Friday, 28 May 2010

THE COST OF BEING A CHEAPSKATE.


What's the difference between being frugal and being cheap? Frugal people look for bargains whereas cheapskates scrimp on their own needs as well as those of their dependents.

I learned a bitter lesson in May of 2003 when I assumed my house rabbit, Esther, would recover from her second gut stasis, thus saving me the cost of a vet visit. From When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies), here is what happened when I foolishly ignored the urging of my conscience in order to save myself a hundred dollars.

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Several times during the winter, that naughty girl had ripped up the carpet. When I took down the beaded curtain and the door was back in its place, she started ripping up carpet in front of it.

In April 2003, she stopped eating and all my home made remedies didn't work. When I went with her to the vet, I was told that Esther had been ingesting the rug and the vet managed to dislodge a lump that was blocking her intestine. Esther ate well for a few weeks and then stopped again. I was extremely fed up at being broke and having to pay bills that I tried to cure her at home. By early May, nothing had worked?not even rubbing her belly or giving her canned pumpkin through a syringe.

After breakfast one morning, I went down to the radio room to check on her. When I tried opening the door, something seemed to be blocking it. I pushed it hard, thinking that a bundle of junk mail had fallen over. To my horror, it was Esther's body that jammed the door. She lay next to a puddle of pumpkin that had risen in her throat and I mentally kicked myself because I should have taken her to the vet again, but I'd been too cheap. I resolved then and there not to adopt any more pets of any kind, until I was in a better financial position and had a reliable way to get medical help for them. Then I wept.

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When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) contains many more valuable lessons of rabbit care. Even better, it's written in story form. My hope in writing it that way was that people, especially those who hate instructional manuals, would learn from both my discoveries and my mistakes in caring for my long-eared friends. The book is available on The InScribe Writers Group page. Not only is it informative but some of the stories in it are hilarious. Check this page periodically for humorous excerpts from it in the coming months.