It turns out they have both.
Dave - my cat and the eponymous hero of my children's book Our Dave - is in trouble. Well, his teeth are at least.
As I write this, he is at the vets, alone and scared, and about to be sedated before having yet more teeth removed.
This is the third time he's been in for tooth extraction. The vet's say that some cats bodies attack their teeth, and it is especially common in cats that started life on the street - like Dave. Dave was a ragamuffin street kitten before his old owners adopted him (before moving house and leaving him behind).
We have tried to help him with plaque-reducing powder that we add to his food, and a toothpaste gel that we put on his arm that he licks off, but nothing has worked. We've tried cleaning his teeth with a toothbrush too, but because he hasn't been trained to accept this from being a kitten it was quite traumatic for him. But it probably wouldn't have made much difference, because his teeth have decided it's time to move on.
The vet has estimated that this extraction will probaby cost between £250 and £300, but they honestly can't tell until they sedate him. It could be more, and it could be less.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, my income has been severely restricted, and we are going to struggle to pay not just for this round of vets bills, but all of the future bills that are associated with an aging cat with early renal problems and teeth that aren't happy in his mouth.
I'd do anything to make sure that Dave is happy and healthy. I'd sell a kidney if I had to! And then I remembered all of the people out there who have heard his story - either through the kickstarter campaign for his book, or through me talking about him - and who care about him almost as much as I do.
So, I have set up a Ko-Fi donation page where you can drop small donations to help contribute towards Dave's future vet bills, that are becoming increasingly difficult for me to manage at the moment.
Any support you want to add would be gratefully received to help us keep this beautiful man-cat happy and healthy.
Click this button below, or head to his page at https://ko-fi.com/ourdave