Sucker at the Vet = Completely Broke at the Pediatrician Some Day?

A few weeks ago, our cat Jacques developed what we’ve affectionately been calling his pimp limp. Assuming he’d just had a too-hard landing from one of his many leaps off the kitchen island, we waited a while before thoughts of early onset arthritis and joint fluid infections guilted me into a trip to the vet this past Saturday. After a ninety-six point inspection on his front quarters, no obvious injuries or abnormalities were found and it was all chalked up to the possibility of a pulled muscle. No doubt earned in his many athletic endeavors, including…

Lounging on pizza boxes:


Guarding the goldfish…


Eating Happy Meals:


Et cetera. At some point in the exam, our vet located a lump on his back. Something she assured me was most likely a fatty deposit, and felt like a fatty deposit, but there was a teeny tiny outside chance it could be a tumor. She recommended just waiting and keeping an eye on it, but said I also had the option of having some liquid drawn from it to be sent to the lab. Working off my general suspicion that vets, doctors and dentists are fear-mongers who rack up insurance bills by talking you into testing or fixing problems you don’t have, I was surprised by her wait-and-see recommendation, and left the office feeling pretty confident it was nothing to worry about.

Until we hit the first traffic light and Drew said, “I’m surprised you didn’t want him tested. I would have thought this was the type of thing that would have driven you insane wondering about.”

One U-Turn later, poor Jacques (who was certain he’d narrowly escaped) was having a needle plunged in his back. 24 hours later, I’m id="mce_marker"20 lighter for a lab test that came back negative, but I’m a thousand times more sane.

I’m also feeling like a bit of an idiot, and realizing that I’m completely irrational when it comes to being paranoid about the cats’ health. And if I’m like this with a couple of flea bags, what am I going to be like if we have kids? Scuttling them off to the pediatrician for every cough that sounds suspiciously rattly? Signing off on orthodontia treatments that resemble medieval torture devices? Ordering the $4,000 custom helmet Adam Carolla always rails about being talked into for his kid’s “mis-shapen” head?

I had, up until this point, not factored health issues into the whole “we’d be dead broke if we had kids” thing. There was no need to. The cost of diapers, daycare and socks the size of marshmallows was more than enough to send me into a tailspin. But while diapers, daycare and socks are a must, some of these health-related items are Maybes at best.

And we all know how well I do with processing the Maybes. Would I be dooming myself to a never-ending string of thoughts that I was being too cheap or lazy or defensive about something that could potentially screw up something REAL for my kid?

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