Sunday, February 03, 2008

My cat Scout had a little incident the other night.

My brave little flower face

Last week, about 10:30 PM, I noticed she was licking her back leg a lot in the way that cats do so elegantly. One leg up, head between legs, usually when company is over. So, I picked her up and looked at her backside. I didn't see anything at first, then noticed a very red angry area near her...well, you know. I took her and looked at her under better light, and was horrified when I saw the extent of it.

X-Files.

It was a gaping wound with considerable hair loss around it that revealed pink and red agitated skin. I looked up an emergency vet online, called them and explained the injury. They told me to bring her in, and in the pouring rain, Scout in her carrier, we drove to the emergency vet in Studio City. It was pouring torrents of rain, and being a Saturday night on Ventura Blvd., I couldn't find a place to park. I pulled into a parking lot behind a Thai restaurant that was next door to the Hospital. They had their back door open and I approached it, and asked if it was also the parking lot for the Animal Hospital. The woman must have seen the worry on my face, because she said that it wasn't, but I that could park in their lot no problem. I thanked her and ran back to my car to get Scout.

The Hospital was actually a couple doors down than where I thought, so I walked in the rain, careful not to jostle Scout and found the place. They buzzed me in and I explained everything and filled out paperwork as they took Scout in the back to be examined. They were incredibly sweet to me and to Scout.

A few minutes later, the front staff came out to tell me that she had a ruptured anal gland, yes, I know...gross, and that it wasn't life threatening. Apparently this happens in cats and dogs and is quite common. They showed me to an examination room and the nice front desk attendant showed me how to work the television remote and also pointed me to their cappuccino maker that with the press of a button, made an assortment of espresso drinks. This was one swank place, designed for the comfort of both the animals and their owners. Flat screen TV's on the walls in the lobby and the examination rooms. They have pictures of the place here.

I watched TV, the last bit of a 48 Hours Mystery, when the vet walked in. She told me the options for Scout and examined her further. We agreed on a treatment and I signed the paperwork to allow them to perform the minor surgery that she would need to repair her leg.

That included the costs, which turned out to be $700.00.

I came to the vet knowing it would cost a lot, whatever it was and was completely prepared to pay to ensure that she get the best care possible. I love my cats so much and Scout has been with me since around 1997. She's a sweet little lady and we've been through a lot together. The thought that she'd have anything life threatening as I drove to the vet were thoughts and a reality that I wasn't prepared to face. Thank God, for now I don't have to.

She stayed overnight at the vet and I picked her up the next day, bandaged with the lamp shade that you see in the picture. She's been a total trooper and yes, I've had a few laughs at her expense in her attempts to navigate around the house with the cone on. I give her medicine twice a day, and clean the wound and apply medicine to that. The gland is actually on the back of the leg, just below the exit, if you know what I mean. She's already been back once to have a drain removed and they told me that she was healing just fine. I've been so impressed with her spirit during all of this. And she looks so darn cute in that collar even though I know she must hate it. I'll have one last visit to get Scout's stitches removed in a few days.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to the Animal Emergency Centre in Studio City. I was incredibly impressed with their professionalism, candor, compassion, facilities and the way they treated Scout.

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