Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Don't Forget to Floss! - A Cautionary Tale

Bilbo’s crafty. He snuck through customs with a rotten tooth and a gum infection. Just before we left the U.S., we took Bilbo in for his yearly check-up and to get his travel documents. His vet told us that he was due for a teeth cleaning (we had no idea just how ready, but before you go calling the Humane Society, he’s only 4 years old and another vet had told us a few months prior that his teeth were fine). Thus, just weeks after traveling 15 hours on an airplane, we decided to reward him with a visit to his new vet in Paris.

The bad news: Bilbo had two teeth pulled. The good news: It was half the price it would have cost in the U.S. (Trust me, I know. Only he didn’t have to wear a retainer with a fake tooth that turned purple at the sight of red wine for the better part of a year!) I was curious why this was so. I told Fred that I thought the vet was skimping by not sanitizing instruments or using anesthesia. He defended the vet and said it’s because he doesn’t make a six-figure salary and, therefore, doesn’t have to charge as much. I reminded him that U.S. doctors have to make that much because they have $200-$400k in student loans (which he knows and understands, but I felt like saying it anyway).

Bilbo had to stop eating at 10:00 p.m. the night before his appointment. It was torture watching the little guy come up to us being nice (for a change), purring, and walking toward the empty space where his food and water used to be. In the morning, I waited for Fred to get dressed then I hopped out of bed, grabbed Bilbo, threw him in his travel bag, and pushed them both out the door. I couldn’t stand it. I started to cry.

Fred picked Bilbo up 6 hours later. When he came out of his bag he had a little white rag tied just above his right front paw. He looked just like Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones from Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. It was so cute and made all of the stress worth it, at least from my perspective (of course, Fred removed the bandage before I could get a picture for you! I tried to restage it, but neither Bilbo nor Fred would let me). I threw a piece of cardboard on the ground and put on “Days Go By” by Dirty Vegas, but Bilbo was a huge party pooper and wouldn’t perform (apparently the vet did use anesthesia).

P.S. For all of you Bilbo fans (and my sister), don’t worry, Bilbo is all better and eating a ton!


Anonymous said...

Poor Little Bilbo, will he have to have two fake teeth, so as not to throw off the alignment of his bite and smile??

Anonymous said...

I totally expected a picture to go along with this story. Tell Fred that next time he needs to wait for the camera to come out before he goes all soft and rescues Bilbo from his humiliation. Or maybe Fred needs to get you a camera phone so you're always prepared!
love, paula

Anonymous said...

i find these stories very very funny! keep them coming...happy new year.

p.s., we went kayaking to the mokuluas during new years and there were no deadly waves.. so i wasn't able to save a flip flop like you did :-)

Delf & Hub said...

Have you think about golden teeth ? It should be perfect for Bilbo who will become the "first cat's godfather on Paris" !
He would be able to eat everywhere he wants, all the other cats will pay him for their security, and perhaps he will be able to make work female cats on the street !
So bye "Bilbo-the-Baby" welcome to "M. Bilbo-the-boss" or "Mister Paris" !
Take care of him he's more important now than ever !

David said...

Bilbo definitely needs to the get the Gold Grill action for his mouth. I know some very reputable places in Oakland where they sell gold grills by the tooth! I will stop by and inquire if they have anthing in Bilbo's size. Would Bilbo like a diamond encrusted on his gold tooth?