This week I have a developed a whole new respect for vets.
I have spent rather a lot of time at a vet surgery - and believe you me, it’s most certainly not because I want to become a vet. In fact, after this week I can safely say that if I had to chose between being a vet or being the cleaner at a nuclear power plant, I know exactly which career I’d be picking, and it wouldn’t be the one starting with a v.
Take the kitten leg amputation for example. So there was Flopsie, a wee stray whose front paw was paralysed. She was an absolute nutjob, full of character charging around the vet surgery with her paw turning at right angles to her leg about eight centimetres from the end of it, which she just pushed along the floor. I suggested they should have kept the leg on and just put her to use as a broom. However the whole leg needed to come off as she may have got it trapped or hurt, it being paralysed and all yada, yada ,pass the scalpel. And apparently pussycats are completely fine with three legs.
After the operation I got a text from the one of the women I am working with, ‘Was it really gory?’
‘No, not really’, I replied, ‘But then I did spend the entire operation sitting on the floor.’
I had a vague feeling that my legs were going to decide they’d rather be somewhere else when they started putting the breathing tube down the kitten’s mouth. I don’t know about you, but a cat with its mouth tied open, eyes mostly shut and a tube being forced down its throat, just seemed kind of wrong. My legs conveyed this to me and I gently slid down the wall into a pool of myself. I didn’t feel quite so bad when the woman who was standing beside me did exactly the same thing.
I have to say there is also something quite final when you see a bandaged leg, with a wee furry black paw sticking out the end, fall down, thud! into the rubbish bin, just metres from your head.
‘Do you think she is going to wake up with a vague feeling something’s missing?’ I asked from the floor.
Cause let’s consider it from Flopsie’s view. One minute you’re having a high old time chasing cat nip mice around the vet clinic with gay abandon, entertaining the monkeys that are cooing over you, the next you’re waking up to discover that some fucker has hacked off one of your standie-up bits without even asking.
Not to mention a life lived in perpetual fear of people wanting to use you as a tripod and balance cameras on your head.
And then there was the cat abscess. I remain to be so deeply traumatised about this story that I don’t think I can even carry on with it. Just think of what is inside an abscess, now imagine it is the size of a golf ball and understand that it all has to come out. The procedure happened about 11.30 a.m, needless to say I still hadn’t been able to look at any food by 3.30.
Eeeeewwww, feeling queasy thinking about it.
And yes, I did another gentle wall slide for that, as well.
As for the vet. When you say vet, I immediately think of James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, green wellies and ruddy complexions. Hell no, not our vet. Drop dead gorgeous, with a diamond the size of my head on her finger. But the thing that impresses me is that this woman (as well as everybody else who does what she does) can actually carry these procedures out without having to gak into the nearest pot plant. Make statues out of these people, I say.
Anyway, it was one of those weeks when (and I admit I have been doing this rather regularly, lately) I wondered how on earth I ended up in my own life. It was made even more clear by two members of my family, the day of the cat abscess. I got an email from my cousin, ‘All well here – bombs, touch wood, seem to have settled down - long may that last.’
And then a text from my sister who (for work) was spending the week in Singapore, ‘Am at Singapore Fashion Week runway show. Just been drinking Tattinger in VIP area and am now sitting front row, beside local TV celeb.’
I proudly told them about my cat abscess lancing and promptly went and threw up in the nearest pot plant. Now, just currently, trying to figure out how I can work that in to my next invoice.