I had to take our dogs to the vet today—the little girl had some kind of eruption on her snout, like blisters or pustules, and it was very swollen; and the big old guy needed some tranquilizers because he’s completely out of control during thunderstorms now.
So anyway, I’m sitting there, waiting to be called for my appointment, when an entire family walks in with their cat in a box.
“What’s the problem?” the tech asks.
“We need the doctor to look at our cat,” the family says.
“Have you ever been here before? Do you have an appointment?” asks the tech.
No, and no, replies the family. What’s wrong with the cat? Oh, it’s not moving. At all. How old is it? There’s some disagreement among the family members at this point; the cat is somewhere between 16 and 20 years old.
“Is it dead?” the tech asks.
Nope, still breathing, but faintly.
They take the cat and family into a room where the vet, who is frantically racing around, pops in to look at the cat. I can hear him talking to them: “This cat is very weak and dehydrated; to save her life, we would need to give her fluids and medicine, and she would need to stay in the hospital for a few days. It would cost a lot. She’s very, very old, so perhaps your family should discuss what you think you’d like to do.”
The family begins to ask some questions: Yes, a hospital stay for a sick cat is pretty expensive. No, the vet doesn’t take Medicaid. Yes, the kitty is pretty far gone, maybe a day or so ago we could have caught the dehydration, but now it’s kind of late.
Meanwhile, out in the waiting room, an elderly Russian lady who speaks almost no English is trying to establish whether the vet is old and Jewish, because God forbid a young goyisha maidel like the old Jewish vet’s partner should care for her…what? She says a word in Russian over and over; it sounds like “ploofa.” Finally, she flaps her hands. A BIRD! Oh, and this Jewish vet, can he make a house call this Saturday? Because the birdcage is too big to carry. Also, the bird talks and sings. It’s very nice bird! Can she please speak with the vet right now about it?
It was a very amusing visit. It felt like being at work, except that I wasn’t! So we saw the vet and left with some clindamycin for the girl and some doggie thorazine for the boy. Thunder’s a-rollin’ in tonight…hope it works!