The NHS has been in the news a lot recently, what with the Government being accused of holding secret talks with US pharmaceutical giants about a post-Brexit trade deal.
If you want to know what private healthcare looks like, just ask anyone with a pet and they’ll be only too happy to tell you. It’s very expensive. Sure, you get an appointment an hour or so after calling and the level of care is tip-top. But it costs about £30 just to say hello to a vet and our dog’s monthly insurance premiums are more than double what it costs to insure my actual wage-earning, tax-paying, child-raising human life.
We took the screechier of our two 10-year-old rescue Tom cats, Mr Robbie, to see the vet after he appeared to have come off second best in a scrap with a feline rival who removed a hefty chunk out of his scalp with its claws.
Cats’ claws are filthy, and while Mr Puss may like nothing better than to curl up in your lap on cold winter’s night while making a deep, contented purring noise, they are absolutely vicious in a fight. Our cat had met his match and was in a bad way.
But a quick call to the vet and 90 minutes later he was having his temperature checked (did he not like that) and the gunk drained from a gaping wound just below his left ear. The kind and gentle vet also injected him with an antibiotic and prescribed a six-day course of pills to be crushed up in his food, which he wolfed down like he’d been accidentally locked in a shed for three days. Seriously though, check your sheds while you’re hidin Christmas presents in there in the next few weeks. We lost his brother, Marleyboo, for the best part of a week a few years ago.
And for the avoidance of doubt, I didn’t give our cats these childlike, cartoonish names, our daughters did when they were 10 and seven. So stop sniggering.
Anyway, the cost of a wound drained, antibiotics injected, a packet of pills and a digital thermometer up the bum on a dark and rainy November morning? That’ll be just the £75 to you, Guv. All major credit and debit cards accepted.