Whoever came up with the label “stress-free” can just go jump in a lake. I have yet to experience anything so named that actually delivers as advertised. Today’s stress inducing product: “stress-free” companion animal tracking microchips.
I took two of my cats to the vet yesterday. It’s very traumatic for everyone involved, including the third cat that stayed home. She hid in the basement ceiling all night, suspicious that she was next. She didn’t come out until this morning when, coincidentally, the food bowl was empty. The two cats that did go to the vet howled vehemently all the way there and then cowered in the corner of the crate all the way home. They’re very suspicious today. Every time I turn around, one of them is giving me the stink-eye.
The main purpose of the visit was to get them microchips, which are inserted under their skin as a means of tracking them should they stray. Microchipping is supposed to eliminate the stress of traveling with a pet, and makes the pet easier to locate should it get lost. If you’ve ever traveled with a pet, especially a cat, you know that it’s a stress filled endeavor. Any products or services that can make for a calmer experience are desirable. The vet recommended some pheromone spray for the car to make the cats think it was a safe environment. Also, she suggested getting them high on Xanax. Unfortunately, the registration system is not what it’s cracked up to be. I got quite emotional today trying to get the chips registered through the company’s “simple” online service. I’m pretty sure it’s designed to use your love for your pet to rip you off.
The microchip company seems to be playing on the fears of pet owners by forcing you to agree to a reoccurring subscription fee in order to proceed with the initial set-up, which is actually a fixed cost. Basically, you have to immediately cancel the approval for the reoccurring charges or you’re automatically billed for a subscription you don’t have to have. It’s really frustrating, especially since you can’t really change your mind once the animal has been chipped or you forced the poor little thing to undergo the animal equivalent of an alien probing for no good reason. Once the chip is in there, it’s worthless if you don’t register it. Did I mention that was supposed to be a one-time fee? That’s important because the registration company tries to trick you by not having a “register chip only” option on the website. I guess they’re hoping you won’t notice that they made you agree to pay reoccurring charges even though it’s not required. Jerks.
This whole process was so frustrating, I actually broke down crying trying to get it figured out. I’m not usually the kind of person who gets teary-eyed over online order forms, but I guess the look of betrayal on my cats’ faces drove me over the edge. Don’t mess with my love for my kitties or I may write a pissed-off blog about your crappy registration system, HomeAgain.com. Also, I don’t like your website’s color scheme and your pet ID tags are ugly.
In summation, cat pheromone spray is supposed to aid in lowering the cats’ stress level. I wonder if it comes in human scents.