Toby the Cat.

You may have noticed I was absent for the latter part of last week.

You may wonder why.

I would like to address the reason in a poem entitled:


Toby the $1,445  Cat

Karen my dear, in this season of cheer, would you keep an eye on my Toby?

He’s such a good cat who licks up all scraps and never but never is mopey.

You see I’m going away, to the sun and the sand

and I need you to see that he’s fine.

I will do that Mama, he’s even declawed. I’ll treat him as though he was mine.

Good bye and have fun out there in the sun, don’t worry about your little cat Toby.

I fed him and stroked him and made sure he peed.

Everything went well until dreaded day 3.

That Toby he hid. He barfed and he cried.

I kept a close eye, to my mother I lied.

Oh Toby? He’s fine, I’m watching him now. Go play in the sand.

He’s happy I vowed.

Then into my car went Toby the cat. To the emergency clinic for the next day he sat.

He came home one night, then back the cat went.

The cat getting sicker, the money was spent.

My account all but drained he would still not imbibe.

Not a morsel or liquid or anything fried.

The emergency clinic is not a cheap place to go.

In fact you might say it’s run by vet-ho’s.

They gave him some tests and I.V.ed him some water

I think they were stupid or scamming this daughter

They said he was sick

but could not tell why

I had a bad feeling they had brains of a fly

The 3rd. vet was great.  I cannot deny it.

He told me poor Toby had pancreatitis.

I took Toby home

and force fed him some food.

He had appetite stimulants to improve his mood.

Poor Toby the cat was under some stress

He missed his mom Betty, which caused him to fret.

For 7 days he lived with no food and no water,

Between life and death poor Toby cat tottered.

He finally ate the day she came home.

He’s still on the mend, but he eats and he roams

For 7 days I lived at the home of my mom.

Force feeding the cat and trying to stay calm.

Although he is living, alive and is well,

2 of the 3 vets should be sent straight to hell.

With all said and done

The most expensive vets in the nation

Ended up costing my mom more than a Mexican vacation.



  1. lori says:

    I am so GLAD that toby is better!!
    your poem was great,it made me laugh

  2. Laura says:

    ohh vet bills. I have “remember the vet bills” tattooed across my forehead so that every time I see a cute kitten or puppy I won’t be tempted.

    • magali says:

      you should probably tattoo that on your hand too, ’cause if not there’s the chance you may only see the reminder in the mirror once you get home with the new kitty or puppy!

  3. Paula says:

    So glad to hear that EVERYONE made it through, safe and sound 🙂 Kids and pets are the reason I color my hair.

  4. BCBev says:

    Wow – Christmas (really, all subsequent holidays) will be a breeze now that you’ve made it through THAT. I’m glad your Mom & Toby are together again.

  5. Renee says:

    Awwwww. My sister and I had to take our mom’s pomeranian to the emergency vet when she was on vacation (this was years ago). He was old and it was scary – of course this kind of thing always happens when the pet’s mama is out of town!!

  6. Kate says:

    The only time we ever returned from a vacation with money in our pockets, we found out that our cat, Mr. Sammy, had been residing in the vet hospital for 14 of the 20 days we were gone. Our neighbor, who had agreed to take care of him while we were gone, found him unconscious one afternoon and rushed him to the vet. Mr. Sammy was [successfully] replumbed. We never had such an expensive vacation, before or since.

  7. Sue says:

    Oh how i remember 
    My month in September
    The same drama as you
    But in thousands was two
    Yet mine is a hound
    So, do they charge by the pound?
    With no diagnosis
    I almost had a strokeosis 

    A month later i discovered
    What the Vets failed to uncover
    As he lay almost dead
    It was the heartworm med
    They said it shouldnt be so
    As they still want the dough
    So I bid them farewell
    And too wish them the hell

    He is now doing fine
    That young corgi of mine

    Happy Toby is fine

  8. Julie shinnick says:

    Thank goodness he survived! Poor pooty-tat! lol and your poor mum also…..I can’t help thinking how those Vets have spent that money this holiday season! Hope they donated some to charity, or maybe THEY are on a trip to Mexico!

  9. miss malone says:

    Please tell me you used “declawed” for artistic purposes and not because the cat is actually declawed.

  10. Andrea says:

    Well, he *is* such a beautiful kitty! Hard to say no to a cutie like that.

  11. Anita says:

    MY kitty cat Rocco spent a long weekend at my girlfriend’s while I was shopping my blues away in NYC. She did not have to take him to the vet, but I do have to pay for drywall repair and buy a new mirror. Damn cats and their moods.

  12. Alexandra Dare says:

    Hahahahahaha awwwwwww! Poor kitty kitty 🙁 He’s some sort of siamese, right? I’ve always heard they are kind of ridiculously finicky… Oh well. Your mother’s last Mexican vacation, I guess. Unless she can manage to take the cat with her. He probably would be cute in a little Mexican sombrero. Olay!

  13. marilyn says:

    my niece used to do the same thing every year when i took care of her while her mom went to FLA on a much needed vacay..little bugger, no sooner did her mother drive out of sight and she took to barfing and didn’t stop until she came home. agree with paula..pets and kids , they will kill ya i swear.

  14. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Poor, sweet Toby! But what a lucky little thing to have you take good care of him. What surprises me most, though, is that you couldn’t vet him yourself. Don’t you have some sort of rigged up, archaic, found-at-the-roadside x-ray contraption, homemade blood-testing machine or magic healing crystals of which you fashioned and carved from a thrift-store paper weight? Use that noggin’ — you could’ve saved a lot of dough. And Toby the stress of dumbass doctors.

  15. Bess says:

    Ah, Karen, sorry to hear of your Toby woes. Your telling of them via rhyming couplet was funny, though. But then, isn’t much great literature inspired by despair and woe?;)

    Kudos to you for being a good daughter and cat-mama while your mom was on vacation.

  16. mary says:

    so I went through the same thing with my dog… she barfed and pooed for 3 days and I *finally* took her to the vet who said it *might* be pancreatitis or the flu and got antibiotics and have now put her on a low fat diet (and she’s not a chub dog) but apparently it’s the fat that sets off an attack… My bill was $125 but now I’m buying her canned food at the vets so in the long run it’ll cost me way more, I suppose… Oh, my visit to the vet? About 10 minutes… maybe 9.

  17. Carol says:

    OMG luv the poem! I hope he recovers and all is well…..poor Toby. Cats are such emotional creatures, they don’t cope with change very well. Makes it hard living with us humans, what with vacations and moving and babies…. It can be very very expensive being a pet owner! My tabby has to go in for surgery in the next couple weeks, (a Carribean vacation!). We’re sticking a bow on his head, our xmas shopping is done!

  18. Jill@BarrioAdjacent says:

    Oh my! We’ve spent untold thousands on this pancreatitis bit with our dog! It seems to me they don’t really do anything except lots of expensive tests and finally she gets better on her own. But it’s so scary you’re afraid not to go to the vet. sheesh…
    glad the cat’s better.

    • Karen says:

      I HAD to go to the vet. Poor Toby was dehydrated. He would have been dead if I’d waiting until the regular vet was open on Monday. Cat’s are so tiny they can die quickly from dehydration. 🙁 Uch.

  19. maventheavenger says:

    it all made sense once I saw his picture. those silly siamese cats are totally one-person cats! so loyal!

  20. mick says:

    I’m so glad Toby’s feeling better.
    After two and a half years and 2,000.00 worth of bills, I finally told my cat’s vet what I thought of her….and since I’m ‘old and fiesty,’ I didn’t mince words.
    My cat now has a caring vet who is obviously not in it for the money.
    There’s a real downside to all of this. My cat doesn’t like me…..never has, probably never will.

  21. Heather says:

    I know how that goes, our Murphy is a $3000 dog. Went to the first vet, “no, I don’t think it’s a blockage”, took her home, she started pooping blood, called same vet, “nah, she’s fine, come pick up some diarrhea meds”. Took her to the emergency vet cause I didn’t trust him. Sure enough, she had a minor blockage. Did surgery, couldn’t find the blockage (it had resolved itself and had already moved to lg intestine). She was on IV fluids for 3 days, if she hadn’t been, she would’ve died of dehydration. Tough couple of days for sure!!

  22. Angela N says:

    Ack! So stressful! We have a cat that had to have emergency abdominal surgery a little over a yr ago. She too was not eating, was barfing and very lethargic. $4000 later at the emergency animal hospital, we found out she had eaten one of my kids pony tail holders. >:-I We love her to pieces and she is a part of our family. So we sucked it up and paid. She is a happy camper these days. And we no longer have those types of pony holders in our house any more!

  23. Karen O. says:

    Oh, vet bills… YES. My dog, who incidentally is also named Toby, broke a bone in his foot the summer of ’09 while attacking a ride-on tractor-mower. Initial emergency vet visit was close to $800 and he was there for something like 7 hours. Then for two months, we had to visit the regular vet every 3-4 days to change his splint because it was an open fracture. Best was when he’d chew it off in the middle of the night or on a Sunday when I wasn’t looking and we’d have to go back to the emergency vet. All in all, ended up costing me over $2500 over the course of 2 months. FUN TIMES.

  24. mary c says:

    so very funny! but not really. Missed your posts, but clearly you had your priorities straight.

    was your mom mad at the cat, or just worried?

  25. Tina says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while. It makes me smile most days. Today, I laughed out loud. Sorry… not because Toby is sick. poor guy.
    But, this poem…. it’s so hilarious.

    Keep writing! Love it!

  26. Jeff says:

    You were missed. This is one of the first things I look at in the morning. I am glad you (and the cat) are okay. I was wondering what was going on. See you tomorrow….I hope.

  27. Theresa says:

    There I was in charge of my younger siblings while my folks were away. I was probably 19. In comes my littlest sister with her tiny girl friends all screaming that the white kitten had been hit by a car and they present me with the cat. Its underside sliced open from mid tummy into the thigh! Did I scream , faint , call for shovel ? no I rinsed it and confered with other siblings- what we could do for it to ease the pain untill the Vet ‘s office was available ..well after we realized we honestly were not equipped for this kind of trama ,I drove the cat to the ER and with mummy”s credit card (that was only to be used in emergency)-paid for what we thought would be actual care. The next day I picked him up and took him to our family Vet Dr. Jones ( no kidding). The ER charged me $1000 and did nothing but administare some pain meds. Dr Jones kept him for three days stiched him up and sent him home with anitbiotics for….$68!!! Till the day that cat died ( many years later) my mother refered to him as the $1000 cat not – Ahknaton his real name.
    Someone can do the math but were taking 35yrs ago.
    It would probably be the $5000 cat now.

  28. I know how that goes, we have a $3,257 cat. I know I sound crazy to some, but I think he’s worth it.

    Glad Toby is better, love the lyrical tale!

  29. Pam'a says:

    My dad was a vet– A very inexpensive country vet. He preferred wrestling cattle, but was the only game in town, so did cats, dogs, and the occasional skunk de-scenting as well.

    I’m sure vet medicines are more expensive today, but not a zillion times more! Now, it’s a big racket. I’m sorry for your ordeal, Karen. 🙁

  30. L Dub says:

    Awwwwwww, I love Siamese cats. (I think he’s Siamese, anyway.) He looks like my cat Frankie.

    Our pit bull, Bettie became deathly ill over the summer. She spent Saturday – Monday at the emergency vet, then was at our regular vet later on Monday and again on Tuesday. $2200. So incredibly painful, but I’d spend it again in a heartbeat. She’s only 5 years old and the picture of health now. Still, you know it’s going to be bad when you have to hit the emergency vet.

  31. Ken says:

    Travel induced vet bills are common enough around here we have started budgeting them in. Our dog misses us soo much when we are gone, she does stupid things. 🙁
    Atleast I know my Vet’s kids will have enough $$ to go to a good college. I’m paying for it.

    Good thing all is well with your mum’s kitty!

  32. My late and beloved Cocker Spaniel, Honey, would have a skin problem with loss of hair whenever we came back from a trip. We initially thought he had picked up mange at the boarders; however, my other Cocker, who shared the same kennel at the boarders, never had any problem at all…and should have if the skin condition had been contagious. Finally, the vet, after noting how attached Honey was to me, decided that Honey was suffering from separation anxiety, and prescribed tranquilizers to take on the next trip. So, Honey spent the rest of our vacations being blissfully doped up, but without any more skin problems. 😀

  33. That is to say: The vet prescribed tranquilizers for HONEY to take the next time WE went on a trip!

  34. Rhonda N. says:

    Awesome – poem, that is.

    In humans, at least, alcohol abuse is a main cause of pancreatitis …. in another recent post you mentioned keeping the booze away from your mom at Christmas….any connection?? 🙂

  35. Jen says:

    Oh no! That’s horrible, and I have gone through a similar mis-adventure with my $3000 cat Maya. But at least she is mine, and I wasn’t having to deal with the stress of a sick cat of my mom’s! I’m hoping Maya will sleep through our upcoming two week vacation like she does every other day of the year. Otherwise we might not have any friends left when we get back!

  36. Tracey says:

    Thank goodness Toby is better! Caesar would miss his “twin”!

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