The Suitcase Lady


May 30, 2011, 11:13 am

America is a weird country. We got a call from our vet clinic the other night at dinnertime. They were calling to inquire how our big ginger cats, Gato and Neko, were feeling after their yearly shots.

At the time of the call, both cats were tangled up beneath our feet under the kitchen table hoping for some fallout from our dinner. We assured our clinic that all was well (except that we would have to be careful not to trip over our panhandlers).

My husband and I have cared for seven of our family elders. Not one of their numerous physicians- and some were excellent- ever bothered to call and follow up after serious procedures. In fact, no doctor even bothered to show up and provide comfort when these people were dying. Hospice workers, underpaid but remarkable nursing home aides and we cared for the dying.

In contrast, a vet came to our home in our cat Blaise’s last hour and stayed to comfort us. Is it time, perhaps, to question a system where animals get more compassionate care than people?

A remedy is at hand. I made a checklist the other day. I have a heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, skin and various bones, actually fewer bones than in a cat’s body. Other mammals have all these parts as well. I am at risk for a carload of diseases; heart, cancer, arthritis, respiratory, etc. Ditto for our pet mammals. Obviously, I should have a vet as a doctor.

Tongue in cheek, I discussed this possibility with one of our wonderful vets. She proceeded to tell us how hard she has to fight for quality, personal care for her own aging father. By using her medical skills, she was able to question the doctors med choices for her dad and get him on better medications.

Why aren’t the libertarians crusading for our right to choose a vet? I guess they are just too busy taking health care of any kind away from all of us.


4 Comments for this entry

  • Anne Smith

    It is my understanding that it is very difficult to get into Vet School and many of those who are not accepted go on to Medical School instead.

  • Naomi

    As I read this, I wasn’t thinking about the lack of compassionate care given to people. Instead, I was relieved that animals get the level of care that they do. I know there are bigger injustices in the world, but it always makes me sad that animals can’t advocate for themselves. So I’m happy to see them getting extra-attentive care.

    On another note, I’ve had follow-up calls from dentists. So maybe there’s still some hope!

  • Jen

    Our pediatrician regularily follows up- even now, like when Olivia had pneumonia. But, alas, none of the grown- up docs do…

  • marilyn verick

    Right on, Mary.