Took my cat Lakota to the veterinarian yesterday.
I call her my cat. I stole her from Carol.
She chose Carol at the SPCA 16 years ago. She was supposed to be Carol's cat. But somehow, over time, she became my cat. We are simpatico.
Don't mourn for Carol though. Six years later we acquired Maka. Maka is most definitely Carol's cat.
So things work out.
Lakota has always been a plus-sized cat. Very large. With an affectionate heart to match her physical size.
Sometime around the holidays she lost a lot of weight very fast. I was alarmed but kept putting off a visit to the vet because nothing else about her changed.
She ate, she played, she purred, she cleaned herself, she went to the bathroom.
However, the reason I avoided the vet was strictly selfish. I knew the visit would cost me an arm and a leg, and that infuriates me.
Veterinarians take advantage of the love pet owners have for their pets. They know you will pay anything to keep your pet happy and healthy. So they charge sky high prices for every little procedure they perform.
I think that is disgusting.
I tortured myself for months reading up on hypothyroidism in older cats, which seemed like the most likely cause for Lakota's weight loss. I was convinced that was her problem but still, I did nothing.
Suddenly it occurred to me - and you are correct for calling me an idiot for taking so long to realize this - that I was playing Russian roulette with her health to save myself a couple of bucks. She is entirely dependent on me to take care of her in every way. She trusts me to do that.
I was letting her down.
I took her to the vet and found out she does indeed have a thyroid problem.
It cost me $295 to find out. Two hundred and ninety five fucking dollars for a half hour visit.
I don't give a damn how many degrees the vet has or how much the equipment costs or how much she has to pay her help or insurance company or any other goddamn thing - there is no way on earth to justify that expense.
Except that she saw me kissing Lakota on the head when she was on the examining table and thought: "Baby, we got a live one here."
I am still so furious that I cannot continue to write about this without devolving into a full fledged and incoherent rant. So I'll move on to jewelers.
I will tell you, though - we are scheduled for a follow-up visit in a month. I will find a way around that. Maybe visit a veterinarian school - maybe relocate to another planet where compassion trumps greed.
I just did a little research on the jewelry business before continuing on in here. The numbers vary wildly, but the typical mark up appears to be between 200 and 300 per cent, oftentimes a hell of a lot more.
That, my friends, is insane.
In other words, when you stroll into Kay Jewelers with the intention of buying something nice for your woman because you love her, Kay Jewelers is saying "I am going to charge this guy so much for this diamond necklace that I will be able to close the store for the rest of the year and still show a hefty profit."
It makes more sense to go to a private jeweler because their overhead is much lower, and I do, but still when I buy nice stuff for Carol I still fell like my soul is being ripped out and up through my nose.
Again you have a business that is praying on emotion. We wee folk work hard, you have little room in your budget for extravagance, but every once in a while you feel like you can afford something nice.
And that is when the snake strikes. You end up forking over two and three times what you should be paying because you know nothing about expensive gems and your friendly retailer is quite happy to exploit your ignorance and rob you blind.
Again, I find this disgusting.
Christ I don't know what else to say. I don't know where to go from here.
Speaking as an insignificant wage earner, it is so hard just to be able to get by. A slice of pizza once in a while, a Natty Light instead of a glass of water. These are my indulgences.
When I know I am getting screwed in a situation where I am emotionally vulnerable, it just makes my head explode.
Who the hell made up these rules?
Doesn't anybody have a soul?