And now, an update (finally)...
So I got back from Ithaca, New York on Tuesday of last week, after having a blast and meeting lots of cool, interesting people. I can see why my lady misses it out there. She spent her college years there and has many awesome stories. Her friends were all very nice to me and I felt as if I were around people I already knew, even though I'd only just met them.
The scenery was beautiful and the air was clean, something I never thought I'd say about ANY part of New York. Nonetheless, Ithaca, to quote Jessie, is "its own entity altogether". I went to wineries and tasted some of the best nectars I ever had, which was a first. I've been to dozens of beer-tastings at breweries, but never got around to seeing a vineyard. We visited some of the local haunts and bars Jessie used to frequent, went to some of the best vegetarian restaurants I have been to, we saw an awesome old cemetery and a beautiful waterfall, and stayed in a nice, schmoozy hotel. We didn't waste any time and took in all we could in our brief stay. We hung out with alot of people who had similar interests to mine and had lots of great conversation. Thank you, generous hosts, I will definitely be visiting again. It is indeed a good thing I came home rested...
When we got back, we crashed at Jessie's. In the morning, I called the vet's office, where my two Siamese were boarding for our trip, and I was informed that Hugo, my cat presumed to be a boy, was actually a girl. How I managed not to figure this out in two years of ownership is beyond me, save to say my powers of observation ain't all they're cracked up to be. Totally stunned and taken aback by this news, I immediately began reviewing a list of possible 'girl' names for my cat. I settled on "Koyomi", another name from the same Manga I ripped Hugo and Alita's handles from (anyone a fan of Yukito Kishiro?), but Hugo seemed so familiar with her 'boy' name that we kind of stuck with it. After all, 'Koyomi' is kind of a mouthful compared to 'Hugo'.
Well, Hugo, as it was, happened to be on a serious regimen of harsh prescriptions for a month or so before we boarded her. She had developed a severe case of renal failure and was very lethargic, with white crud in the corners of her eyes when we first took her in. The vet had me injecting this little grey cat twice a day with a sodium chloride I.V. solution plus a battery of oral meds, eye meds and supplements. I was very much on top of the routine, being sure not to miss a single dosage, while my poor little kitty put up with it all, and she was actually doing much better before we left for vacation.
Two days after we got Hugo back, she began relapsing. BAD. Once again, she was lethargic, immobile and very limp. She was throwing up and pooping outside her box, and it didn't take a vet to tell me this cat was pretty much dying. Jessie and I took Hugo into bed with us, rested her head on the pillow between us, and she stayed with us all night, something she would never do, were she able to move. I woke up throughout the night to see Hugo looking right at me, and I braced myself for what I already knew was coming soon.
The next day was as awful as you can imagine. I put my frail, motionless little sickly cat in her carrier and walked over to the vet. I tried to assure myself this was only a setback, and whatever I had to spend, however much I had to do, I was keeping this cat alive.
Of course, the vet did not give me any assurances. She looked like she was already dead when I took her out of the carrier. I left her with them, thinking maybe they could do something for the time being. They, of course told me they'd do all they could, which, I am sure they did. I went home expecting the worst and, well, such expectations are rarely let down.
They called some hours later to tell me they were closing at two and that my cat would be left alone all night to die, essentially, were I to leave her there in the kennel. I needed to run her to emergency care for treatment if I wanted to see any results. Either that, or I could take her home to die peacefully in a familiar place. I walked back to the vets' and they took me to the area in the back and showed me Hugo. She looked awful. Her tongue was sticking out, her fur was matted, and she was mewing in pain.
I talked with the vet, and he told me specifically not to spend thousands of dollars on surgery that goes nowhere. E.R. techs are not thinking about how much a rescue will cost you, or how little time it will buy you before a relapse, they are only concerned with saving lives, regardless of cost. He assured me there were slim chances of resuscitating my Hugo, and I believe he was right.
All the same, I called Jessie to tell her the status and mooch a ride from the Vet to the E.R., which I can vouch was one of the longest rides of our lives. When Jessie arrived, we carried her, wrapped in a towel, to the car, and I held Hugo as Jessie drove. Hugo tried to do her usual thing and hug my arm as I cradled her, but was too frail and weak to do so. Her entire body was limp, and I could feel her heart racing and her breath fading. I kissed her and spoke to her in a soothing tone, but we all knew what was soon to happen.
She was very dehydrated and panting like a dog. Jessie and I pulled over on our way so I could grab a bottled water and pour some in her mouth. I ran into a tiny convenience store, grabbed a bottle of water and tried pouring it in her mouth and tilting her head forward, so she could swallow it. For a minute there, it almost seemed to be working, but it was a false sense of assurance. I realized it was too little too late, and began bawling in the car like I have never creid in my entire life. I could feel her heart slow down and her breathing cease, while fighting the fact there was no chance in my mind.
We parallel-parked at the uber-expensive Friendship Amimal hospital. I was already sure she was dead when we stepped out of the car. I hate it when I'm right. I was too much of a mess to speak, so I let Jessie do most of the talking. They ran me back to the Emergency Room, where a team of determined-looking surgeons hovered over her with various esoteric devices in hand. The head surgeon was asking me if I wanted her to perform C.P.R., telling me I was looking at five hundred's worth of expenses, and I echoed what my vet had told me about pointlessly trying to prevent the inevitable. I said this cat was already clearly dead, which they agreed on. I asked what the percent chance of survival was, they said almost nil. I thanked them for their honesty, told them I had all the money to spend on saving this cat, were it at all possible, but asked them, were they to pull it off, would it buy her much time. They said 'No' . I said 'Fuck it'.
We were directed to a little office where they stretched little Hugo out on an operating table, still wrapped in her towel and in warm as if she were still alive. Jessie held me as I cried for my little Huggy, and we kissed her goodbye as we walked out to hear a bunch of "I'm sorry's" and fill out the needed paperwork. And we drove back to Maryland feeling like shit.
In the six days time since that fucking episode, my mourning has gone its' usual route from sadness to homicidal fury as it becomes painfully clear to me just how dysfunctional and incompetent my vet's office really is. While all this shit was going down with Hugo, costing me THOUSANDS of dollars in vet bills and putting me up Shit Creek without a paddle EVERY month, I decided it might be a good idea to try to get insurance for Alita. Good fucking idea, right? WRONG.
I put in my application with the ASPCA on the ninth. I got a call on the fifteenth, letting me know I had been APPROVED, and all I had to do was have my fucking vet fax the fucking records for Alita to them. SIMPLE shit, right? Even a sister-fucking RETARD can operate a cocksucking FAX MACHINE, right? WRONG, obviously. I called the vet's office, told them to perform just this simple little procedure that takes all of two minutes and costs all of fifty fucking cents, and WHAT do I GET? Let me tell ya...
I took Alita in yesterday, totally freaking out that she has been dry-heaving for a month with no hairball puking out whatsoever. I assumed, unwisely, that she was covered already, and that the vet's office and the ASPCA had done their part. Everything works out when you follow the rules and do as instructed, right? SUCK A SPHINCTER, TRUE BELIEVER.
Well, the exam cost me almost three hundred. I was prescribed more meds, and I was sure, hey, whatev, the ASPCA has my BACK, 80%, right? Well... no.
Apparently, although I never received the mailing, or the CALL, my application was fucking well DECLINED. I took that bill up the ass, while griping to the ASS-PACKA customer service rep, and got FUCK ALL for compensation. I resubmitted the application in the lobby of the vet's office right then, and got an email back today, of course, telling me "Sorry, but your cat SUCKS and deserves to DIE because she's already SICK... loser". I want to fly a 747 into the puppy-fucking ASPCA headquarters right now, those useless pieces of shit. Had I known she wasn't approved, I would never have taken her in that day.
Words can't describe how fucking angry I am right now. No curse words are filthy enough. I viciously interrogated the ASPCA customer service reps over the phone, demanding to know what the FUCK went wrong. One trembling voice after the other told me to stay calm while they looked for answers. It became apparent to me the ones who fucked up were the Vet's office, and not the ASPCA, who record EVERY conversation for 'quality control' purposes. Turns out they never recieved the fax, even thought there WAS a post-it note on the file saying to do so while I was at the office paying for all my shit.
I called the vet's office today, and luckily, Alita is okay, but I still have no insurance until all this shit is over. I seriously want to maim somebody over this. My cats are the only living beings I would trade blows over. I wouldn't even defend MYSELF the way I would go to battle for these animals. I told the vet I want answers, results, and compensation, WHOEVER fucked up. I better fucking well hear from him soon, or his balls are in my goddamn pocket, guaranteed.
I look at this level of ineptitude and can't help but wonder if they may have fucked up on Hugo's meds while we were away. I don't know how to get accountability from these people, but I know they fuck up. I am always having to remind them on my way out the door about what I need before I leave because they forget shit, whether it is the record of the blood work or a refill of my prescription. As it were, the I.V. bags of sodium chloride they were prescribing me were all EXPIRED, which they insisted was FINE, even though the fluid EVAPORATED in the BAG and I had to buy new fluid TWICE because of this.
Having been raised by a half-assed psychiatrist, I know better than most of you what a useless dickwaste the average American doctor is. I don't believe in medicine, or insurance, even though I suck it up and pay every month for the shit. I know doctors are only too human, as fucked-up and flawed as you or me, the only difference being they can cut you open, stitch you up and fill you with chemicals, according to the piece of paper hanging on the wall in their office. When one of these assholes tells me about a tumor in my brain, I may as well bust out the fucking DeWalt and drill the motherfucker out myself. It'd be more dignified than laying down for one of these P.H.D.-thumping butt-freaks to have their way over my dead body.