The majority of the times I take my animals to the emergency hospital, I could have waited for normal business hours and normal costs.
Last night probably was one of those times. When I found a trail of blood on the floor, of course I was alarmed. The Great Catsby was dripping. An abcess on her neck had opened.
I have seen my share of cat abscesses, but I hadn’t seen so much blood. The inner dialogue began. Do I take her in? Do I wait until morning? The bright red spots on the floor caused me to dig for the cat carrier, which hadn’t been used in many years.
By the time we arrived at the Animal Emergency Hospital, it was around 10:30, only an hour past my bedtime. There were too many cars in the small parking lot.
Early on in the wait, I watched a mom and daughter come out of a room, the five or so year-old was swinging the empty cat carrier, singing happily. Mom carried a white box and a ceramic paw print.
A cat that hadn’t peed in two days became a priority. We were there long enough to find that he was going to be fine. No white box for him.
Two young women waited for their roommate, supporting her in the loss of her cat. It wasn’t a good night.
One woman was frantic, waiting for news of her daughter’s Pit bull. After swimming in Fernando Ridge Reservoir, the dog started to have trouble walking and started to seize. The doctor didn’t know what was wrong. Fourteen hundred dollars for a question mark of a diagnosis.
A Lane County Sheriff brought in a dog that was having trouble walking. It looked too skinny. I immediately thought it had been abused and neglected. Turns out there were two dogs running loose and we’re hit by a car. Two Chains and Rockstar. The Sheriff called the owner to let him know that Rockstar was on the side of River Road, but Two Chains was going to make it.
Another mother daughter pair brought in their cat. They had already been to a regular veterinary clinic, but the feline was getting worse and looked like it was on the verge of dying. Panic pressed down on them. The mom was desperate for answers. How can a seven-year-old cat suddenly be on the brink of death?
Six years ago, Jules, my Chocolate Labrador, got sick. We made the rounds. Emergency Vet. Regular vet. Cancer. Treatable. Took him to a specialty vet to remove cancer. But when they opened him up they learned he didn’t have just one mass, but cancer had taken over. Six years later and I still can’t write about my dog without tears. He was only nine. He seemed so healthy.
Catsby’s situation wasn’t dire, so case after case kept leap frogging us. This is a good thing I told myself. I could have waited until morning, but with animals you just never know. I was just thankful I wasn’t walking out with a box and an empty carrier.