So! As I mentioned, while we were at the vet's the other night, we discussed The Runt's heart murmur. The vet would like to do an ultrasound in the fall to determine the extent of the problem, and possibly put him on heart medication, which is not cheap. And I'm kind of conflicted about the whole thing, especially since LOTS of cats live long, healthy lives with heart murmurs and without medication.
I guess it boils down to two conflicting things:
He. is. a. CAT.
He is my cat.
Let's say The Runt, I don't know, fell out of a tree. And broke his leg. And I rushed him to the vet, and she said, "We can fix him! It's a pretty bad break, so he will need surgery and pins and plates and recuperation time, but we can fix him! And it will cost $5,000."
Would I spend the five grand? Of course.
NOW, let's say that The Runt has a congenital health condition. Say, a HEART MURMUR. *cough* That he was diagnosed with as a kitten, and that has not gotten any worse as he ages. And NOW the vet says, "We can fix him! We can put him on heart meds, which usually help, although even WITH the meds, there is still a possibility that he could keel over from a heart attack. And for five years on the meds, it will cost $5,000.00".
Would I spend the five grand? Let me think about that one.
Five grand for meds that may or may not prevent a heart attack, for a condition that he may very well live his entire life with, without suffering any adverse effects, without being on the meds. Oh, and if he lives as long as Rocky did, that would be a total of sixteen grand, over his lifetime.
Okay, now I can hear what you're thinking - "What if it was your kid?" And all I can say to that is, but he's NOT my kid. He's a CAT. And like it or not, there is a difference.
Okay, so now I can hear you saying, "Well, if it was medicine for YOU, you'd spend the money, right?" And to that I say ... maybe? I know a LOT of people who go without prescribed medications, either because they can't afford them or they don't like the side effects or they don't agree with the diagnosis or whatever, so who's to say if I would take the meds myself? I'm not in that position.
All I know is, in this situation at least, I need to weigh cost versus outcome. Do I love The Runt? Absolutely. Am I ready to spend a bunch of money on medication that may or may not help, that may or may not be necessary? Let me think about that a little more.
Am I a bad pet owner? I don't know.