Day 15 — Here Kitty, Kitty

I have a money-saving secret that would be too selfish to keep to myself.

Since there is no Medicaid for animals, and maybe there should be because I’ve noticed that poor people seem to have a lot of pets, you can still spay and neuter your cat for less than the $250 a Northwest DC animal hospital charges. I’m talking a flat $40 per cat (not ball) through the Washington Humane Society’s National Capital Area Spay & Neuter Center, which bills itself as high-volume, low-cost surgery clinic.

Lucky for cats because every day is a spay and neuter day at the center. If you live elsewhere, contact Spay Inc., a program of the SPCA of Northern Virginia, which lists low-cost services not only in Virginia but DC, Maryland and (smart move) West Virginia.

I am quite confident when I say that the District of Columbia does not want your pets to procreate. During my divorce, I had two cats (we thought both were male), but one of those little rascals turned out to be a female, and, as my 10- and 12-year-old would say, they went on a “mission.” You learn lots of things when you get to spend extra time with your kids, and they play computer games like Virtual Villagers.

Soon, and I mean very soon (60 days), out popped five adorable little kitties. Then, it happened again. I knew I had to get Muffin spayed and had a small window of time before she would go into heat again.

Here’s what not to say when you finally get through to the scheduler at the clinic to make an appointment; that you think your cat might be pregnant. I’m a fairly liberal person, even though my Dad voted for George Wallace for president in 1968, but the scheduler not only suggested but recommended that for an extra $10 I could—and she didn’t use the “A” word—end the pregnancy. Evidently, the vet needs to “scrape” a little longer. That’s how she put it.

The phone fell silent, and her voice filled with disdain when I said I couldn’t go through with it, even if my kids didn’t know Muffin was pregnant. We had six kitties that time. Now my profile aligns with poor people. We have five cats—all fixed except one, and he’s going in shortly. Call the spay and neuter center at (202) 882-5837. Trust me, someone will call back.

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