the most profit from the owner rather than treating the animal with a humane reality. They are playing to the owners emotions to extract fees that would be excessive for human care:(

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    1. Yup. A comment I'm in full agreement with. Too much of "Farmer Bob" in me I'm afraid. There's lot of cats out there looking for a home.
      I'd never suggest what's right for you, but we've learned in our household that sending the vet's children off to a nice school isn't part of our "pet care agenda". And that's all I'll say about that.
      I'd tell my cat stories, but it would get too long winded.
      Good luck.

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    2. Chuck and Anneke, I think you hit the nail on the head with that comment. I keep remembering us taking Whiskey to the vet, especially towards the end of her life and she hated it, she was so stressed that it really bothered us and we wondered then why we were doing this to her. Sometimes I think it is because we are selfish and don't want to let go of our pets. If she was a younger cat this wouldn't even be a second thought, we would just do it but at 20 years old you have to think about it and weigh your options and as you say are you being fair to the animal itself. Thank you for you thoughts on it, it certainly gives more perspective to our choice.

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  7. Molly looks like a pretty cool cat.
    I have a 12 year old terrier and I know the time is coming in the next few years that I may be forced to make a similar decision. Pretty tough thing to do. 20 years is an excellent run. No matter what is spent on treatment...how much longer would she live anyway? And how painful would it be for her?

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    1. I am happy we never had to make the choice with Whiskey, it was hard enough to see her go but at least we didn't have to make that decision. We're not sure if she is in pain, I thnk if she was, then we would just say do it although I do tend to think it is just her body starting to shut down. It is much harder to make the choice when we are so far away and Elaine is the one that is caring for her. She is probably now more part of Elaine's life than ours.

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  8. My goodness guys, good thing I put my glasses on. I was going to add a quippy comment about new battery, diagnotics, etc. because I though the Facebook post said "What would you spend on a 20 year old CAR", not cat! Yikes, I might have sounded a bit silly for sure. We have both lost beloved dogs in the past year or so. It's always tough to make those decisions. Thoughts are with you all...

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    1. Your comment would have definitely looked a little odd to be sure, glad you put those glasses on. Thanks, for your thoughts.

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  9. Peter and I have a budget for our 10 year old cat. When we gone to Europe we have explained the budget to our son who looks after Martini. luckily and thankfully we have never had to see this put to the test. We do have a saying in our household that the pet does not know how long it has lived only that it is well cared for and loved. 1000 days or 10000 days".....quality over quantity.

    years ago I had to bring my dog to a teaching hospital for emergency care, they called me and laid out the options, my mum wisely said that in my heart of hearts you know the right thing to do. Sadly I did.

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    1. Another wise comment. Everyone is giving us lots to think about and putting things into persecptive for us, thank you.

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  10. I'd say time to call it a day for your cat. By the way if you don't have transport the on line shopping and delivery from Tesco etc is very handy

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    1. Thank you for letting us know about the Tesco online shopping. I shouldn't think we will need it but it is nice to know.

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  11. Lea's cat has just had $1000 spent on her so we can empathise with your situation. Look forward to following your blog now we are wired up once again!

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    1. It doesn't take long for the money to add up. If Lea's cat is younger then it is money well spent. Glad you are wired up again!

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  12. I agree on the cat, there are limits and that includes the pain that the pet cannot explain to us. Just like good humans, when it's time we walk away and close our eyes (or at least we should).

    As for the dinner, those are the best times of any trip or get together; good food, good drink and happy times!

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    1. Yes, there are limits especially when she is 20 years old, it wouldn't be an issue if she was much younger though.

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  13. We have recently been having conversations about pets as well. We encounter so many full-time RVers with pets and we love animals but we keep coming back to the expense and the fact that we love to hike in national parks, not possible for pets. Pets and their associated expenses are tough issues to tackle.

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    1. We have loved having our pets and wouldn't have traded it for anything but now with Whiskey gone and the issues Molly, we have realized that it will be a long time if ever that we own pets again. We love looking after other people's pets (ie, house sitting) and will get our doggy or kitty fix that way.

      People definitely have to realize what goes into having pets and all the issues related to them before owning one. It is a big responsibility and not one that should be taken lightly.

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