I received high-level confirmation today that my buddy Spike will be escorted onto a WestJet flight to Victoria, BC on Tuesday, May 27.
If you’re new to the blog you might be wondering what I know about the local boss of the Hell’s Angels and the details of his relocation under the Witness Protection Program. Regular blog readers (and long-suffering friends and relatives) will be acutely aware that Spike is my three-year-old cat and he’s moving to Vancouver Island to live with adoptive parents.
While he doesn’t fly for another two weeks, the fun will begin next Tuesday when he’ll undoubtedly leap into the travel crate and beg vociferously for me to take him to the local vet for one last round of shots. I really have no idea what he requires but I’m sure the vet will have a few suggestions. And I’m sure they won’t come cheaply.
I, on the other hand, have had all the shots that I’ll need for a very, very long time. On the advice of my family doctor, who obviously can’t be bothered with such mundane treatments as tetanus shots and diarrhea pills, I have now made three visits to a specialized Travel Vaccine Clinic. That would be three visits at a total cost of about $600. The bill for consultation fees, admin fees, injection fees and prescription meds not covered by my plan really adds up quickly when you tell the doctor you’re planning to partake in high risk activities such as visiting farms and ranches on the prairies, dining aboard VIA Rail, hiking the high-altitude Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, sleeping in a tent in the Amazon, and at some point may be forced to drink standing water from a roadside ditch in Bangladesh. Okay, I’m joking about Bangladesh. But who knows what trouble I could get into in India or rural China?
In case you’re wondering what you get for the money, I’ve listed all the vaccines and treatments that I can recall and/or decipher from the doctor’s hand-written note:
Acetazolamide – Prevents altitude sickness
Adacel (dTap) – Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough)
Co-Azithromycin – Treatment for travellers’ diarrhea
Ixiaro – Prevents diseases caused by Japanese encephalitis virus
Twinrix – Protects against hepatitis A and hepatitis B
Vivitof – For active immunization against typhoid
VF-Vax – Prevents Yellow Fever
Zostavax – Protects against Shingles