Sunday, September 17, 2006

Surprise! You've got a cat, AND a huge vet bill!

I live in a rural neighborhood, so we have our fair share of racoons, skunks, and other varmints running around. We also have some cats of varying ferality roaming, along with genuine bobcats.

This summer I noticed that something had pushed open one of my crawlspace vents. I typically get rats in the winter, and I've noticed one or two small cracks that they might be getting into, but this was a big 16"x6" vent that was wide open for any critter to get in. This lit a fire under my but, it being September and rat weather just around the corner...

So, after a trip to Home Depot to prepare for the job (vent covers, spray foam sealant for the cracks, a roll of mesh screen to cover various weird utility slots in the walls) I was ready to go. Today was to be D-Day.

Yesterday, I heard a meow under my deck, but try as I might I couldn't find the meower. Today, I heard it again, and realized it was coming from my crawlspace. 20 minutes with a flashlight later, I found a little cute as a button kitty cat. Later the vet told me he was probably 5 weeks old.

Oh, one more thing. His front paw was caught in a rat trap. :(

So, I got the leather gloves out and put him in a box. He hissed and spat at me, but never tried to scratch or bite.

After I took the trap off his paw, he settled down. I could see bone exposed, so off to the vet hospital we went. Sunday prices, of course. Why couldn't he have meowed a bit more yesterday? $400 dollars later, we probably need to get the paw and/or portions of the leg amputated. I didn't get an actual estimate from the hospital, they want a real surgeon to take a look at it - but the ballpark seems to be 1 to 3. Thousand.

She did say that a local vet might be able to do it cheaper though, so I think we'll give that a shot. I don't know how much money I want to invest in this thing, but the damn thing was so cute and cuddly, never once hissing, scratching or biting after I got the trap off. I think I might be in love, dammit.

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