For the last couple of months, my oldest cat Tigger has been having some health issues. After having a couple of episodes that can only be described as seizures, we took him to our local emergency vet only for them to do some expensive bloodwork that came back inconclusive. The next step for them to diagnose what could be causing his seizures was to do an MRI, which we were initially quoted at being between $800 – $1,200 on top of the hundreds we had already spent in having him seen by the emergency/specialty doctors and the bloodwork.

After bringing him home and figuring out my next steps so that I could afford that additional amount, we were then told it would actually be between $2,800 – $3,000. It was quite a jump and we were more than a little surprised.

Tigger while relaxing.

In what I assumed was a genius move on my part, I had secured a loan to help me consolidate my credit card debt as well as pay for the MRI with what I had left over, but after we received the new price, we still weren’t able to do it. Especially given that, if Tigger’s seizures were being caused by my worst fear — a brain tumor — we’d likely have to spend thousands more on surgery and/or cancer treatment.

If Tigger were a human child, I would be able to use my insurance from work to have him saved. But insurance in the pet world is still pretty far behind the insurance we get for ourselves and, even if I wanted to add-on to the insurance I already have for Tigger now, it might be considered an “existing condition,” in which case it’s too little, too late.

I love my pets like they’re my own children, but we just can’t afford it.

Our only option is to continue giving Tigger the anti-seizure medication we were initially told to give him — which seems to help but has not completely rid him of them — and to keep him as comfortable as possible.

Tigger’s a very big cat — we’ve even jokingly told strangers that he’s part bobcat — but he’s also very docile. If you were to describe him as a “gentle giant,” it would be highly applicable. He is the first cat I’ve ever seen who doesn’t mind a single thing you do to him. Hug him! Rough up his fur to make him look feral! Pick him up! Give him a huge wet kiss right on his face! He might not love it, but he hardly ever objects. If the photos haven’t given it away, he’s very handsome, too. He has big, soulful eyes that are easy to see the world reflected back in.

Tig & Me

Though we do our best to keep our cats indoor-only, Tigger sometimes escapes us and slips outside. He never goes very far, usually only into the bushes in front of our house where he plays as “king of the jungle.” While there are plenty of domestic cats in this world who love to go outside, keeping them indoors is generally considered the safest option for both them and the environment. Despite this, it’s hard to watch him and his brothers yearn to be free when they really can’t be. It’s a scary world filled with automobiles, predators, disease, and really mean people that sometimes do harm for no good reason at all.

It’s my hope that he feels safe and loved and free in his home here with us. He is the king of our jungle after all, and I’m not sure what any of us would do without him.

Until next time…

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