Married to the Empire

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drama at the Vet's

The above picture is a happy shot that proves I am forgiven by Calvin for what transpired on Tuesday. Because you can't see it, you'll just have to trust me that he was purring loudly during the photo shoot as he sat on my lap.

I dropped Calvin at the vet's yesterday morning because he was due for another urinalysis. He's had a stubborn bladder infection that required 3 rounds of heavy-duty antibiotics. After dropping him off, I headed to church for bible study, then out to a sand volleyball court to hang with the youth.

While I was at the volleyball court, I called the vet's office to check on Calvin. I was told that his bladder still wasn't full enough, so he hadn't been tested yet. As I was driving home, I thought that I should let them know that he'll drink water if they put ice in his bowl. Because I pass the vet's office on the way home, I decided to just stop in.

It was 12:20pm, which is lunchtime. The door was open, but the doorbell had been disabled, the lights were off, and no one was at the front desk. I called out a hello, but no one heard me. As I was standing there, I heard a dog in the back make a whiny yapping noise, and a woman said, "Shut up you stupid piece of $#!^! Ugh! I hate you!"

At that point I was freaking out. I left because frankly, I was afraid that if I called out again and the speaker came out, I'd go ballistic on her. My baby was back there! My boy has a history of being difficult, and I feared that he was being mistreated. I was shaking as I drove home.

When the vet called to tell me his test results, I let her know what happened. Thankfully, a headache had caused me to nap for about an hour, and I think that downtime was necessary for me to be able to speak calmly to her. I told her that I think she's a fabulous vet, but I'm hesitant to leave my boys in the care of her office staff in the future because I fear mistreatment. Animals are frightened enough when they go to the vet's office. The last thing they should have to endure there is people speaking hatefully to them (and who knows what else!).

The vet was appalled. She told me that there were several things wrong with the scenario: The lights shouldn't have been off, someone should have been at the desk, the doorbell should have been working (which interestingly, I could hear it ding in the background while we were on the phone), and of course, the animals should never have been spoken to so hatefully. She apologized and assured me that she'd be talking to her staff about this.

Now, the good news is that all our recent prayers over this cat have been answered. His bladder infection is finally gone, which means I'm going to youth camp! But he still has blood in his urine, so they did x-rays to check for kidney and/or bladder stones. He has neither, but they found that he has a BB lodged in his rear end! My baby has been shot!

Calvin was approximately 1.5 years old when we got him, and we're pretty sure he was an outdoor cat in his former life. But I used to let him outside years ago, too. I made him an indoor cat after he kept getting into fights with other neighborhood cats. So, in addition to leaving him with someone who may have been treating him badly, I also found out he may have been shot years ago while under my care. Cue the intense Mommy Guilt. I felt like dirt.

Thankfully, the BB causes him no harm. It's just a weird little fact about him that leaves us wondering about his past. Frankly, I think he's a little proud of it. He's always liked playing the part of Mr. Tough Cat, and he relished his role as Neighborhood Bully back in the day. I think I caught him bragging to Doogie about it. "Yeah, I was shot. Nothing can take me out!" (Although kidney disease and a monster bladder infection can certainly knock him down for a while.)

All is well with Calvin. But I'm still left with the dilemma of whether or not to stick with our vet, who truly is great, or find a new one where hopefully the staff is nicer to the animals. I've always liked the staff at our vet's office, so it's hard looking at them suspiciously, wondering which one was so awful to the animals.


Catherine said...

Wow, your 'adventure' at the vets office sounds awful! I don't blame you for being concerned about switching. I would have been equally freaked out, but I don't know if I'd been able to say something to the vet. Good for you!

I had to just laugh out loud about the BB! Wow, that is one tough cat!

lizzykristine @ Uplifted Eyes said...

Yikes -- almost sounds like a robbery in action or something! (That's where I thought you were going with the story at first.)

But if you like the vet and everything else about the office, I'd be inclined to stay.... It could have been one person having one bad day. Maybe it's just my experience, but whenever I switch doctors because I'm uncomfortable about one thing, the new doc's place gives me about three things to uncomfortable about. ;)

Amy W said...

Drama - you're not kidding!! I'm so glad Calvin has forgiven you and he's doing much better!

AnneK said...

Wow, I would have been totally freaked out too if I had heard that. I would have been so hopping mad and tried to force my way in and confront. I guess it is good you practiced restraint.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Annie, for the safety of my cat, I had to practice restraint. That's why I walked out. I was afraid that if I confronted in my anger, my cat would get the brunt of it because even if I'd demanded his immediate return, that person could have hurt him while putting him back in his carrier. Besides, poor guy had already spent 3.5 hours there waiting for his bladder to fill, so I couldn't see taking him home without finishing up the procedure.

My husband thinks we need to give the vet a chance to fix the situation with her staff, and I'm inclined to agree. We've been with her 10 years, and she's a great vet who very obviously loves animals. I'm just hoping that staff member was either let go or given very limited, supervised contact with the animals.

Sue said...

Wow, it's hard to imagine someone so twisted that they yell at poor defenseless (and sick!) animals. That's pretty low.
Considering Calvin's difficulties and his history with your current vet, it does seem smart to stay with her and hope that she can get her staff straightened out. It certainly would give you reason to be cautious, though!