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November 15, 2006
What happened to you?

Oh, nothing. It's just a test of my brain.
I was looking a little unusual, that was for sure, with 20 electrodes coming out of my head. I wore their 5-foot-long wires in a little bag slung over my shoulder. I looked sort of like somebody in The Matrix, only fatter.

Today, after two shampooings, bits of adhesive still cling to my hair. But I look normal enough to take the girl cats to the vet, and they are already in their hated portes-chats. Ben the Cat is meowing at them through the mesh doors.

You'll get yours, you know, I say to him as I pass. You'll be going to the vet, too, you know. But Ben the Cat has no future. He is a creature of the moment. So it doesn't make much difference to him when I say things like that. Ben just doesn't plan ahead.

Gypsy's fur is terribly matted all along her back, and sticks up in great clumps -- she looks like a dinosaur. We decide to let the vet keep her and shave her under anesthesia, so she can begin growing new fur from a more level playing field. While she's down for the count, he'll clean her teeth. What's-Her-Name keeps running into things outside, and has another abscess in her cheek, her third. So she will have an antibiotic. Before it's over, I will have forked over roughly the amount an American on SSI lives on for a month.

I am blessed to have insurance coverage for the electrodes -- because what would life be without electrodes in your head? -- even though I am quite sure they will reveal little beyond the reassuring presence of a brain. And blessed to have a house we can mortgage to pay for cat haircuts and cat dentistry and cat mouthwash. Q and I will both visit the dentist today; one can only imagine what that will cost, but it would be a lot more without our dental insurance. We are lucky.

Maybe we'll get serious about health care in America one of these days. There is no good reason why I should be so well covered and so many other people should have no coverage at all. It has very little to do with my worthiness or my hard work -- plenty of uninsured people work a lot harder than I do.

I'm just lucky. And it shouldn't be a matter of luck. We can do better than that.
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