One thing you don't want to see two days before you leave on a trip is your cat dragging his raw ass across your rug. OK, granted, you probably don't want to see that ever, but two days before a trip it's extra-special, in that "Great. WTF is wrong with the cat's ass and how can we get him to the vet before we leave" kind of way.
We managed to take him to the vet this morning and now I'm waiting to go pick him up. It turns out he had to have his anal glands expressed.
Before I read that article, I had no idea what anal glands were, or why they apparently needed to be delivered somewhere overnight, but that's how it goes. I'm always learning new things about cats that make me think I don't want to know anything else because there's nothing left to know that won't cost me a fortune and/or turn out to be totally disgusting.
This wasn't too rough on the wallet, surprisingly. I think my wife said it cost $30 extra. From reading a few things on the web, I found out that you can learn to perform this procedure on your cat yourself. Dear god in heaven, why?? Why would anyone want to do this? Trust me, If I can pay someone else to root around in my cat's ass and fix a problem, then that's a bargain at any price. Although I could definitely live without having deep and meaningful anal gland conversations over lunch.
I think if I were a vet, I'd have to charge a minimum of $15,000 for anything ass-related. I realize I probably wouldn't get much ass-business, but one or two cat butts a year and I'd be on easy street. I really think vets should charge by the relative grossness of the procedure and the size of the animal. For instance, if you have a giant dog with a giant ass problem, that's gonna cost you a lot more, ass-wise, than a ferret's tiny one. That's the price you pay for wanting a pet with a giant ass.
They should also charge by how smelly your animal is overall. If it smells disgusting, there should be a stankification surcharge. They could just have a line item multiplier on the invoice:
080-54: Anal Gland Expressed $30.00
080-887: Smelled like that dude at the Phish Concert (x3)
Speaking of smelly asses, I'll try to keep you all updated on my Nerdfest 2008 conference. Picture 8,000 sweaty geeks in one giant hotel complex. You'd think they charged extra for the soap and water or something.
It's always good for a laugh or two.