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snowball     This is my cat Snowball. He was a stray who started showing up at my house a couple of years ago. I started leaving food out for him and eventually made friends with him. I took him in and he became a part of our family. I used to have a female cat that he ended up getting pregnant the night before I got him neutered. I have another cat that is part Siamese, but she lives outside because she can’t remember to use the litter box. Once the momma cat and her babies found new homes, Snowball really started coming into his own. He used to be very unsocial, but once he had the house to himself he became a totally different cat. He loves attention, he’ll run to you just to jump in your lap so he can get some luvins. He’ll even run to the litter box when he needs to go. He’s such a sweet baby, and when he meows, he really squeaks so usually he’s a silent boy other than his purring. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that he started losing weight, and he’s always been a hearty boy. He was also drooling quite a bit. I called my vet that I trust and have used for years, but they couldn’t get him in until the next day. I was afraid he got into something he shouldn’t have, although I don’t have any chemical product just sitting around. Because I didn’t want to wait, I called another vet who neutered him last year. They were able to see him that day. When I got him there, mine was the only car in their tiny parking lot other than the people who work there. Not a good sign since my usual vet’s office is always packed. When I brought him inside, they knew who he was. Also not a good sign, because it tells me that they didn’t have a lot of business. A girl opened a door labeled ‘private’ and said I could bring him in. They led me through a tiny corridor and into a very small room that consisted of a small exam table. The doctor walked in and asked what was going on. As I explained, he opened Snowball’s mouth and said he’d take a look at him and would probably lance his salivary gland and then stitch him up. He and his assistant stood there and looked at me, so I started asking questions. He was very vague with his answers. Against my better judgement, I left him in their care because I just wanted him better. The next morning, the vet called me and informed me that he ran tests on Snowball and found that he has feline leukemia and FIV (feline AIDS). I was shocked and told the vet that I wasn’t expecting that. He laughed and said he wasn’t either, *insert frowny face*. I again, attempted to ask questions only to get vague responses. He said that he could either do the procedure to his salivary gland or he could just let him sleep. I asked how much the procedure would cost and all he told me was that it would be $40 for the anesthesia.  I hung up the phone and cried. I called my mom who freaked out and said that I needed to have him put down because he may pass it on to us. I tried calling the vet back but got some uncaring woman on the phone. I explained to her why I was calling and all I got was silence. I had to ask her if she was still on the phone, she simply said she was listening. She finally said that she would have the doctor call me, which she didn’t. I wanted answers, real answers, what to expect, if he would suffer if I continued to let him go on. I waited about 10 minutes and called back and got a different woman. When I told her what was going on, she put me on hold and came back to the phone after a couple of minutes. She said Snowball was starting to wake up and I was relieved. I did research on the internet and found that cats can live for years with this and it’s more common in male cats because they roam so much. It’s common for it to be spread through them being bitten. When I picked him up from the vet, $193 please. And then they proceeded to tell me that they fed him Fancy Feast during his stay and that he’s still drooling. They said that if it continues, the doctor can go back in because it might be his pituitary gland. I paid the outrageous amount and collected my sweet boy and left.  When my daughter got home, she cried as she held him because she knew he would eventually pass but thankful I didn’t let them put him down. Back at home, he’s his usual sweet self. I’ve fed him canned Special Kitty and he loves it. I’m trying to put some weight back on him, plus he deserves a treat. I plan on taking him to my usual vet and having him re-tested. There was something totally shady about that entire experience at that other vet’s office. At my vet’s office, the people actually seem to care about their patients. At least I’ll get some real answers from a vet who’s professional and actually gives a shit.