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family medicine

October 8, 2007

My husband is away from home 70 hours a week these days, between commuting, working, and time in class. My Cat is always home. This means that my primary other-focusedness falls primarily to the Cat’s health, well-being, and whim fulfillment.

Just as my husband and I have grown more alike over the years, so have the Cat and I. The Cat and I, for instance, both see endocrinologists for specialized care. His vet is actually an internal medicine specialist with additional expertise in endocrinology, oncology, and gerontology. She agreed to stay on as his regular vet after his bout of hepatic lipidosis and the ongoing vicissitudes of his diabetes.

I spoke with Coolidge’s vet last week because his average glucose values were creeping upward. She thought it would be good to do his annual exam now rather than waiting till January. I’m fatigued and stressed, still waiting to begin cortisone treatment for adrenal failure, but Coolidge should not have to wait just because I’m not well.

So I hefted my 17-plus-pound Cat and his carrier into the car this morning and drove to his vet’s new location, twice the distance of her former one. The drive is fairly scenic if you enjoy international districts and strip malls. One small business park caught my eye because it was so compactly practical: an insurance agency, medical clinic, and funeral home, all under one roof.

Our vet ran more tests this year than she has before, I suspect because her new rent is higher, but the reason given was because my Cat is “old.” He’s nine. The doctor was also refreshed this morning from a weekend cruise, and of course, her health is conducive to my Cat’s health.

In addition to his vitals and blood pressure, a fairly technical thing with cats, she wanted lots of blood to send to lots of labs, including one in Texas that is apparently the one lab in the hemisphere if not on the entire planet that does PLIs, a test for pancreatitis. She also wanted a urine sample. I was dubious, because the tech for whom Coolidge had a peculiar hatred and on whom he routinely peed, was no longer on the staff. But the tech he tolerates took him back to the lab and rubbed his belly and he did very well. I’m not sure what sort of catchment logistics they use, but at least the tech didn’t need to change her smock.

I waited in the exam room, trying not to conk out, and hoping I’d be able to stay awake long enough to drive home. I went to the lobby to get a Coke, and when I returned to the exam room, Coolidge’s carrier was gone, so I knew they had completed his blood draw and secured the coveted urine.  They were waiting for me in the hall. The place is vast and all the rooms have doors on either side, so there is no end of potential for getting lost.

Veterinary billing has reached a pinnacle of efficiency. The bill was generated simultaneously with the lab orders. The tech presented me with a bill for the visit and labwork for more than $400.

I figure that covers costs and cruise and leaves me enough for a role of tan vinyl tape to patch the dash of my 16-year-old car.

  1. Janet permalink
    October 8, 2007 3:55 pm


    Tell Coolidge that he needs to don that beret and little red bow tie and learn to play the violin on street corners for a little cash.

  2. October 8, 2007 3:57 pm

    Excellent idea, Janet. You’ll knit him one? I’m writing up his press releases.

  3. October 8, 2007 6:02 pm

    “Danger, Will Robinson!” Rubbing the cat’s belly would do that!?

    Major kittie kudos! There should be a new cliche called “The Coolidge Dilemma” or something like that. He’s gotta be pretty miserable. Good thing he doesn’t speak English!

  4. October 8, 2007 6:07 pm

    Miserable!? You’ve got to be kidding. Coolidge doesn’t know the meaning of the word, and wouldn’t tolerate such a thing if he did.

    English to him is an inferior language; he speaks Siamese, like his presumptive father.

  5. Ruben permalink
    October 9, 2007 9:17 am

    If I had to rub a cat’s belly for a living I think I would want a weekend cruise, too.

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