When you run a big company that handles a lot of one-year renewable contracts with the government at every level from city to federal, you tend to expect that you’ll need to do some legwork on the contract renewals before they expire. Preferably, you’d do this a few weeks before they expire so the bureaucratic mess that is the federal government can process the renewal on their end.
That’s a reasonable expectation after 30 years in the industry.
If, instead, you wait until the expiration date on the contract to submit the renewal to the federal agency in question, you’ll have a department to shut down for a week due to lack of work.
Then, at the end of that week, you’ll be reminded that the wheels of the federal government grind. very. slow.
So slow, in fact, that the department in question gets to stay shut down for at least another 2 weeks.
If you haven’t been doing the math, that is a surprise, unpaid, three-week vacation for my wife.
Our emergency fund hasn’t grown to the size that can handle this, but it is enough to take the edge off for a couple of weeks. Yay!
We’d already decided that we would be skipping a vacation this year, to give us more time to deal with my mother-in-law’s estate and hoarding remnants, so the vacation fund will be tapped. That should cover the rest, assuming her job does come back.
That’s part 1.
Part 2 is the story of a cat whose butt exploded on our bed at 1AM last week.
Poo–the cat named for her coloration–has been acting funny. She’d suddenly sprint in a circle around the room, then poop on the floor. Irritating.
One night, her sprint crossed our bed, so my wife pinned her down, hoping to break the cycle.
The cat screamed, then sprayed blood from her butt all over the pillows, blankets, sheets, and my wife.
That’s called a midnight visit to the emergency vet.
See, cats have anal glands that they use to sign their work when they are marking their territory. Sometimes, these glands get infected. Sometimes, the infection gets so bad the glands kind of…explode.
On my bed.
While I’m sleeping.
Fixing that involves sedation, an ice cream scoop, and a sewing kit. Or something. I wasn’t really pushing for details when my wife called from the vet’s office.
For those of you who’ve never had a cat’s butt explode in your bed at one in the morning (and if you have, I’m not sure I want to hear the story), the emergency vet isn’t cheap. This visit cost us $500. It probably would have been half of that if we would have waited until the regular vet opened, but…ewww.
We’ll be starting our emergency fund from about 0 in the next few weeks, but it beats going in to debt over a couple of setbacks.
How’s your emergency fund? Is it enough to carry you through any unexpected setback?
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