You know all those jokes about how many (insert group/religion/occupation/nationality/gender/etc. of your choice here) it takes to change a light bulb?
I’ve got my own version now.
But you need to read the other stuff first. (Or you could skip ahead, but that would lead me to believe you’re the kind of person who reads the end of a book first, just to see how it all turns out. Tsk tsk.)
Scratchy had his bandage changed today, and I ended up making an appointment with our regular vet instead of going to the animal hospital, simply because of available appointments and my other obligations. No matter – they’re closer, and I love the vets and the staff.
Anyway, we got to our appointment early, Scratchy and me, with Scratchy complaining the whole way, as usual. Not freaking out – just complaining.
The office was busy, or so it seemed to me, and I had a bit of a wait, but ordinarily I don’t mind waiting. I look at it as enforced relaxation.
Eventually one of the vet techs came to get Scratchy. I explained about the tape at the end of the feeding tube – I crimp it now and tape it shut, because all the little plastic end thingies come out any time Scratchy shakes his head. The tech said okay, and that he’d be back with Scratchy in a little bit.
I managed to find a magazine that wasn’t about you and your pet, and settled in for some leisurely perusing.
A while later, I saw our veterinarian coming over, some papers in her hand. She appeared to be slightly amused and slightly something else.
She told me they’d done a blood panel on Scratchy, per the request by the animal hospital (just to see how his liver’s doing), but it took four of them to hold him down.
So there’s my joke: How many people does it take to draw blood from my cat? One vet and three techs.
Then she said (and I get the feeling this was a message the techs wanted her to relay) that in order to change his bandage, they’d need to sedate him.
Sedate him. To change his bandage.
I told her it only took me and the other vet (at the hospital) to change it – me holding him and the vet doing the bandaging.
I said “Just put me in an exam room with him, give me a few minutes to calm him down, and it’ll be fine.”
So they did. The same tech brought Scratchy in (in his carrier), and left us alone. He gave me a blanket and said something about it was for Scratchy. I wasn’t sure if they’d been trying to restrain him in it or what, but I just put it on one of the chairs so he could curl up on it.
Then I let him out. He was clearly upset, breathing a bit fast, very restless. He paced back and forth on the exam table, hopped onto the counter, onto the floor, up onto one chair, then the next.
While he was prowling around, I figured I might as well take off the old bandage and save us some time. So I untaped and unwrapped until he was free of his untidy ascot, and then let him prowl around a bit more. I also took the following picture:
(I don’t think it’s gross, but I’m not squeamish. It’s Scratchy, with his naked neck with a tube coming out, and my hand.)
Anyway, I kept talking to him and petting him and scratching all the itchy places that had been covered by the bandage. Bit by bit he relaxed, stopped pacing, curled up on the chair (the one with the blanket) and I just hung out with him, talking and petting him and scratching under his chin as needed.
Then our veterinarian came in, with cotton and new stretchy tape to wrap over everything.
I held Scratchy and talked to him and scratched his jaws, and Dr. C taped him up.
The re-bandaging took maybe three minutes.
The visit took an hour and a half.
I’m not upset. I’m actually happy – the fact that he fought off the techs means he’s feeling better and isn’t miserable and lethargic.
And he’s eating more on his own.
And he’s less yellow.
And I can’t wait to tell Alex that it took four people to take a blood sample from his cat.
He’ll love that.