Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meet the Cats. (Alternate title I'm the Crazy Cat Lady)

I've mentioned before that I worked at a vet clinic for 5 years. I LOVED my job and was very sad when it was time for me to leave. I've always been very passionate about animals. As as child I was the kid touching the stay cats, one time I got bit, my mom was so mad and I'm sure scared that I would get rabies. Anyway a vet clinic is a good place to work if you love animals and love taking care of them. I started in the back cleaning cages, walking dogs, and scooping poop. I didn't mind I got to see the inner workings of how a vet clinic worked. My intention was to work there for awhile and see if I wanted to pursue a career as a vet. That's what I had wanted to be since I was 5 years old. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would always say a vet. I still would like to be a vet. This is a dream I let go due to life. I don't mean that negatively, I just mean life got in the way, fears got in the way and now family and my age gets in the way. I realize I could pursue this if I REALLY wanted to and I KNOW I would be an awesome vet, but I have chosen not to. Do I regret this decision? No, working in the vet clinic confirmed this. You work L O N G hours with not that great of pay. You are on call at all hours of the night. You are taken away from your family A LOT. I realized I had a decision to make. If I wanted to pursue this I would have to do it for the love of the animals, I would have done that, no problem, but I had more than just me to think about. I was married, with no children, but I didn't want to move to a new town away from my family. I didn't want to get into huge financial debt or go to school for 7 plus years. I let my fears rule me.

This post has actually taken a turn. I really just wanted to introduce our cats. Ok, back to the story. I worked as the poop scooper for 3 months or so, then it was realized what a great worker I was(pats self on back) and I was promoted to receptionist. I liked this for awhile and was really good at the whole people person thing even though people annoy me sometimes, but I began to ache to be back in the back where all the action was. All the surgeries and emergencies, where all the animals were. Thankfully, once again I was promoted and I became the animal nurse. This is basically like the position of a vet tech, but without the degree and I wasn't allowed to do somethings, but I did a lot. I prepped for surgery, I assisted in surgeries, I was in charge of the care of the animals coming out of surgeries. I tended to IVs in sick animals and administered medications. I comforted animals as they passed and comforted their owners in their grief. It was my dream job and I LOVED it. The office I had worked in changed over those 5 years. It went from a small husband and wife team to a divorced single vet with an unknown future, to an engaged vet, to a vet with a new wife, a new building and bigger clinic, though endless hours of work and endless employees,(not everyone really wants to scoop poop you, know), until finally the office politics or lack there of or something, I won't further evaluate on this because you never know who is reading and I don't want to hurt feelings(I'm a people pleaser), got in the way and I was the last of the original team to leave. I was very sad, but felt it was time. I even mourned leaving this job, but it was the best move I ever made, the end result was my two little boys. I now had time to focus on something else.

So in conclusion(if feel like I'm writing a paper or speech) I learned a lot from that job, not just how to care about animals, but things about myself. The end result was I left the job I loved to pursue other things, I went back to school, to get my bachelors degree(in behavioral science), worked in an OB/GYN clinic, and had preemie twin boys. Through it all my animals stayed loyal, my kitties comforted me on my bed rest days at home and Jimmy and I got a pretty good friend that just happens to be a vet out of the ordeal. Yes, that's right I am now friends with my ex-boss, Jimmy and he get along good and email back and forth sometimes. I know I can always go to him for excellent vet care, he's a good man.

This post is not really about him though. Sheesh, how did I get so far away from just showing you pictures of my cats. Lets get to that shall we.

Slink is our newest addition. We got him four days ago, and he's totally my husbands fault. While in PetSmart a week ago, killing some time with the boys, we saw Slink except he name was Elvis. Elvis was an owner surrender to the Animal Shelter. He ended up at PetSmart to be adopted out. Jimmy was instantly drawn to him, which if you know Jimmy that's not something that usually happens between him and animals. He tolerates them and my craziness about them. He wanted him, but we decided not to. A week later we have to go back to PetSmart for dog food. You see where I'm going with this? Yeah, the cat came home with us and the dog food. So far so good.

Pogo was brought into the clinic as a tiny kitten injured, by good samaritan. His injuries were assessed and it was realized that the price was out of the clients range for a kitten that he found and did not intend to keep. Pogo was damaged and it was decided he would be euthanized. While this always broke my heart, I could not save everyone, even though I tried. I placed Pogo, who at that time had no name in a holding cage until the deed could be done. I passed by the cage several time about my duties, and each time I would stop and talk or pet the kitten. It didn't happen always but there were times when I would just connect with an animal. Pogo had the spirit and the will to live. He was full of life. Despite his horribly broken and mangled leg and his broken mandible he purred. Of course I could not allow him to be euthanized so I was given permission by the owner to keep him. The good doctor did not have high hopes for Pogo. I however just KNEW he would be fine despite his injuries. I was right his mandible healed without the surgery to wire it shut, not something the doc and I agreed about. He wanted to do it I didn't. He did however have to have his front right leg removed. Doc warned me that he might not thrive with his handicap. I felt differently. We almost lost him during the amputation,but once again Pogo prevailed. He has been an inspiration to many who enter my home. While he cannot jump as gracefully as other cats, he does not let his limitations stop him.

Crash came into the clinic very broken and on the verge of death. He had been hit by a car, he was bleeding from EVERYWHERE and his prognosis was death and probably soon. Another good samaritan brought him in and being we didn't know who the owner was we made Crash comfortable with pain meds, while we tried to find his owner. I did not have high hopes for Crash as I placed him in the cage. I said a small prayer and headed out the door. The next morning when I arrived to work early to check on Crash, I was surprised. He was up and walking and purring and ALIVE. I opened the door and he reached his paws up around my neck like he was hugging me. Myself and the rest of the staff begged the doctor to allow up to keep Crash as a clinic resident. He reluctantly agreed and Crash and I had a special bond from that day forward. When I left the clinic I was sad to leave Crash, but I left instructions that should Crash ever need a home they should call me. A month or so later I got a call. Crash had begun bolting every time the door opened and his safety was in jeopardy as the clinic was close to the highway. I brought him home and the rest is history.

Are you still reading this? I am surprised! This is the longest posts about cats that I have ever read.

I do apologize for boring you to tears.



Erin said...

We're the proud new owners of a new little kitty name Frank or Louise (TBD when we can tell what it is :)
Our pastor's family had a new litter of kittes that weren't quite ready to be weaned but they were going on vacation for 3 weeks. We agreed to kitty-sit for them and gave Anna Kate (our tender-hearted 6 year old) a long speech about how we would, under NO circumstances, get to keep one. Silently I gave myself the same speech because I am a major cat person. I've always had a cat. They're fantastic.
Well, the end of three weeks came. And...we have a cat. I don't know how. But I'm so happy! He/she is so sweet! We're suckers, really.