Pets. Can't live with them, can't sell them for a profit.
They strip us bare, cost too much money, and demonstrate how we (and they) deal with a crisis. There's a cat bug going around right now. First was Rikki, lethargic, febrile, and vomiting. Trip to the vet, fluids and antibiotics. She'll be fine. Then Gracie. Lethargic and grumpy. When something is bothering her, she bites me. Has done this since we got her. Doesn't break the skin, but it is disconcerting. You are calmly reading the paper and the damn cat runs over and bites your arm. You notice. No vet trip, as she got un-grumpy.
So what is it about that one cat? Why is her tether to this world so fragile? A common cold can bring you that close, that fast to death? Really? I love her, but she drives me crazy. It's hard not to think she does this for attention. She's always been the odd man out among the cats; the neediest, the most demanding. Maybe I should just find her a feline co-dependancy group, and leave it at that. But only after I've paid the vet bills.