I was sitting at my computer downstairs and I heard a faint kitten-like cry. It was so faint that I thought perhaps a neighbor kitten was sitting on the window ledge of my porch, outside. I looked out the window, saw no kitten and started to walk back to my computer when I heard it again, but this time, it wasn't a faint kitten meow, it was loud and nerving. I looked in the direction of where it came from, and Harley was making his way down the stairs toward me and when our eyes met, he let out a cry so saddening that my heart melted.
Now on the stairs with Harley, he seemed fine, he seemed lovable, he seemed to be overjoyed that I was stroking his fur. I always know when Harley is so overcome with joy, he slobbers a bit. When most cats are overcome with intense happiness they forget to swallow... "can't fool the droll!", I always say. Well, he was there, on the stairs with me, rubbing his head on my hands, loving every second of it (and drooling like mad) and then I felt it. A swelling of his ear so big that it startled me. He wouldn't let me look at first, I imagine it to be quite sensitive. Finally, after some coaxing, he allowed me to examine his ears. He has a massive hematoma on his ear flap. I tried to determine how much pain he might be in and see what I could do to help alleviate his discomfort.
I don't like messing with animals ears so much. I am a practical and resourceful person but I do know my limits. Animals ears have so much sensitivity to them, so many nerves that could be damaged, and... well... frankly speaking, I am not a vet so I do not want to chance Harley's ears just to save a few bucks. I called the vet's office - naturally they were closing in 10 minutes. They told me I could bring him in tomorrow morning (that would be today).
Today, upon arriving at the vet's office, I told them I wanted to put Harley on my Wellness Plan. After I jumped through the usual hoops filling out paperwork, (not for the wellness plan, btw) and waiting forever for the vet to come in the exam room, the vet finally made his grand appearance. (Can you smell the disdain yet?? You will in a moment.)
This is a new vet, meaning, I had never seen him before. I have been bringing my pack to this particular office for three years and not once had I seen this bumpkin. I first told him I am putting Harley on my plan and he said,
"Whoa!! Who told you you could do that?"
"The girl I called last night as well as the girl at your front counter this morning", I replied.
That bumpkin then proceeded to lecture ME on administrative procedures. The whole time this hillbilly slim-jim is flapping his gums, I'm thinking to myself, I don't work for you, ya jackass. I finally stopped him and told him that I don't care what the procedures are, I don't do your paperwork - "I am a CLIENT!!!" He quickly stopped his lecture and saw the error in his ways... preaching to the choir is pointless.
Keep in mind that I did not express my full "anger" with this vet, (yet). I knew that Harley needed treatment and it would, more than likely, be surgery. I didn't want to put Harley in a helpless position and be at the mercy of Dr. Huckleberry Knobjockey because I chose to spout off at the vet and tell him what I think of his bedside manner.
They say that first impressions are the most important. At this point, my first impression of this vet is already in an undertow and things only went further south from there. After the lecture was finished, he looked at every inch of the cat, except his injured ear. WTF?!? I was growing impatient with this guy but bit my tongue. The vet tech could tell I was "questioning" this vet's abilities. Perhaps it was when I told the tech, "that's fucked up" right after the vet left the room, that he clued into my dissatisfaction, I dunno, just guessing.
Anyway, the vet came back in, then said Harley needed surgery on his ear and since he's going on a wellness plan, you might as well get his teeth cleaned and bla, bla, bla. I understand the logic of the teeth cleaning, most animals have to be put under anesthesia for a thorough cleaning, and since Harley was going under for his ear anyway, might as well get it all done. Its the way the vet said it that yanked my chain just a bit too hard. He gave me the impression (#2) that he is all about the money. He was "up-selling" my cat's prognosis in dollars and cents - almost like pointing out the upgrades of a car purchase.
I already knew what I wanted so I stopped his spiel and asked for the "basic plus" plan - all my dogs are on the "dog version" of that package.
I was there to treat Harley's ear, to take care of the immediate pain he was enduring, to get him treated. That's when things go really interesting.
I was ready for Harley to have surgery, for him to be fixed up, brought back to an acceptable comfort level. The vet however didn't see it that way. What he saw was that he was "tired today", "golfing on Sunday, and Monday is a holiday". Then he said he doesn't like to do these surgeries until the hematoma is at least 4-5 days old. THAT IS PREPOSTEROUS!! He said all of this as he was walking out the exam room. I wanted to say, "How dare you try to justify your holiday time by hiding it in vet-talk BS - I'm not a fool!"
Instead, I said, "What about Monday?" wanting clarification. The vet tech had to answer me because the door had already closed with the vet no longer in sight.
The tech told me that Monday is Memorial Day and the vet will be in only until 2:00pm. I asked him if the they are closing early and he said, "No, but the doctor is going to a BBQ that day because its a holiday". I was livid and that poor tech knew it right off the bat. It was now my turn to lecture.
I explained to the vet tech that I realize he is not to blame but I had something to say and he was going to listen. And so I gave him the "how dare this vet put his personal agenda above the sufferings of animals" speech.
It was then that I remembered Harley STILL needed the surgery, so I apologized for my outburst toward him. The tech said he understood, and that a lot of other people were complaining about this particular vet too - interesting!
The tech felt bad because he could see Harley was uncomfortable, so I asked him if anybody can be bumped on Monday to get Harley's surgery. He checked but no deal. I took a Tuesday appointment instead.
I hate like hell that Harley has to live with this until then but I felt my hands were tired. Going to another vet was not an option in my area, I am sure I would have gotten the same "holiday" routine anyway.
Yeah know, its funny (strange) that if Harley were a human child, the doctor would have treated it right on the spot. What makes animals any less in pain over the same injury - is it that the cat isn't milking every ounce of sympathy from the parents, vying for guilt-points?
My animals are my kids and I am the voice of my kids - even the whispering ones.
I'll keep y'all updated on Harley's condition, thanks for reading.
This is DaCanon blasting off!!