Friday, July 21, 2006

A total pain in the ass

Today we learned the true meaning of the word useless. As in useless waste of an afternoon trying to get something done and being told that we should "wait till Monday".

What am I rambling about you ask?

Let me start at the beginning. Since we're going to be living in the UK for two years, we wanted to make arrangements for our cat to join us. Unfortunately there are several lines of red tape to cut through in order to accomplish this - microchipping, rabies vaccinations, blood tests, paperwork to get filled out and signed - it's lots of fun. But we decided that getting to keep Chase is worth the time and money, and started the process just over a month ago. A good friend of mine is going to take care of him until he's allowed to enter the country (there is a 6 month waiting period after getting the tests done) and my parents will bring him with them when they visit us in March.

When we got the microchipping done and the rabies test, the nurses at the vet's office told us to call back in about a month to set up the bood test (to prove that he has the right amount of antibodies in his system). I called them yesterday, explained very clearly to the nurse what we needed to have done, and she set up a time for us to come in this afternoon.

After waiting for 30 minutes to get into a room (they were very busy even though there didn't seem to be other people waiting with their pets) we were told by the vet that we should "come back Monday". whaaaa?!!

He explained that since the sample wouldn't be sent down to the lab until Monday, that he didn't want to compromise the results of the test - since it'll cost "between $200-$300. Then he asked if we needed to get this signed by the "Federal Veterinarian".

At this point, we were frustrated from waiting and completely shocked by the price of this test - I didn't even know what to say to him. I explained what we had done so far, and that I had actually gotten the papers I'd brought with me from the Federal Vet and that she had not mentioned anything about us needing to get this signed by her - or that there is only 1 place in North America that actually does these blood tests. Add the ridiculous cost to this, and you can probably imagine that I was starting to lose my temper.

The vet suddenly started apologizing and backpedaling, and saying he "wasn't sure about the signature thing" and explaining that we should call the Federal Vet to find out what else needed to be done - and that they'd be happy to take care of this on Monday. With Jeremy starting to grumble loudly in the corner, I decided to just smile, collect my papers and poor Chase (who was started to get irritated by being in kitty jail) and agreed to call back Monday.

Almost two hours wasted today.

I hate that people are going to ask me why I'm spending this much money "just for a cat". They don't understand that he's part of our family and that we'd rather go through this to keep him - giving him away is not an option. So now it looks like we're out another $300 just for this blood test - and the vet started talking about getting the tapeworm treatment - "just in case". I don't think he was trying to get more money out of us at that point - and after reading the details about bringing a cat or dog into the UK, it looks like they want you to do this - even if they don't have ticks or tapeworms.

Our cat lives inside our apartment. He's not even allowed on the balcony because we're worried he'll take a flying leap after a pigeon. He was already up-to-date on all of his shots, but since we can't prove any of it - all we could do is go through this ridiculous process.

That 6 month waiting period is pretty excessive, if you ask me. We've been planning this move for about 3 months - which I've always believed is a pretty long time in advance. I guess the international community has had trouble with animals being brought in from other countries - otherwise a 6 pound indoor cat wouldn't be cause for alarm (or quarantine).

So now I wait till Monday to pack up Chase again and spend several hundred more dollars (that I can't afford) so we won't have to give him away.

I wish they had free health care for pets of people who need financial assistance. Yes, I'm aware of the "if you can't afford to keep a pet, don't get one", but bear in mind that I was working when I got him - and the University of Windsor has taken away all of my money. *

Hopefully we don't get any more surprises on Monday.

* Okay, well not JUST them - but definitely because of them. I still can't believe how much money 1 year of university has cost me...


  • At 12:10 AM, Blogger Tam's thoughts said…

    I would be doing the same thing. I have a cat and a dog(who you've seen) They are like kids. Good luck with the entire thing.

  • At 6:41 PM, Blogger Beechball * said…

    Hey Mel, just a thought, you could always try to take up some freelance photography for some side cash. I have seen some of the shots you take on what seems to me just any ordinary day and they're amazing. You have a great talent for that and you should see what you could do. Post a website and offer to sell the photo's maybe? Not really sure how all that works, but uh.. steve could probably help you out there, no? :) Good luck with Chase and don't feel stupid about all the work your doing, anyone with pets would do the same thing to be able to bring him over - they're family.

  • At 7:46 AM, Blogger Laura Coubrough said…

    I totally understand.
    I had to give up my kitties for the last three months because we were showing our "no pets allowed" condo.
    We just got them back this weekend when we moved and I was literally jumping for joy.
    They're family...

  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    Thanks so much for the support - I keep wondering if I'm doing the right thing for us. Today he goes for his blood test, which is the point of no return really - $300 to keep our cat. To me it's worth it. I just hope that Chase gets through all of this okay...

    btw - thanks for the suggestion Lyndsay, I'm going to look into that for sure :)


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