Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Unexpected expenses

Do you budget for unexpected expenses? I have to admit, I'm rather bad about that. I mean, it is the very nature of unexpected expenses that you don't expect them. But it seems like they come up every month and yet I don't leave much padding in our budget for them. It's silly.
This month we've had several things already. It's only been a week! Shane's bicycle tire blew out on one of his rides so he needs a whole new one. He forgot to go this week to get a new one, so either I'm going to ride out there to buy a new one or he'll have to get it two off-shifts from now. His next off-shift, we'll be out of town. So it might end up being an expense for next month, but it's still "unexpected".
As if replacing one tire wasn't bad enough, Shane bought some things to make a minor repair to his motorcycle and then discovered that his back tire is getting stripped. The threads are visible in the middle where the rubber has been completely worn away. He checked, and getting a new tire is $250. Ouch. We're trying to decide what to do, since winter is coming up so soon. But driving the truck to and from work is so expensive. Would it be worth spending $250 on a tire to save roughly the same amount of money on gas for the month of September? If he even gets that long. I definitely don't want him to ride it up there if there's even a minor chance that it will snow before he comes home. So that's going to take some discussion.
We did get the truck running, sort of. We didn't actually have someone look at it. We bought some Heet (a product which helps with bad fuel) and put it into one of the gas tanks. Shane started off with one tank, then switched to the other tank (the one he'd put the Heet in) and the problems stopped almost immediately. Phew! It sounds like bad gas was the culprit. (No giggling at that sentence!)
As if all of this wasn't enough, I stayed home sick from work on Monday. I was actually grateful that I did, not just because I needed it, but because I saw the cat limping around the house. He was seriously favoring his back left leg and as I watched him I noticed that he wasn't putting any weight on it when he could help it. When he stood still it stayed out back so that there was no pressure on that leg. And then I saw that when he was lying down, he wasn't moving. His eyes were open so he was awake, but not even his tail was twitching. Cats never do that. They're never completely still unless they're totally asleep. Or in this case, very ill.
I tried calling the vet but his message said that he was alone at the clinic for the afternoon so he never called me back. Usually he doesn't take walk-ins, but I was hoping since this seemed like a bit of an emergency he'd be all right with it. (By the way, I love our vet, who is a family friend.) I called L and arranged for her to bring over one of her cat carriers and pick us up and we drove to the vet's. (So much unhappiness about the cat carrier! But we have a gentle cat, and he loves me, so he didn't once try to claw my face off.)
There was no problem with the walk-in, thankfully. (Seriously, Ballaine Vet Clinic. Check it out.) And it was a fairly easy thing. Zap's hair is super thick so we never found the actual site of the wound, but the vet said that the most common problem he sees cats for is when they've been bitten by something and it gets infected. I was wondering if, on one of the nights when he's been out, Zap got into a fight with another neighborhood cat. So he got two shots and we were given some oral antibiotics. (Again, I love my cat. He didn't even try to claw me when I was squirting nasty medicine into his mouth!) $92 and 12 hours later, he was already looking a bit better by yesterday morning. At least he was sitting upright to eat, rather than doing this:
Yes, that is a picture of my cat mashing his face into his food bowl while lying down. For once, his laziness was justified.
Last night he felt well enough to pick a fight with another cat. The upstairs neighbors' cat, who isn't supposed to go outside, escaped. Zap cornered him under the porch and made himself sound threatening. They didn't actually fight, thankfully.
And this morning he was well enough to fight me when I gave him his medicine. He still didn't claw me, but he kept moving his face away. It's very hard to gently hold a cat with one hand and try to squirt medicine into its mouth with a syringe while said cat is squirming so much. But at least he's getting back to his feisty self. Money well spent. :)

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