So baby kitten went to the vet today (you call all see his picture on the sidebar there) for his annual checkup, some vaccines, and to test his urine. About 6 weeks ago, I had to take him in (luckily the vet is three blocks down my road -- no joke) for an emergency, as he was CLEARLY not doing well. Peed in the hallway, hiding under covers and whimpering, etc. Turns out, he had urine crystals.
For those who don't really have cats, or know about this, male cats can sometimes have problems with their food, and develop these crystals. If left untreated, it can block them completely, and they will die. These happens less often in non-neutered cats (I believe the testosterone limits this), and more often in cats which have been neutered EARLY (which Erik was).
So he's been on the "Good Food" for about a month, and we need to check how he is. I should have the results by tomorrow. He hasn't been having problems, but if he STILL has crystals, we're going to have to try different food again -- and it'll probably be even more expensive.
But, for the moment, he's a healthy, happy cat -- he got his rabies and feline leukemia vaccines, some drops for a minor ear infection, and lots of treats for being a Good Boy at the vet's today.
However, $224 later, it makes me wonder. What would I do if no one in my household HAD that money? (I borrowed my housemate's credit card.) What would I do in a sustainable household where there isn't cash flow because we don't need it? What will I do in the collapse?
I know that people like Sharon Astyk (from sharonastyk.com and scienceblogs.com/causabonsbook/ -- don't feel like making a hypertext) have discussed futures in which they pay for such services as doctors and vets with a barter system -- but can I see this happening in the city? I feel that this is less viable that I could see it happening in the suburbs or country.
Thankfully, we have the money now, and we'll continue to be able to afford Erik's expensive food and vet bills. And he'll keep being a happy cat and Zu'ul's mascot.