Thursday, January 13, 2005


For the second time in a week I made a trip to the "Animal ER" with my cat Miles -- this time at the ungodly hour of 5am after his crying woke me up. We made the first trip last week at midnight.

Unfortunately, cats can't talk, so I have no idea how he got a large burn right between his shoulder blades. Now he's on pain-killers and antibiotics, and I clean him up every night and try not to lose a finger in the process.

He seems to be healing as he should, but the vet mentioned the possibility that he may need surgery if the damage is more than skin-deep.

Surgery? Yikes, that sounds expensive. Which got me thinking: How do I know when Miles has maxed out his tab? If he was a child, I would indenture myself for life if need be to get him care. But he's a cat.

I've always thought it a bit bizarre when people take extreme measures with pets, as if they're a human member of the family. But then I look at Miles. My big, fuzzy, black cat. He's always in a good mood except when I'm trying to clean up his owie. He plays fetch and crashes into table legs. And he's completely helpless. With an IQ of about 1.5 he'd starve to death next to a lifetime supply of cat food if I didn't pour some out of the bag every day.

How much is "too much" when it comes to keeping him alive and healthy?

I don't know.


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