Happy Friday Everyone! Today’s blog will feel like a bit of a cliff-hanger as I will be taking a bit of a holiday, and will not resume my regular Monday–Wednesday–Friday Blogging until the week following the August Long Weekend. So, enjoy today’s blog, and stay tuned for its continuation on August 8th, 2014!
Oscar’s (Tail) Tale
Chapter 28—Emergency Surgery
Both Grandma and Lolly were still giggling at my ‘barking’ by the time the animal doctor walked into the examination room. They didn’t bother to notice that my growl-grunting had Bailey so very distracted that she barely noticed she was at the most scariest place in the whole wide world. This was the only time in my life when I felt the thanklessness of being a head pet. I was also a little mortified, because I could not stop growl-grunting.
This vet looked very different from the wooly little man I remembered. She was tall, and had a voice that reminded me a little of Auntie, and Otto’s mom—Mrs. Smiley. This vet was very good at talking to everyone. She spoke to Lolly, Grandma Brown, Bailey, and me—each in our own turn. She smirked indulgently when Lolly proclaimed that I had started ‘barking’, but she also corrected her: cats don’t bark. For the first time in what seemed like hours, I felt validated. The nice vet turned to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “Some nerve they have thinking you were barking eh? How stressful for you—here have a cookie.”
I was so grateful for her kind words that I meowed back at her—sadly, my meowing allowed Bailey the opportunity to snuffle up the cookies the vet had offered me. I had to face facts: today was not my day. Sadly, even despite the car ride and free cookies, it wasn’t shaping up to be Bailey’s day either. Bailey’s stealthy cookie snatch garnered the vet’s attention, and she ended up being the first pet to receive a “wellness exam”. Lolly and Grandma Brown, already in a giggly mood from all my growl-grunting, continued laughing as the Bailey slowly came to realize just how pokey and proddy an animal doctor can be.
Poor Bailey never had any one take her temperature before. The whole experience seemed to make her jump a couple of feet straight up in the air. As she did this, Bailey turned her head sharply to her left, and smacked the animal doctor in the face with one of her floppy ears. Bailey was so mortified by things that she yelped, howled, and shuddered all at the same time. It was a funny sound to compliment the funny sight. Had I not felt sorry for Bailey, I too would have joined Lolly and Grandma Brown in the giggling. The vet, although a little surprised, just gently cooed at Bailey. I guess this wasn’t her first basset hound experience.
Bailey’s heartbeat, temperature, and ears all checked out fine. However, when the doctor examined Bailey’s teeth, she became quite concerned. It seemed as if Bailey’s appetites had a negative effect on her teeth and gums. All the things Bailey enjoyed eating (craft glue, my litterbox contents, and mud included) were not good for her teeth and gums. Bailey had something called “Acute Periodontal Disease” and she needed immediate treatment.
Despite its name, there is nothing cute about what Bailey had. She was in serious danger of loosing all her teeth. Moreover, the problems that hurt her teeth could spread and cause other problems for her heart and lungs. The doctors had to perform something called “deep cleaning” and “possible extraction” on Bailey—immediately. From what I could tell, Bailey would have to stay overnight at the Veterinary clinic. The thought of this panicked me, and it made my girl cry.
Bailey didn’t twig onto things as quickly as the rest of us—she was busy trying to find where they hid the cookies. However, once the nice nurse came to get Bailey so that they could “prep” her for surgery, Bailey figured things out, and began to howl in protest. I suppose I could have done the clawless swat to shut her up, but I just didn’t have the heart to stop Bailey from howling. She needed to get her feelings out. So while the rest of us wished we had ear plugs, Bailey was dragged, howling, to a kennel deep in the heart of the animal clinic.
Bailey’s howling made me fluff up a little, which is probably why the vet called me “fat” when she weighed me. I was so stressed by all the events of the day that I also started purring nervously. This annoyed the doctor a little bit—apparently she couldn’t hear my heartbeat. Whatever, I figured it was better than the growl-grunting I was doing earlier. Aside from the “fat” comments, and the whole nervous purring thing, my exam went far better than Bailey’s. I even managed to keep my cool during both the whole “temperature taking” and rabies shot.
It was both difficult and a relief to leave the animal hospital that day. The ride home without Bailey was so quiet that it was sad. I didn’t try to break out of my kitty carrier, and I didn’t even try to purr to sooth my crying little girl. It wasn’t my best moment, but I was conflicted. On the one paw, my little girl was crying, on the other paw, we wouldn’t be in this mess if she hadn’t insisted on the doctor’s visit. On the third paw, I had had a very stressful day, and no one—no one—seemed to care that I hadn’t been given any spam or tuna to calm my nerves. On the fourth paw, if my girl hadn’t insisted on the vet visit, my fellow pet could have gotten seriously ill—it was a, albeit tuna-less, crisis averted.