Friday, January 4, 2013

Hiro & Shivanand Rafhman

For almost all of my life I've wanted a cat. Or a dog. Either way, I remember as a kid I would write to Santa asking for a cat or a dog (preferably all black) and even when I found out that Santa didn't exist, I'd still write (up until my parents found out about my trickery). I had come close twice in my life to sneakily bringing home kittens but that didn't quite pan out but I'm happy to report that they are both in happy homes (well, they are in one home since my cousin decided to keep both of them).

On the day before Christmas Eve, we were checking out Petfinder and we came across two kittens that were so adorable -- two sibling black kittens -- and we just had to have them. Given that it was right before Christmas, we anxiously awaited to hear back about them and even went as far to try to see them the next day. Unfortunately for us, Animal Care and Control is located right next to ASPCA and we didn't realize the difference and ended up going to the ASPCA who happened to be closed.

So on the 26th we went over to the ACC (this time, the correct building) and while we didn't find the two black kittens, we did come upon sibling Siamese kittens. I signed the adoption papers but was told that we couldn't take them home right away so began my preparation for the kittens.

Pet Insurance

My very first order of business was to get pet insurance. Now I know that a lot of people don't deem it necessary but being the child of a former medical claims specialist, I rest more assured when I have it. Now there's a lot of insurances out there but luckily for me, my boyfriend is much better at processing this type of information. He found this nifty chart that breaks out a few different insurances and compares them by level.  (This isn't all of them, so please do your research if you opt for insurance and note that it doesn't work like normal insurance; you have to pay upfront and then they reimburse you based on the policy). By the time I came back from shopping for kitten goodies, he had selected PetPlan. Their customer service was incredibly helpful as they helped me complete my policy and within 10 minutes, both kittens were set up.

Veterinarian & Emergency Hospital

If there's anything I've learned from my cockatiels it was to make sure I keep the numbers of emergency hospitals on file. I can list the ones I chose, but this is very location specific. In addition to knowing your vet, where they are located, and their hours of operation, you should know where you can take them in case the vet isn't available during an emergency. If you're in the Outer Sunset area, then I'd recommend the Sunset Veterinary Hospital as the primary veterinary care and the All Animals Emergency Hospital or VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (this one is located in the Mission) for those odd hours that your primary veterinarian isn't operating. Note: I haven't had to use either emergency hospitals, but I do keep their numbers listed in my phone as a precaution. 

Emergency Preparedness Kit 

If you haven't gathered, I live in San Francisco. Part of that means that for this East Coaster, there is something I never really had to contend with and that is earthquakes. I also didn't have much of my emergency supplies as I did when I was back home so after much consideration last year, I ended up purchasing a 3 Day Emergency Preparedness Kit. So it comes as no shock that I needed to get one for the kittens.

While the ASPCA Emergency Ready Cat Survival Kit was a strong contender but then after chatting with my boyfriend about it, we thought that it might seem strange to get two of those kits since they were a bit on the pricey side and we do have a lot of those items already.  After searching for more alternatives, I found  the Quakekare Deluxe Multiple Cat Survival Kit which works out pretty well. Just as a note, as with any preparedness kit, make sure you "customize" them by adding in items that are specific to you and your pets.

Pet Pal App (for Droids)

I have a very specific place that I keep the documentation for our little minions -- both hard and soft copies. But one thing I absolutely wanted was the ability to access some of their information while on the go (specifically during their vet visits). Pet Pal has been great about keeping the information about the two in one solid place -- while this doesn't beat having the hard copies of their policy information or their medical history, it does help me keep quick notes about them (such as what to ask the vet or what have I learned for future reference for them). Not to mention the reminders that you can list out on your phone.


I hesitated to add this one since the ACC automatically microchipped the cats upon adoption. I will list this out only because I do think that it's rather important and even if the ACC didn't automatically do it themselves, I likely would have taken the cats in to be microchipped. I did find a few nearby clinics that would do it for under $50 and there are also certain places that you can take them in to get it done for free.

The items mentioned above are the things I took care of right away. Now I'm not an expert and this is my first time owning cats so obviously there's going to be a bit of trial and error. As I figure it out, hopefully I'll update the blog alongside. 

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