Hey, guess what I bought this week? PET INSURANCE. Crazy Cat Lady bridge, officially crossed!
Between Max, The Cat With A Thousand And One Problems (Food allergies? Check! Obesity? Check! Sensitive stomach? Check! Crippling anxiety? check! Cancer? DOUBLE CHECK!) and Henry, The Cat Who Ran Away And Then Came Back With Three Parasites And A Mangled Paw, I've wondered from time to time if I should have considered pet insurance. But in general, I dislike insurance - surely a mindset I inherited from my mother, who describes insurance as "betting against yourself". I've had terrible experiences with my own bastardly insurance company, and I just don't trust that paying for insurance will actually guarantee that I won't be slammed with bills because of some loophole or fine print.
Plus, PET INSURANCE? Do you want to know how much fun I made of my former coworker for having health insurance for her Teacup Yorkie? A LOT. But she also considered her dog "an investment", so she totally deserved it. Also, her dog was seriously annoying.
BUT. Lately, Madison has been looking a bit thin. We had sort of noticed it, but weren't at all concerned until the fourth or fifth person to visit our house in the past few weeks remarked on how gaunt he looked. It's not like I hold him up in front of visitors and ask HEY TAKE A LOOK AT THIS CAT, WHAT DO YOU THINK, TOO SKINNY? It's more like our guests are a tad surprised that when they go to pet him and get stabbed by his protruding hip bones. His fluffy fur hides his weight very well, but now that I've started paying attention... he's way too thin. Our questionable bathroom scale says he's lost twenty percent of his body weight since he got weighed at the vet's office in January. My bank account started to panic when Dr. Google, DVM considered this symptom and returned diagnoses like "object lodged in stomach: surgery required" and "hyperthyroidism: say hello to expensive bloodwork and lifetime medication".
My first instinct is to ignore, ignore, ignore. So he's lost a pound or four? Whatever, he's getting older. He seems fine. He's still capable of pushing me off my pillow at night and chasing Henry around the house.
My second instinct, which is growing stronger by the minute, is that something is really wrong. Worry has been building up all week, until on Wednesday night I found myself on the computer at 1am signing him up for pet insurance. The next morning, I decided I was crazy and called to cancel the policy. By the time I hung up with the friendly customer service guy half an hour later, I'd bought a policy for Henry as well.
I cringe at the thought of telling people that my freaking cats have health insurance, but I honestly feel SO MUCH BETTER now that I'm paying $13 per month for accident and illness coverage. I do realize that whatever is wrong with Madison technically pre-dates his policy and is therefore not covered, but I'm hoping that I can find some sneaky way around that by holding off a few more weeks before taking him to the vet and pretending like whatever's going on is a brand new problem. (Dear insurance company: Just kidding! This is all lies! I would never commit insurance fraud!) And hey, if it turns out that nothing is wrong with him and I really am just a crazy, over-protective worrywart, well... I'd be very happy with that.
I haven't bought any insurance for Max because I sort of feel like that ship has sailed. Really, who is going to insure his chronically allergic, neurotic, obese, cancer-filled ass? He's a seinor citizen (66 and a half, if one human year = seven cat years), so shouldn't there at least be some crappy government-sponsored insurance to get him his kitty viagra? Do I sense a future Michael Moore film?
Do any of you have pet insurance? Have you used it? Is it a total scam? I would love to hear about any experiences or recommendations you have. Except for advice to chill the fuck out. Trust me, I've spend 27 years trying to do that. No dice.
I'll keep you posted, don't you worry. Keeping the interweb updated on my cat's health issues is priority numero uno here at OPH Headquarters. Whether you like it or not.