My question is fueled by my fear.  My cat Sadie passed away from lung cancer on Oct 30.  The only "fortunate" thing about her diagnosis was that the vet supported me in forgoing surgery, because the cancer had progressed too much by the time anyone could detect it.  If she had said I needed to pay $4,000 dollars.... I'm sure I couldn't have.  And it would have haunted me for life.

I adopted a 9 week old kitten last week who was already sick.   (I wasn't aware she was sick at the time).  Last week she required almost $1,000 dollars in vet bills. I've only had her 7 days!!!  The vet says her illness as a kitten could spell illness as an adult.  

I am seriously considering taking her back (to a very reputable no-kill shelter where they would rehome her) in order to avoid ever having to EVER euthanize due to lack of funds.  I don't judge anyone who had to make that painful call, mind you.  But this is in the forefront of my anxieties since I lost Sadie.  What do you say?  Do you think I should foster cats where they pay for vet bills?  Or leap, and love the kitten I have even if I'm financially unprepared for high cost emergencies.  I would take her to regular checkups, testings, blood panels all those kinds of things of course and I can pay for food, love, adoration.  But is love enough??  I want to treat any cat I would have with the best, and maybe I can't if it means I should have an extra $5,000 lying around.  

I love her.  I love her enough to gamble that the shelter might find someone who could afford it all--- but you never know who will adopt her.  I even love animals enough to consider not adopting again because I couldn't give it everything possible.

I wonder if I am selfish if I kept her.  This kitten will help with my loneliness and depression, but I'd be more depressed if I felt responsible for shortening her life!!

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind opinions.

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Hello Love4Sadie,
My condolences on the loss of your Sadie. It's been a relatively short time since you lost her and you must miss her immensely! From your post it sounds like you have already fallen in love with this wee kitten. My suggestion would be to question the vet more, or get a different vet's opinion, on why the kitten's illness now "might spell illness as an adult". This sounds like a very vague diagnosis. Please remember there are no guarantees that this kitten will be adopted as there are so many homeless cats, even more so then dogs. Also, many families, even if they were to adopt her, might not be able to afford even the $1000 you have already spent. If I was in your place, and there is no real diagnosis of an illness that would be chronic, then I would take the leap and keep this little baby who has brought you happiness after the loss of your beloved Sadie. As pet lovers/owners we all have to face the possibility that an animal has the potential to become sick at some point but if your kitten is doing well now I would be inclined to keep her. However, if she has a chronic condition then that may be something you will have to consider more carefully.
I notice that in your first sentence, in your post, is that your question is fueled by fear. You may need to think about how much of this fear has to do with the inevitability of losing her one day, as opposed to just being a financial question. You've been through a devastating loss so it would be normal to fear having to face that loss again one day. The fact that you've already spent a fair amount of money on this kitten's health and are willing to pay for regular check ups and blood work sounds very encouraging to me.
I can't say what you should do because only you can make that decision but, in your place, I would make my decision based on whether your kitten has been or can be diagnosed with a chronic condition. If she doesn't have something that will require frequent and expensive vet bills, then I would be inclined to keep her for 2 reasons: she may not get another good home with a lot of love and ~ at this point she is used to being with you and no doubt loves you and her new home already.
Good luck with deciding and please let me know what you decide. You have a wonderful heart and I know your ultimate decision will be the right one because it will be based on love. Hugs to you,
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Thank you for such a thoughtful response C.K.!!🙌 will ask my Vet - but so far I’ve had my Vet and a Vet at an emergency hospital tell me that she will have recurring Herpes and since she ran a temp of 106, they think she has some virus that has shown negative in her blood panels, but they both say it could “pop” up unexpectedly and show positive at various times in her life. Ugh. The one thing about this shelter- is it’s actually an animal rescue foundation and she’s guaranteed to have a home.
I will try to be easy on myself if I need to return her, but she sure has my heart. I’ll talk to the vet again... I trusted her with Sadie.❤️Thanks Again, C.K.
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I'm so sorry you're dealing with both the death of a beloved kitty and the illness of a new one so rapidly!  I'd like to offer a couple of things for you to think about as you weigh your decision options.  First, I would definitely talk with your vet and get more information about your new kitty's illness and what it means for the future.  But then I would also definitely get a second opinion.  I learned this with my own dog Molly.  I was told she had a serious disease and would need to be on medication for the rest of her life.  When I took her for a second opinion I was told she did NOT have the disease, but rather something that could be cured with one injection and would never occur again.  So I got her that shot, and she lived till age 11 with no further problem.  

There is another equally important thing to consider here.  Check out the community you live in.  You will find that most communities of size have at least one or more clinics that specialize in lower cost medical care for those who have a hard time affording it.  Here where I am I know of at least two choices.  There is one veterinary practice that specializes in keeping costs low.  All the rescue organizations take their animals there because of it.  The other is a local shelter that got a grant to provide low cost medical assistance for those who needed it.  You may hve options like that where you are too.

The decision to return your new kitty is a difficult and painful one.  I wish you all the best.
Connie C
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In the past, I had a whole different set of circumstances. I live in a different country for example and what happened to us may not be available to you.
But when I first rescued my dog I was working hard but had very little money as I was managing on low pay and part time hours and couldn't get any better job.
My dog (then 4 years old) had survived Parvo virus when with the previous person, recovered, and had become strong and well. But it was a HUGE risk to take her on board.
From the word go, I knew we were absolutely meant to be together. There was some cognitive dissonance on my part, between what my situation was like (hand-to-mouth living) and the certain knowledge that one day that dog would be bound to need SOME medical care! And the meant-to-be bond we shared.

So the very first thing I did was start saving. Even though my dog was fit and well. Oh boy that was hard and it meant I had to cut out many things I liked. I could not afford seasoning for food except salt. I could not afford to buy fruit except apples. I couldn't buy wine. I had to think twice about buying anything food-wise and lived on the cheapest special offers. I picked nettles from the field to use in soups instead of buying green veg.
But every week some money got put aside. I also made sure my bank allowed me an overdraft facility.  AND I registered with the PDSA scheme (in UK) which gave charitable assistance for vet bills, with a donation of 10% advised. I could manage that. It was for emergencies only.

As years went by it happened that I came into some money, and things changed. Since then I have supported that charity as best I can, because they gave me a life-line. Even though I only used their help a couple of times and never for anything highly expensive.

I honestly don't know how we sailed through....but we did. My dog and I were the strongest team. I think she was charmed.

So what I'm saying is there can be options. All we had (me and my dog) was love at first, and a lot of fingers crossed. And me putting as many things in place as I could for "insurance" against any future emergency or sickness. I couldn't imagine how we got through but we did. But like I say we are a different case, and she was a healthy dog basically.
Having any companion who is a total dependant when there is literally NO money is a scary kind of risk.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer

Misty's life after death:
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