Doc B. describes our cats as “yellow-mixed” like they’re Labrador/Golden Retriever crossbred mutts or something. And our housekeeper calls them “the goldfish” because they swarm and weave through her legs while she swiffs the hardwoods. I call them expensive (oh, and cute, and cuddly, and adorable). We knew that adopting two overweight, FIV+ fur ball felines was going to cost the equivalent of a Wellesley education. However, we were at least hoping to spread out that expense over time, sort of like college for the kid we never had: an indecisive, liberal artsy, neurotic (from me), nerd (from Doc. B.) who ultimately takes six years to earn his/her degree in anthropology with a double minor in medieval/renaissance studies and chemical engineering.
So, yes, we were prepared for the cat costs, but not for all of the following to press our purse this much in one year:
- 26 tooth extractions,
- two non-healing ulcers requiring two surgeries followed by a series of laser treatments,
- two anal gland expressions (expressions of surprise for the cats I’m sure),
- two sanitary shaves,
- special (that means overpriced) food,
- appetite stimulant,
- weekly sub-Q FIV cocktails,
- antibiotics, and
- narcotic pain medicine.
After tallying up the 2013 tabby totals, I asked the vet if we could have a prescription for some of that last bullet and she just laughed. I was totally serious.
While 2013 was the year of the cat, 2014 is certainly set to be the year of the gay wedding. Listen friends, I’m not kidding, we need to start saving immediately. Gift registries, bridesmaid dresses, comfortable but fancy shoes, bachelorette parties, destination location nuptials, Olivia cruises and over the top receptions are sure to surpass our feline fees. We’ve got to figure out ways to save or we’ll be setting up camp under an I-75 overpass. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far; some expenses have taken care of themselves and others will take some action on my part:
- Stop putting shredded cheese between my cheek and gum as if it were a chewing tobacco habit and eat more lightly, inexpensively and mindfully.
- Resist the urge to vajazzle at the Day Spa next door to the vet’s office (quote from their website: “Vajazzling: add to any bikini wax, prices starting at $15.00”)
- Dash your expensive 50th birthday vacation hopes (while simultaneously shattering your childhood memories). This happened last weekend after I sent an inquiry to the current owners of my grandparents’ upstate New York lake house/camp. The response was sweet and kind but unfortunately the family never rents out the camp and they’ve also admitted to “upgrading” the place to unrecognizable degrees.
- Instead of a monthly yoga pass, purchase an 8-class card. Then practice at the studio twice a week and at home on the other days. This saves almost $400 per year with only one problem: when I roll out my mat at the studio, it will likely contain a noticeable layer of cat litter and yellow fur. Sorry in advance to my teachers and my fellow yogis. I’ll bring the antihistamine, lint brush and dust pan.
- Don’t buy that new chair you’ve been eyeing, just recover the recliner you bought at Mr. and Mrs. T’s yard sale 15 years ago.
- Call to cancel your DISH television subscription only to be talked into keeping it, but at a discount of $20.00 per month. Another $240 saved when it probably could have been closer to $1000. Oh well, at least I can watch the Golden Globes and my friend Christal, who, in January, will be interviewed by Martha Teichner for a future CBS Sunday Morning.
Well, gotta run. No literally, my Runkeeper i-phone app keeps e-mailing me that it misses me.
Oh, and have a happy, gay new year.