Never Trust A Vet Without A Pet
Courtesy of: Dr. Michelle
This is a common saying heard jokingly amongst the veterinary community. Well, up until about two years ago, I was a vet without a pet. Sure, my parents still had my 20 year old cockatiel at their house, but since they live about 4000 miles away, I could hardly claim Puffy to be “my” pet anymore. It was known around the clinic that I wanted a cat, but not just any cat- it had to be a “special” cat. So one day I walked into the clinic after being off for two days, and I noticed a little grey and white kitten in one of the kennels. “Your cat is doing very well today!,” exclaimed one of the staff members. “My WHAT?,” was my initial response. While I was off, a good Samaritan dropped off two kittens found in a chip box on the side of the road! The female was healthy and we named her Autumn until we found her a home. The male was less fortunate. He was sick with a high fever and a bloated belly. After a more thorough examination, the male cat was found to have an infected kidney, filled with pus! An emergency surgery was his only chance of survival! Now, it isn’t every day that a stray cat gets a second chance at life, but since he was still purring while feeling so sick, Dr. Gwen felt that he deserved that chance. And after all, she knew of a certain vet that needed a pet!
I went to Walmart that night and purchased a comfy cat bed to put in his kennel (even though I knew that with all the blankets and pillows in the cage, he was probably sleeping more comfortably than I do at night!), and put a name tag on the cage. “Flynn Milan”. I guess I was keeping him. After the successful surgery to remove the infected kidney, he had a touch-and-go few days. Days quickly turned to weeks and it became clear that Flynn would make a complete recovery. The only long-term complication of being so sick would be a severe heart murmur, likely due to the infection spreading up into one of the valves of his heart.
While all of this was going on back at the clinic, we were living in apartment that didn’t allow cats, but we were in the process of renovating a house which would be ready for us to move into a few months down the road. So with the blessing of the entire staff, Flynn took up residency at the clinic! He quickly learned how to chew though the biggest bags of dog food up front, that not every dog wanted to play with a cat (some wanted to snack on a cat…), and that Victor liked his own space (well, until he met Wiggles of course!).
I am forever grateful to Dr. Gwen for saving his life, and for the Lost Souls Fund for making his surgery possible in the first place. He is a very happy and healthy cat who is just starting to burn off some of his kitten energy! It has taken him two years to learn that kitchen counters are not for sleeping on and that his housemate Earl is not a chew toy. Flynn will be your best friend if you toss him a toy mouse or let him play under a running faucet. I am so happy to finally be a vet with pets!