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Just because I failed, and did the best I could, sorry: no refund.

November 26, 2013

We took our 10-year old Cat, Bogey, to the Capitola Veterinary Hospital on 41st Avenue, where he stayed for six days and they charged us money up the ying, were unable to find the virus that was in him, but during this time through hydrating and a feeding tube were able to get him stable, and they suggested we take him home and give him antibiotics, but a few days later, poor Bogey was struggling to breathe, lying still and slightly jerking his legs, and looking dazed and shocked. The poor little guy. He died cradled in my arms on the way to the hospital, and I had to see this friendly little guy suffer, a white liquid on his lips, and his eyes go unreactive to my movements, and his body limp. Losing something you love when you hold it is tough–especially when you never let go.

When people charge you full freight and the meter is always running, it’s hard to feel grateful even if they cure you. They put it on a professional basis, they’re not your friend, and please, hold the smiles if I’m paying extra. However, you get quality people when you pay them well.

But then there’s failure.

They were paid to cure the animal, and they could easily cite how they did their best, and have every excuse to justify taking your money for not providing what you asked for. Man, this place charged more than Stanford Cancer Center, and their prices were borderline exploitive–give us money or your pet dies.

Maybe that’s why they call medicine a “practice.”

We have to accept failure in our lives. We’ve all done it, sometimes in our personal relations with people, other times in our professional aspirations. No one tries to fail. When I bombed after doing stand-up, the staff would stare at you without any sympathy, and I’d think, did you think I wanted this to happen, do you think I enjoyed bombing. But they’re not looking at that, they’re thinking how is this going to affect my tips and the crowds for the rest of the week? But failure is a good way to sober up–it’s realizing you’re not the most beautiful person in the world. Admitting  failure is a pill eventual success learns to swallow. Those who refuse, run away from it their whole lives, leaving the scene of every accident they cause and blame everyone else. That’s truly the definition of driving under the influence.

But when failure is at the price of others, how do you make that right?

You have the bases loaded, you ask a person to bat for you, and they strike out and lose the game. Sure, they tried their best, but they took your money, said they could do the job (after you sign a consent form that’s a waiver that says failure is an acceptable part of the agreement, but financial failure on your part doesn’t guarantee you don’t have to pay them.) and they got up to bat and failed.

The vet walked away with our money, and we walked away with a dead cat,

They failed.

I told them they could do an autopsy on Bogey to find out how he died, and that maybe this would save another cat. But we’ll never know the truth, because if they discover it was something they could have prevented, that makes them liable, and so they won’t reveal that, and will probably come up with some open-ended explanation. But they will know how they failed. And learn from it–at our expense.

ANd what do they say to us in sympathy,”Don’t feel bad you did everything you could have done.”

Yes, but did you?

The failed us, but most of all, they failed poor Bogey.

And offered us sympathy, and walked away with our money.

I don’t know why they should charge us for a cremation, they already burned us.

Sometime failure is profitable. But it’s a one-sided coin pulled from our pockets and into their bank account. And left us with the black cat of grief draped over our shoulders.

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