Doggy Drama and Kitty Stress

Our obligation to our pet friends is to be there when they need us.

As pet parents, we enjoy the lovely pleasures our four-legged friends bestow upon us. But, of course, it is then our duty to take care of them, which I don’t oppose. However, sometimes, those trips to the vet can be daunting.

One such time involved my blue-eyed cattle dog Bella. A frantic call had me hustling home from school to find my dog with a severely injured leg. When the vet took a look, she shook her head. “I’m sorry. Bella appears to have either ruptured her Achilles tendon or broken her leg.”

Though I hated to ask–lest I seem like a bad mom–I inquired as to the expenses.

“With X-rays and treatment, somewhere between two and three thousand dollars.” The vet appeared apologetic.

I wanted to ask if it might be easier—and cheaper— to amputate Bella’s leg, but I didn’t want the woman to think I was a barbarian. So, I would have to put my dog down, because despite my love for her I had to have a modicum of fiscal responsibility. I started to cry.

Blue-eyed Bella was labeled a drama queen by the vet.

“Let’s take a look.” The vet whisked Bella away while I blubbered.

A short time later, the doctor returned with a strange look on her face. “Well…it appears…”

I braced myself.

“…there is nothing wrong with Bella.”

“What?” I squinted at my dog who appeared to be smiling at me.

“I’d say she’s just a drama queen.”

Then I got the bill, which came in at $603. Drama queen, indeed.

More recently, my cat Morgan began acting strangely on a Sunday afternoon. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that, more often than not, they get sick on the weekend, when the majority of veterinary clinics are closed. So, the only option is to take one’s sweet beast to the emergency vet, where upon entry one must fork over their first-born child and the proceeds from a 401K.

 Still, pet owners are obligated to stem their pet’s suffering, so off to the emergency clinic we went. Morgan—and I see no way to put this delicately—couldn’t pee, a life-threatening situation.

Morgan, on the left, suffered from kitty stress which sent us to the emergency vet on a Sunday afternoon.

The vet estimated that after treatment and recovery I’d owe two thousand dollars. I blanched. My son looked into my eyes. “I’ll pay half, Mom.”

“Do we have any options?” I asked, trying to figure out how to tell my boy his cat would soon be dispatched to the Rainbow Bridge.

“Well, we could treat Morgan and you could take him home and keep an eye on him. That would be $646.”

I let out a breath. “Done!” I handed over my Mastercard.

When Morgan was safely ensconced in his carrier for the trip home, I asked what had happened. She gave me several possibilities before hitting on the main culprit. “He may have suffered from kitty stress.”

Kitty stress? I mulled that over and eyed the cat. “What, do you have a mortgage payment due? Are you worried about buying groceries? Problems at work?” Morgan stared at me with big gold eyes.

We finally determined that the night a neighbor’s cat bolted in the front door for a brief visit might have been when said kitty stress occurred.

I signed the credit card receipt.

My son smiled. 

The cat, still high on pain meds, purred softly on his fluffy blanket.

My job now is to limit kitty stress. I’m open for suggestions.



Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

Order your copy here:

5 thoughts on “Doggy Drama and Kitty Stress

  1. sharonledwith says:

    Love this post, Anne! I feel your empathy toward your beloved pets. Been there too. If you meditate or have a spiritual practice, try having Morgan be present with you. Animals pick up on your energy, and if you’re feeling stress right now, especially about the pandemic, this could have set the kitty stress off. Hugs and Happy New Year, my pet loving friend! Cheers!


    • Catherine Castle says:

      Precisely why I don’t have pets and why my sister-in-law urged my daughter to get pet health insurance for her dogs and cat. They can cost as much or more than your kids! Glad you’re only out a few hundred, not thousands and that you didn’t have to put them down.


      • annemontgomeryauthor2013 says:

        I always try to talk people out of owning pets, Catherine, if they don’t have a solid source of income or the time necessary to take care of one. I’m not sure prospective pet owners understand the long-term responsibility involved.


  2. annemontgomeryauthor2013 says:

    Thank you, Sharon. Morgan seems to be fine now. I will consider your suggestion, but isn’t he supposed to relieve my stress? Hummmm? I’ll work on it. Happy New Year! 😉


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