Below is a tale about a very sick cat. A tale about a sad pet owner. A tale about no money. A tale about greed. A tale about no compassion.
Sunday night I found out a friend's cat was critically ill. This was a double blow to her because this was only a 7 month relationship. This cat replaced her first cat who had died less than 8 months ago. She had spent a huge amount of money trying to keep the first cat healthy and alive. Money she really couldn't afford. Now the second cat is in pain, suffering, having seizures.
I called her Monday to see how the night went. She is sobbing, the cat needs to be put down. There is no place to take it. She had called the group she got the cat from, no reply. She tried shelters. They aren't open because of budget cuts. She called vets, they wanted $200 to $300 to put the cat down. She has no money. She needs some help. I told her I would call my vet of 30 years. I knew we hadn't paid that much to put our dogs down.
I called my vet and was told it cost $97 and then it was $150 more to dispose of the body. I said we would be responsible for that. I was given the number for another vet that they said would be cheaper. I called them, they wanted $400 for the service. I told them she had no money and the cat was suffering. We need some help here, could they cut a deal. No, money up front, no payment plan.
I called my vet back and tried again. I talked to B who I have known for 29 years. I explained no money, I would pay the $97. Would they bill me and let her bring the cat in now. I haven't lived in that county for 9 years. So I can't get there that day. She will talk to the vet. Oh, the first quote I was given was wrong, it is $50 more, plus $43.95 for the legally required exam of the cat. I said I can't pay that much. Will my vet (of 30 years) please take pity on the woman and help put this cat out of pain. B will talk to him.
Third person calls me back. The vet is willing to see the cat and do what is needed. IF I bring in the cat, if I pay then, if it is all in my name, and there will be no price cut. It was close to $200, even if we disposed of the body. I explained again, I don't live in Walnut Creek, you have billed me before, or I can pay tomorrow. And we don't have that much money. We need this cat to be helped. No, their way or the highway.
I said,"So money is more important to him than an animal suffering." And hung up.
I called my friend to tell her I had struck out. Thankfully the cat agency had finally called her back. They were rude to her, accused her of hurting/neglecting the cat, and had the records on the cat mixed up. But they told her to bring him to them and they would take care of him. So she handed him over and we guess they put him down. Today she is very sad. But happy he is out of pain.
I have no problem with people making money. I just think $200 to $400 to give a cat a shot to stop its heart is raping the public. To refuse to help a suffering animal is cruel and just wrong. The demand that I, not the owner, come in with the cat and pay them right then is rude and insulting. In 30 years I never missed a payment. At the time of treatment I paid in full 99% of the time. I stayed with this vet even when we moved away because he was a good doctor. But I don't think he is a good man.