Monday, April 21, 2014

Kavetching.........with Oma

Sunday noonish, right after the great confetti incident in the backyard, we were lounging about in PJ's thinking of what nonsense we wanted to perpetrate on the world. GK stopped by the kitty tree to love on Uma, the black cat who now has armpits that look like Chewbacca the Wookie was her Dad. When Uma turned her head towards GK copious amounts of drool spread down to the floor. GK's first instinct was to smell her breath......because of Cybella and her renal failure last year. No smell and she was perky and alert......albeit very, very wet.

We kept a close watch on her and by 2 it was evident that something was amiss. She was almost floating in her drool. We packed up and headed for the Emergency Clinic, cuz that's where everyone wants to be on a holiday, don't ya know.

OUR BLACK CAT......uh maybe not
I had a suspicion that Ms. Uma had followed through with her inventory check of all the houseplants in my cubby hole. I had to shoo her out and off several times on Saturday night when I was turning off my computer. I've had the same houseplants, except for the new one SM gave me for my BD for at least 10 years. And with that said, I must also say that I have seen all my cats graze on the snake plant stubs (where you cut the plant when it gets leggy and shove that part back in the dirt and the other part just hardens and becomes sticks). The cats have sorta cleaned their teeth on it. But the ones up high are there because I have never been sure if they would be harmful. Actually, I really never even gave it a thought until we were getting ready to go to the vet. I took parts of the plants and was prepared.

I know that all lilies are lethal to cats. I haven't had lillies, even the flowers in bouquets in my house in 30 years for that very reason. I know that diffenbachia (dumb cane) is lethal. But I had no idea about the night blooming cereus, pregnant onion or snake plant. But we sure found out about them from the AAHA poison hot line. Each of these plants can cause gastric distress, severe drooling and the pregnant onion can cause heart arrhythmia.

The clinic put Uma on IV, kept her overnight and bright and early this morning called and let us know she was fine and we could come and get her. I was so panicked because I felt so responsible for her dilemma and GK was very upset. Understandably but still it was kinda misplaced anger and hard to deal with. As Shelley tried desperately to calm both of us (poor thing), she explained, "shit happens". Which at that moment, neither of us could claim as the truth. Moving right along.............

I know you have all had experiences with health workers, animal health workers and others in a stress situation. I know we all have horror stories and hero stories to tell. I just thought I'd share a major gripe I have about life when it comes to crisis moments.

I took my hearing ear human (Shelley) with me so that someone could hear the words being spoken.
I am pleasant and understanding when in crisis mostly because I have been trained by life to throw up or cry later.
I try to take people as they come even if they are rude but 
I don't do well with people who are confrontational when it really isn't needed or called for in a situation.

We entered the vet's office. The admission person asked for the information. When given, she immediately said, "oh that's a lily and that's really terrible". Thank you for that.

We had to call the poison control ourselves (because we were told it would be cheaper if we did) and were on the phone for 45 minutes.

Gave the clinic the case number and information that we were told. Saw the vet and the first thing she tells us is she was given different information. In a tone that indicated that we were booger eating morons. Then this female with no people skills tells us that they would treat Uma for all of the plants because she didn't know which one Uma ingested. I told her neither did we, that's why I brought them in. She said I only brought in one and didn't know what I was talking about..............never mind the blah, blah, blah. She was frickin rude and disrespectful and dismissive.

Poor GK, she was mad. I was more understanding of lack of "bed side manner" but offended and still put off. GK didn't want to leave Uma with "that vet". Oh hell, what a nightmare. Shelley and I explained to her that we knew the woman would be a better vet than people person......but I felt like I was shining her on with the story of the Easter Bunny, ya know?

Shelley, ever the optimists consoled both of us and we waited for an evening call from the clinic. Dr. I have no tact, called and I couldn't get to my phone quickly enough. She left a message but I called back because I had a question. When I got her on the line it was the same dismissive tone of voice like my status as a booger eating moron had not improved any. She also informed me that she had already left a message. That sentence should have a big ass period at the end.....cuz that's how she said it. Boom.

So I listened to the message. You know what I discovered? This woman left a rather soft spoken almost cordial recount of Uma's progress and what she had done to ease Uma's symptoms. I think it was easier for her to talk to the phone than to a person. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm....who do I know that is like that?

And until we went to pick up Uma and I got home and was able to process all of what happened and how I felt so much relief.....I didn't realize that I'm sure that what Shelley and I told GK about this vet was true. And my best mother of the grands and of me sometimes knew immediately. Because I live with a "letter of the law", don't always have the words to explain the situation, don't make eye contact with someone and have a hard time communicating, sometimes use the wrong facial expressions for the situation, good hearted, on the spectrum RyLeigh.

I now have a sense that I should have been more aware of what was happening in our interaction with this vet and more understanding. As I look back at her behavior......I know she is a specially gifted human on the spectrum as well. And I'm grateful that she helped our Uma and a little ashamed of myself for not being in the moment and recognizing the signs.

But hell, I'm so invested in my animals, my grands and want only good things for those I love. . . I sometimes need a kick in the arse by the universe. Humility is a dish served in small doses. It always a good thing to pull your head out.......this being accompanied by a giant sucking sound.

Happy Monday..........and now I'm goin' to squooze the wookie cat, who just cost us a fortune (sigh).


  1. Sometimes the universe sends us aggravating and expensive lessons. I'm glad Uma's OK and that you guys at least had an idea of which plants she got in to. When the same thing happened with Luna last year, she had been out in the yard with Joe before the drooling started and the emergency vet acted like we were the WORST people on Earth for not having noticed what she may have eaten, given that she is a Hoover of a dog - nose constantly to the ground sniffing.

    Ours wasn't effected by anything other than thinking we were dumb though, as we saw/heard her interact with other humans who she didn't think this of and her message on my voicemail was just as nasty.

    1. Yep, we've had some of those lessons too. It's funny how this one was so way different.

  2. Glad Uma was sorted out by a person more on the wavelength with her patients than she was with her patients' families. Hope you've worked out the offending plant now too!

  3. So glad your kitty is home and doing well.

    1. Thanks Clair.....she hasn't purred yet but I'm sure that's coming soon.

  4. I should have put this in the main part of the blog.......all the houseplants are outside. And they won't be coming back in.

  5. I'm glad Uma is okay and that's really the most important thing.

  6. Okay! Stop apologizing , jjezzzzzzz.....the phone message was polite asi it would have been proof of Rude Bitch! Basic common respect, never mind respecting elders long lost stuff....I as well am finding the human race reverting back to caveman behaviour....but now at a 61 yrs young, have decided that instead of being upset about THEIR un polite behaviour I'm calling them on it....It's my duty as the Senior Bitch in the room....
    Accidents happen, and all is well.....but the Vet is still a Bitch!

  7. I am so glad that Uma is back at home and I hope that she purrs soon!! But you shouldn't blame happens to us all with cats! trust me I know!

  8. I have seen a vet such as yours. My regular vet was a sweetheart but sometimes I had to go to Randy if Jim wasn't available. Randy was horrid with people but sweet as could be to animals. He was OK with me but I saw him rip people a new one for little reason.
    Just glad Uma is doing fine and all her temptations are now outside..

  9. Oh, what an ordeal! First and foremost, I'm so glad beautiful Uma is okay. As for the vet, even though you may have more of an understanding of social disorders than many, please don't be hard on yourself for not recognizing the signs in the midst of a crisis. ❤

  10. Glad things turned out okay for Uma. I hope she's purring soon.

  11. Just the thought of the "Emergency Vet" brings fear and horror to my heart. The two we have here are a choice of Death Camps, I'm sorry to say. We have never had a positive experience, and I resent the fact that we even have to rely on these places. Your pet will ALWAYS get deathly ill AFTER HOURS! It never fails. And going to the Emergency Vet is not a happy trip so, of course, you are stressed and on edge. Your baby is ill..the Cuckoos are Worried and then you get someone who is not sympathetic or understanding- WELL JUST GREAT! But you got through the ordeal and Uma is okay. DO NOT look back and chastise reacted how every Normal person would have done in that situation. And I bet the Vet is used to upset and on-edge Moms and Dads- Just BE HAPPY and Hug Uma extra for me!

  12. Yea for Uma feeling better! But, yea, shit happens & lesson learned.

  13. Oh my word, what a day!.. Just glad to hear your Uma is all better again! ~tina

  14. You are very wise to have re-look at the story from a different angle, very hard to do when caught up and smack in the middle of furry crisis. How wonderful you did, otherwise, yep, just thinking what an a-hole, instead you recognised the true talent and professionalism behind an individual whose abruptness & communication (or lack of) almost blinded you to the bigger picture... well done, not sure if I could have held myself back long enough to have been enlightened, very nice story & so happy it all worked out :)

  15. The universe works in mysterious ways! I am so happy Uma is well now ;o) She is such a gorgeous cat ;o) Big purry hugs ;o)

  16. I'm tired (and went from frustrated to "thank goodness she's okay now!") just reading this. I guess the last is the best. Thank goodness she's okay.


I love to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.