No more boy kitties; boy kitties break my heart.
My particular kitty-boy, Jasper, is in the hospital, with a problem which particularly affects males. (My old cat Jazz died from this, although he was much older than Jasper. I swore then I’d never get another boy cat. So much for swearing.) The doc should be calling me shortly to let me know how the procedure (to unblock his ureter) went—I expect it went fine—and I’ll pick him up tomorrow.
Of course, he should be in the hospital for at least another day, but I can’t afford that. To be honest, I don’t know if I can afford the care he’s currently being given. If his bill comes in toward the low end of the estimate, we’re fine. If not. . . .
I have no idea how I’ll pay it.
And then, of course, there’s the after care, which I also have no idea how I’ll afford.
But he was crying and I was crying and as I asked C., what, I’m going to let him die because I can’t afford to keep him alive?
C. did do me the great favor of looking for 24h care and telling me about CareCredit. I qualified for it—it pays the vet and then I pay it—but not enough to cover all the costs. Had I known about this before, I might have been able to get him into the vet before it became a costly emergency.
[*Update* The vet just called. He came through fine, his kidneys are fine, and he's awake and groggy. So yes I'm still hyperventilating about the money, but at least Jasper's okay.]
So, if you have pets and not a lot of cash, get CareCredit before anything bad happens; then maybe you can afford to pay for the little bad before it turns into the big bad.
Like it did with Jasper.
*Update2* I learned a bit more about low-cost vet care—which, again, had I known about sooner, I might have been able to prevent this. (Joyce at Safety Net/Pets for Life was very nice about this, however, saying that this might have happened anyway. Thanks Joyce!)
So, for those of you in the New York City area, there are two (more) options you should know about:
- Safety Net/Pets for Life (ACC; updated site at Humane Society) at 917 468-2938. If you’re low-income or on public assistance, they can help you find vet care at a reduced price, as well as low-cost or free spaying and neutering. As I mentioned, I spoke to Joyce and she was very helpful.
- Low-cost vet mobile. This hits the different boroughs on different days; the one in Brooklyn parks at the Animal Care and Control site at 2336 Linden Boulevard every Wednesday from 10-6. They do everything but spaying/neutering (another mobile van does that) and extended hospitalizations. Intake exam is $25, with additional costs for other services. It’s a walk-in clinic for the most part, with appointments for surgeries.
I don’t have a contact number for the vet mobile, but if you’re in another borough you could call Safety Net for locations and dates.
I had looked previously for low-cost vet care, but somehow in my searches I didn’t find any of these services. Yes, I found the low-cost spay/neuter mobiles, but as I wasn’t looking for those services, I didn’t click on those links; had I done so, I might have also discovered the regular vet mobiles. And I messed-up in not finding the Safety Net program. I don’t know what search terms I was using, but they were clearly the wrong ones.
Jasper’s care cost a fair amount of money, and, more importantly, a great deal of distress to him. Perhaps had I taken him in when the problem first hit, we might have been able to avoid this. Joyce tried to reassure me by saying, well, even a vet can’t necessarily prevent blockages, and he would have had to have been unblocked anyway.
Finally, even if you’re not in New York City, you might have a Safety Net/Pets for Life program in your area. The NYC one is apparently run through the Humane Society, but it also has a page on the Animal Care and Control page. Check your local animal care societies to see if its available near you. And get CareCredit (which doesn’t cost anything to apply for and keep it on hand), just in case.