The Third Option

One of the animals in the menagerie that is our house took a fall.

Garfield (I did not name him - that would be Jonathan's "fault", but I'll tell you what, he sure lives up to his namesake) is a climber. He climbs into the ceiling joists in or laundry room and them roams the house in the gap between the upstairs floor and the downstairs ceiling.

3 days ago, my wife heard him in the kitchen area (in that gap) and went to pick the kids up from the Skate Park (so new it's not yet listed on the link - but is part of the Mini-Met). When she returned, Garfield was laying down on some laundry on the floor of the laundry room. She did not did not think anything about it (he is a "napper"). The next day (while everyone else was at work or school) I noticed that Garfield had not moved from where he was "napping" all day long. Because of our opposite schedules, and having more important things to discuss in the 30 minutes a day I get to talk to my wife, I had neglected to tell her my observations, and I had not heard about the prior day's events. By that evening, my wife had also noticed that he had still not moved from the original location that she found him in the day before. In the morning we shared our observations, and decided that he needed to get to the vet. This was the morning of day three since his fall.

That morning he had again not moved, but since we put food, water and litter near him, he had been able to hobble (on three legs) to take care of any necessities he had (eat, drink, pee, and poop), but he would screech and howl in pain if you lifted him. Well, in an "already to busy", after Ben's Culinary Arts final (more to come on that) I had to squeeze in a trip to our VET. After arriving at the vet, and getting Garfield weighed in, I met with the vet Tech, and then the Vet. Both were very kind, and gentle with Garfield. I was told to expect a broken bone, but they would have to xray to confirm that, which I agreed to. Twenty minutes later I was asked to return to the room, and shown the xrays.

According to the vet, the break was an complete oblique fracture (broken all the way through). The vet said the best course of action would be immediate surgery (that they do not preform in the Belle Plaine office), and resetting the bone with a plate and pins. I was told to expect the bill to come in around $3,000.00.

Yup folks, "three large" - for Garfield our $10.00 farm cat. That is a hard pill to swallow. But, Garfield really is a good cat, and a lot of fun to have around. He is huge, and clumsy, always knocking something down, and as curious (if not more) than Molly our cairn Terrier. He provides our family with a lot of "comic relief". I would say of all the cats that have come and gone over the past ump-teen years, I would put Garfield tied for first place. So, the news was devastating. Sorry everyone, as much as I love the cat, 3k just aint gonna happen.

IMAG0092At the vet's office, they have three stray cats that were left abandoned at their office. One of the three is a gimp (a politically incorrect or pejorative term for a crippled, paraplegic, or anyone (or anything in this case) with a limp or physical disability in the legs). The gimp hops along on three legs (missing one rear leg). I was just about to ask the vet how much it would cost to make Garfield a "three-wheeler" when the vet (sencing my apprehention) came up with a second (although not as effective) option.

The vet said she could put Garfield under, reset the bone, and put him in a cast for around $300. The cast would be less effective, and the bone could heal crooked, misaligned, or even partially separated, although less effective, it was a significantly less costly option. She also said that due to Garfield's age (less than one year), the probability that the bone will heal "pretty well" was high.

So before the vet got to "the third option", not wanting to come home "empty handed" (if you know what I mean - Thanks "Anonymous") to a living room full of kids wanting to know where Garfield is, I did what I thought was a reasonable compromise. I had the cat's leg set in a cast by our vet.

I left the vet a little over an hour later with a casted cat in a crate (say that 10 times fast!) and (all total, including the initial visit charges, x-rays, sedative, cast and application of the cast, and the take home drugs) with $360.00 less to my name - all for the sake of Garfield the cat.

Damn, I hope he lives the rest of his life like he "owes me one" - I did (after all) skip "The Thrid Option".


  1. Only $360.00! You must have used a coupon, right?

    And by the way- I want to sign your cat's cast REALLY bad...

  2. I had completely forgotten about the whole "signing the cast" ritual.

    It was a friend of one of my kids that pointed it out, and then we did indeed all sit down and sign that cast.

    I still have the cast - I hold on to it in a vain attempt to remind this cat how much it "owes" me... Perhaps a "updated" photo is in order.

    Keep an eye out! (A Comment teaser ending!)

  3. So he landed on his feet and broke a leg. Poor thing. I wish him the best. I'm sure he'll be okay.

    You asked if I was keeping the kitten who found us. I hope to find his family. I've put up lots of signs around the neighborhood, but so far no one has called about this specific cat. Others, yes. I may have to put an ad in the paper. I'm sure he's got a family somewhere mourning his loss. In the meantime, we sure are having fun with him, and our two older Toms are being very tolerant, so if we don't find his family we'll keep him.

  4. Eva, this was a post from quite a while ago... 05-31-07 to be exact...

    I sent the link because of the stray kitten you were getting some "fuzz therapy" from...

    I was cautioning you about how a seemingly "no cost" kitty can end up costing WAY more than you bargained for!!


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