About three weeks ago, I attempted to cut Trinity’s nails when she tried to bite me. (Not unusual.)
Upon closer inspection, it appeared as if though she couldn’t retract her claw.
We took her to the vet’s office for the first available appointment Monday afternoon to find out that she *might* have broken her toe. One bandage, one pain injection, and then some antibiotics and we were out the door having spent $195.84.
A couple of days later, we were back again and her foot looked worse than ever, so she needed a new bandage, which cost $108.59.
Five days later was the “recheck” appointment. Trinity’s foot showed no improvement and the x-ray indicated that she was missing a bone in her toe. !!!
As it turns out, Trinity had a bone-eating tumor in her foot and we would have never known it if it hadn’t been for that nail problem because she showed no change in mood or behavior. Crazy, right?!
She was admitted immediately for emergency surgery to have one of her toes amputated and further testing to determine the extent of her illness, which was $933.84.
Unfortunately, the results weren’t good and she went in for x-rays to confirm the diagnosis, x-rays that cost $238.54. Trinity had lung-digit syndrome, a terminal cancer that had spread throughout her body.
We love our cat, so there was never a question about the money.
However, it was apparent from the questions at the vet’s office that it was going to be a costly endeavor, one that not everyone can or will pay for.
Every single charge was a question.
“Do you want to biopsy to find out what was in her foot?” Yes.
“Do you want the additional blood work to find out the extent to which this is a problem?” YES.
“Do you want x-rays to confirm?” YES, YES YES!
Yes, we want all the things. We want to take care of her the best that we can and if that means spending money to see that she lives, then the answer is always yes.
Without any kind of pet insurance to be had, we paid cash for the bills.
In times like these, I take to Twitter.
Today’s #personalfinance lesson…
Budget for the vet each month for the senior 🐱… pic.twitter.com/xB0QVedBTT
— Claudia of ☕️☕️🏠 (@twocuphouse) September 11, 2017
For those with elderly pets, the consensus was MORE money in the emergency fund to cover future vet bills and perhaps even a separate savings account for the cats’ care.
Our focus the last few weeks has been on Trinity and giving her the best rest of her life, not knowing how long she had left. Even though Trinity was 13 ½, it was hard to imagine that her life could be cut short by cancer.
Except that it was.
Yesterday, we had to euthanize Trinity. Our hearts are broken.
But not our pocketbooks. Being able to invest in Trinity’s care is one of the many benefits that accompanies our improved financial position and an emergency fund.
While we were getting out of debt, we had *maybe* $500 in our savings account, so each month we just crossed our fingers that no emergencies would pop up. We’re lucky that in the two years while we were getting out of debt that we didn’t have any kind of emergency we couldn’t cover.
If we were still in debt and living paycheck to paycheck, Trinity’s care would have been charged to a credit card and paid off months later. Thankfully, we’re OK and that’s thanks to the personal finance community and all the PF stuff we’ve done to improve.
Between the expensive car repairs that popped up recently causing us to consider the repair vs. replace car debt and poor Trinity, we’re upping our emergency fund goal to have more cash on hand (in an online savings account, of course).