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My free five-thousand-dollar cat! 🙀

UPDATE: I lost my sweet Burt in March 2021. He ended up being my $12,000 cat! Worth every penny.

Catnip toys are Burt's favorite things, besides food.

This is the story of one sweet but sick kitty, one frustrated mom and the veterinary practice that has made our lives easier.

Last December, after I lost my wonderful black kitty, Spike, I went to IndyHumane to find another furbaby. As a Feline Friend volunteer at the shelter, I was familiar with many of the kitties there and already had my eye on a special guy. There was a croaky-voiced lap-sitter named Purrt Reynolds (haha) whom everyone loved, but because he was 10 years old he was being passed over for adoption. I liked his quirky personality and he had no obvious health issues. Because he was considered hard to place, his adoption fee was waived. On Dec. 20 I brought him home, renamed him Burt, and we started life together.

About a week later, Burt kept coughing and throwing up his food right after eating. Dr. Karen Roach is my wonderful vet at Noah's Caring Hands Animal Hospital, and she has been diligent in trying to find out what was wrong with Burt and how to fix it.

Since December, he has had X-rays, ultrasounds, a tracheal wash, different oral medications and four changes of food, with the diagnoses of asthma and irritable bowel syndrome. He is now on an inhaler just like humans use (you stick it in the end of a tubelike contraption and press the button so the med goes through the tube and into a rubber cup on his nose). For IBS, he has been on several medicines including a steroid, from which he is now being weaned off, with a new med taking over. 

So far, my free kitty has cost north of $5,000. It has been an expensive and often frustrating journey, but Burt is worth every penny. He is sweet and loud and engaging. He likes his mega-catnip bananas from Chewy and occasionally bats a ball around. He's still a lap-sitter and likes to bump me for head rubs.  Adopting a cat, or any animal, is a leap of faith that your choice is going to be OK. IndyHumane keeps good records on its animals after being evaluated by their excellent medical team. Burt was diagnosed with FIV (but had tested negative before adoption) and has had a few teeth pulled, nothing serious. He had been returned to the shelter twice in his 10 years. I knew this old guy would be a good fit for old me. If you have a sick pet, and it looks like his care is going to be expensive, you have to make some hard choices. Is the pet too old or sick to save? Can you afford his care if it looks like a long road to recovery? Are you willing to give him up if you can't take care of him? Fortunately, I am able to handle Burt's care, even if I have to make small sacrifices elsewhere. If you have a pet with health care needs, I hope everything works out for you. And if you need a good veterinarian, please visit!


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