Curiosity Didn't Murder My Cat - But Poverty Did

Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 4:25 AM

He was a jet-black American Shorthair we adopted as a kitten from a flea-infested house with seven other animals. We actually thought he was a she for the first six or so months that we'd him.

My daughter'south very first word was "Inky."

Inky was our cat. He was a jet-black American Shorthair we adopted as a kitten from a flea-infested house with seven other animals. We actually thought he was a she for the first six or so months that we had him.

My eighteen-month-old daughter loves cats, and that'south all thanks to Inky. She calls them "kees" and her face lights up like a Christmas tree whenever she sees one, even if it'south just a picture or a cartoon. Whenever Inky would emerge from hiding to purr at our feet or stake a claim on our laps, Kairi would drop whatever toy she'd been playing with and go to him, hugging and kissing and petting him. Generally he tolerated her; occasionally, when he was in a particularly excellent mood, he'd crane his neck upward and kiss her on the nose.

My wife and I got him nearly right after our marriage as a sort of training wheels for having a child. I wanted a dog, but we couldn't afford it. So we got Inky instead, and I never knew how much I could love a cat until I met him.

Which is why it pains me to declare that we lost him, simply because we couldn't afford basic veterinary care. He was only three years old.

I took him in the center of the night to an emergency animal hospital because all the vets were closed. He wasn't moving, he was moaning in pain, and we'd found him asleep in his litter box. Not good signs.

He'd an obstruction somewhere in his bladder causing it to engorge and his kidneys to start to fail. This had all happened in less than a day. In the center of the night, with number regular vets open, we'd a choice: spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for expensive tests and treatments, or let him go.

We explored every option. Maybe we could obtain far with not doing these tests, or maybe clearing the obstruction would be enough. The vet warned me that without treating the underlying cause, the chances were extremely high he'd just obtain ill again in as tiny as a day.

We applied for a line of credit to assistance stagger the costs. That, at least, we could've done. We were denied, because I've an incredible quantity of learner debt on my credit history.

The whole time, Inky was collapsed on the table in front of me, moaning in pain.

So we lost him, because we didn't have $500 to drop on emergency medical care, and we couldn't bear the thought of giving him a most-likely temporary fix, only to have him finish up miserable and in pain again, this time with number recourse whatsoever.

We got to declare goodbye. My baby daughter smiled when they brought him in, just love she always does. She'd number understanding of what was about to happen. She said his name - "Ickey" is how she pronounces it - and went to hug him. We'd to keep her back because he was in too much pain.

We pet him and kissed him and said our goodbyes, and held him while the vet administered the shot. Kairi waved goodbye to him at the end, probably thinking she'd look him when we got home.

Even the vet cried.

Somebody in the comments is already typing that it'south my own fault for not working tough sufficient to afford my pet - that'south fine. Actually, my family is just starting to do better. We'd been on food stamps for nearly the entirety of two thousand fifteen, and this year, we were able to obtain off of them when I started working. That, of course, presented its own problems - presently a larger chunk of the money we create goes to basic food costs, which means we still aren't saving much. We also both work now, which means we get turns with our daughter so the occasion is scarce when the three of us spend any time together.

We scrape by, tiny by little -- until something love this happens.

Someone else is wondering why this is such a huge deal, when there are PEOPLE, real HUMAN BEINGS, who die every day because they cannot access healthcare.

Well, that'south precisely the point. This is my story. This is what happened to me. I'm acutely alert that there are hundreds of thousands of people who have stories that are far, distant worse. People turned far for having a pre-existing condition before the ACA, people who stop treatment because they can't afford medical bills, people who ignore symptoms because a Dr visit is too expensive, and people who can't afford the medication that'd rescue their lives die every single day in America and around the world.

This is wrong. This isn't the world my daughter deserves, a world where her first and best companion dies because her parents don't have a few hundred additional bucks lying around (an quantity that's literally nothing to some people). A world where an animal hospital can't give a struggling family a crack because of the predatory lending practices of some banks.

We don't deserve a world where a life is only worth as much as some company can create saving it.

I'm not a communist, and I'm not looking for a Robin Hood to thieve from the wealthy and give to me. I don't deserve to drive a luxury car or vacation in the Bahamas without earning it.

But I also don't deserve to lose my beloved cat because I'm too destitute to afford medical care.

Inky was my daughter'south first and best friend. They should've grown up together, well into her teens. Presently she won't even remember him.

I'm going to fight this system until the day I die. For Kairi, and for Inky.

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