Last week I told my husband that this month, we were going to catch up on our savings. I told him that I was going to skip all my riding lessons, we weren’t eating out, or doing anything that costs money. We are going to re-fill our savings account. Or at least part of it.
God chuckled. The cat laughed. The bunny snickered silently. And the DC speed cameras just went on clicking. We hemorrhaged money this month like a water slide at Disney, and the month isn’t even over yet.
It started with the cat, Jax, standing on 3 paws at his breakfast bowl last Wednesday. Naturally, that was the day all the schools were closed due to snow and ice. I picked up the cat, attempted to examine his back paw, and he protested wildly. There was a bloody glob of dirt and pus caked solidly between his toes. I needed to wash it better to have a look. This was going to get ugly.
In the bathroom, the howls of protest gained claws and momentum. This boy wasn’t messing around, he was NOT going to get his pretty yellow feet wet! Even if it did hurt to stand. I called the vet just to make sure they were open after the storm, and they agreed to see us ASAP. I grabbed the cat, grabbed the cat carrier, and tried to make the one fit into the other. Kinda not caring which way worked by this point. Eventually, it all worked out.
The kids loaded the cat carrier into the van, I head back inside for coffee, keys, and to make Captain Schenanigans aware of our plans while he was out of town. Naturally. I return to the van and the cat is standing on the driver’s seat, with it’s little paws on my window, looking sad. Crap. If he gets out, we are NEVER getting him back in time for the appointment. I’ve seen that cat keep up with flying birds- Jax is fast!
But he’s worried, too, and was too preoccupied with whether the dashboard of my van held any hidden exits, to even notice me scooping him back up. I plunged him into the carrier, decided to strap it in to the passenger seat by me for safe keeping (and away from little helping hands that spring lying kitties out of their travel crates to comfort them). Thankfully the closed schools encouraged people to stay home, because this cat complained, cried, and begged for freedom the entire ride to the vet. Relentlessly annoying.
One antibiotic injection that lasts 14 days, 1 rabies shot, 1 cone of shame, and 5 days worth of kitty narcotics later, we owe $180 for our “free barncat”. Sigh. We could hear him screaming from the waiting room, just prior to the vet coming out and telling us the paw washing didn’t go quite as well as they had hoped. Ya think? That’s the only reason I’m here.
Part of the pad of his foot was bitten off by a fox or cat, this prevents licking.
Proof of that is the fact that my son, Manchild, my own 5-year-old flesh and blood, came down with the flu on Sunday. He stayed home and down for the count until today, Wednesday. Fevers, body pain, puking, and head aches. I treated it all at home. Because he didn’t claw, bite, or scratch me. THREE days of a kid with the flu was easier, cheaper, and required less medical attention than one cat with a bitten foot who makes bad choices. Smh.
The Tylenol kicked in, he needed some outdoor play.
This past Tuesday, 6 days after the Snow Day, the weather was so gloriously balmy and Spring-like that I let every rabbit we owned out to run in the yard in some capacity. They stretched their legs, jumped high in the air, and loved every second if it. Since I have several collapsible fences, I can fashion them in different ways to allow multiple buns to frolic at the same time. However, caution must be used. Male rabbits can fight through the bars, and must be blocked from any contact with each other. Little did I know, female rabbits will fight with each other when a wife bunny is jealous of a single female bunny running around in front of her husband. I am dead serious. They are just like married people. The husband and wife bunnies I have will ONLY squabble with each other when there is a single female bunny present and the husband shows interest. It’s uncanny.
That would be one sulking white wife bunny while her gray husband looks over the fence at my new Champagne D’Argent girl.
Little did I know the females will fight each other through the bars of the fences. Figured that precious lil tid-bit out when I went to put everyone away and found Fluff, one of Manchild’s spayed girl bunnies who has a husband, with half her bottom lip hanging off. My new doe bit her and hung-on until it tore, through the fence. Since rabbits are prey creatures, they heal very fast. I gave it a day to see how she would heal, realized there was no way to avoid infection, and hauled Fluff off to the vet for stitches.
Four bright pink stitches on a white and black rabbit lip are surprisingly un-noticeable. I picked Fluff up after she was knocked out, debride, stitched up, and brought back to life. I was also given 7 days worth of liquid oral antibiotics, and a bill for $216. For my free used rabbit. The vet called later, and explained that while he had instructed me to feed the rabbit yogurt (it replenishes the good gut flora knocked out by the antibiotics- works in people, too), he failed to mention that she would not eat it herself. I had to put the yogurt in a syringe, like the antibiotics, and feed her 1tsp orally twice daily. Apparently, rabbits prefer vanilla or orange flavors, in case you were asking. This particular vet owned 150 Dutch rabbits, so I took his word on that one.
One syringe full of Greek Vanilla yogurt from Aldi’s later, I’ve got Fluff cradled in my arm like a baby. I fumbled the syringe to the clamped mouth of my free rabbit, and hit the suture line instead. Fluff remembered she had paws, swatted the yogurt away with a vengeance, and landed it in my eye. OH MY MOTHER OF PEARL THAT STUFF STINGS! Who woulda though Vanilla Greek yogurt packed such a punch? Glad I didn’t opt for the orange!
Our final money snatching surprise came in the mail. In the form of a traffic camera speeding ticket, showing my slow driving, law abiding, beloved husband driving though DC at ELEVEN miles over the speed limit. Gimme a break, I can do that backing out of my driveway on the way to church! That little vehicular portrait cost us a whopping $100. Cha-ching!
So now we’re $500 deep into random chance bills, and we didn’t even sped a dime on our children’s health. Well, not true, we did buy Pediatric Dramamine to supplement the Pepto-Bismol we hand fed Manchild, but that was considered an investment into domestic hygiene.
Did I mention all the while Manchild is missing 2 days of school, Girlchild is pouting, faking symptoms, and all but licking his hot little face in an attempt to stay home, too? She was so jealous of him! All Manchild wanted was to go to gym class on Monday, and his Library snack party on Tuesday. He missed both. Girlchild still moaned, argued, and pouted. After this, I pleaded 45 minutes away from the house for mental health, left Captain with the kids, and skipped out of the house to the second hand store at the end of the street. I had offered to help missionary friends find long skirts, and right that quarrelsome moment was the perfect time to look.
But over all, I’m not worried. While I am all for financial planning (we live a dept-free life, minus our mortgage), all the planning in the would will never account for the times God shows up. Never accounts for the lady in line who pays for your daughter’s meal, the day she was supposed to pay for herself to learn about money. Never accounts for the generous check from a relative who really wants your family to come to a cousin’s Louisiana wedding. Never takes in to account that there is a HUGE, wild God, who can laugh at our plans, change our plans, and majorly over bless our plans in ways we could never think to ask for. Accountants say the numbers never lie. But I say, the numbers never speak the whole truth, either. They can be just as deceptive as a lying cat in a travel crate, telling an 7 year old girl it wants to cuddle!