I Wish I Had Pet Insurance When…My Cat Swallowed Ribbon

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A kitten that needs pet insurance watches birds outside.

The year was 2004, and I had just moved to Texas for school. My kitties moved with me and everything was going well. I had even invented a new cat toy I called “Fishing for Cats”, which my cats loved.

One day after class, I came home to discover that my orange tabby Monica had swallowed a 4-foot piece of ribbon from the toy. It looked like most of it had come back up in a mess on the floor, so I thought we were in the clear. No such luck.

Over the next few days, Monica refused to eat and became lethargic. She was still drinking water, but I worried anyway. I was a broke graduate student with no car, living on the outskirts of a large city. I was planning to buy a car with my tax refund, but for the time being, I had classes with strict attendance schedules and a long daily bus commute. How on Earth was I going to get my cat to a vet? And how would I pay the vet bill?

Diagnosis by Phone
I called around until I found a “budget” vet open on weekends and on a bus route, and that’s when the tough decisions had to be made. The veterinarian figured Monica would need exploratory surgery at a cost of about $1,500 – this is typical when a cat has ingested a linear object like floss, ribbon or string. It was almost exactly the amount of my tax refund. And it was exactly the amount of the car I was planning to buy.

Like many cat owners, I decided to pay for the surgery and forgo buying a car. I mapped out a 2-hour bus route that would get my cat and me to the vet on Saturday morning. I just hoped she’d make it one more night.

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A Lucky Break
Wouldn’t you know… the little stinker started eating again that night. She ate, and ate, and ate. She used her litter box. She curled up next to me and purred. I called the vet again, who said Monica most likely suffered intestinal distress after swallowing and throwing up the ribbon, but she was likely fine. And she was.


Lesson Learned
Pets Best Insurance wasn’t founded until 2005, but imagine the stress and worry a pet insurance plan would have saved me! Today, all three of my pets have dog and cat insurance through Pets Best Insurance. The peace of mind is worth it. With pet health insurance, I know I won’t have to postpone care while I figure out finances and I won’t have to search for a budget clinic – we can see any licensed vet the second any of my pets need vet care.

Share Your Story and Win
Was there ever a time you wished you had cat or dog insurance? Share your story with NAPHIA for a chance to win. And in honor of National Pet Health Insurance Month, please share this blog with your friends and family who own pets!

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