I didn't sleep well last night.The evening started off promising
enough...Anna went to sleep with little
fuss around .Amanda and I got in a few games of a card
game called Dominion.I got to catch up
on a little reading, and as I started to drift off, my cat Pinkie decided it
was time to lay down the law by tormenting a dog that we are pet-sitting for a
few days.Not wanting to have to focus
on a wound care protocol for either myself or the dog, I first had to convince
Pinkie to chill out.As I would reach to
pull her out from under the dresser, the dog would approach with ignorant
curiosity, and my wife then had to intervene.Eventually separating the two, I figured Pinkie would be fine in the
office for the night - perhaps she could enjoy the warmth of the network
router.Ten minutes later she began a
mournful cry adjacent to our daughters room, so that plan was scratched.Out came the baby gate, thinking that if we
allow both dogs to sleep at the foot of our bed, the cats will see that we're
fine and not have to follow thru on their assassination plans.Since I didn't shut the hall closet door properly
when I grabbed the gate, strange noises started up about five minutes
later.Miranda was free climbing thru
the wrapping paper in search of some treats that we hide up high.As Amanda went to fix that issue, I heard the
thumping of Pinkie hurdling over the gate to hide up in our box springs beyond
our reach.At that point, everything
becomes a blur as I drift in and out of consciousness keeping one ear open for
the sounds of bloodshed.
Here are the nuts and bolts of our four-legged friends from
Pinkie - "my cat".The regulator.If something
alarming is going down, she wants to kill it.The regurgitator.Sometimes pees
while standing up.
Miranda - "Amanda's cat".Overheard me campaign against her adoption,
and never forgave.An extremely
sensitive pregnancy test.Eats
ribbon.Vomits ribbon.Occasionally defecates ribbon.Scavenges.Escapes.
Lucy - our resident canine.Multiple uncommon health disorders.Herds cattle amazingly well.Storm anxiety.Loves other dogs,
unless she is on a leash.
Presley - the guest.Fleas love her.Digs.Cannot see tomato plants.Doesn't know that no means no, especially
regarding licking people.Always smells
just a little funky.
Now the above may come across as negative, but they are
realities, and we love them regardless.Thank goodness, because if our warts were deterrents, I might be the loneliest
of them all.We adapt to the issues and
don't demand change, but sometimes we do end up losing sleep.This brings me to the point I have been
No one is perfect, and the same applies to the animals in
our lives.When we bring one of them into
the fold, they certainly introduce a great deal of happiness, but at the same
time we have to have realistic expectations.Sometimes I'll be consulting with a client on a problem only to realize
that they are wanting something that their particular cat just will not stand
for.In other instances, the root of an
issue involves having one too many cats in a limited space or perhaps a
collection of mismatched personalities.As related above, it can be quite difficult to manage the herd...patience
and understanding are key.
To be clear, the Cat Veterinary Clinic has not owned the
property on West Alabama for a long time - rather, the
two bungalows we operated out of were part of a lease agreement.A few years back, we were informed that
construction on a new development would start on West Alabama
during 2013, and we started the difficult process of relocation.
If I have any worries about the clinic, it would be the
physical distance that we have had to move.Beyond that point, I can think of no other aspect of our facility that
does not greatly exceed our prior location.When sitting down to design our new location, we approached the project
with the perspective that if we had to make a change, it would be a change for
the better.Trading up, as they
At our new location, we no longer have to ask clients to
leave the exam room so that we can shoot x-rays in the adjacent closet.Rather, we have a proper lead-lined room for advanced
imaging tests.We no longer have to
examine a cat in one building, then pack them up in their carrier and transfer
them to the other building for the next procedure.We now have drop down oxygen to provide to cats
in respiratory distress whether they are in an exam room, the x-ray room, or in
a cage.Cats needing critical care have
their own quiet room away from the hustle of routine procedures.Our surgical patients now recover in a space
where a greater number of technicians can look over them.We now have an isolation facility that is far
away all other cats, has its own exhaust system, and provides sufficient workspace.The list goes on and on...
I have greatly enjoyed the charm of our previous facility,
but utilizing a retrofitted space presented a number of limitations.At our new facility on White Oak, we have
created a space that provides an extremely high level of veterinary care for
our patients.I have never been more
proud to work at the Cat Veterinary Clinic.
Before our wedding, everyone told me of how things were going to change and how I needed to be prepared for this, that, and the other. Given the obstacles I've moved past, I would smile and nod, thinking that the advice applied to everyone else but me. Of course, they were right...marriage is a great thing, but one has to put a lot of effort into it to make sure all is well. For me, the daily mantra has changed to "happy wife, happy life."
I'm consistantly amazed at how one's perspective adjusts once you're in a new situation. Just as marriage has puts certain things in a new light, fatherhood has as well. Amanda and I are two years into this parenting adventure, and I cannot help but see my patient's issues in a new light. On subjects such as weight management and oral home care, it's hard to urge folks along certain paths when the prospects of doing so with all I have going on seem so daunting. If I had to radically re-think how I fed our animals at home tonight, I might just laugh myself silly.
I've been thinking quite a bit about a recent article I read. The message was that humans have always looked at the countless stars in the night sky and not worried about the vast complexity before them. If we can handle that, then why shouldn't we be prepared to navigate thru what seems like an increasingly complicated life. Ultimately, we all have the capability to take on these challenges, but I think we have to cut ourselves some slack when there is only so much time in the day.
Two weekends ago, Amanda and I headed up to Seattle for a meeting through the American Association of Feline Practitioners that focused on on surgery and dermatology. Going to these continuing education conferences can be tedious if a speaker isn't engaging or focuses on a subject that has minimal relevance on your daily caseload. Of all the sessions I've attended since getting out of school, this one was the best that I've ever attended.
My favorite lectures were run by a surgeon out of Colorado State University. This was now the third time that I had spent a day listening to Dr. Howard Seim as he discussed proper technique during soft tissue surgery. Once I got back to Houston, I had one surgery that I performed that week where I made three significant modifications to what I would have usually done. Dr. Christensen later commented that the patient had the smoothest recovery she'd seen after that extensive of a procedure. Our knowledge base and materials continue to advance, and as is the trend, we are updating some of our instrumentation and suture choices to deliver better and more consistent outcomes.
On the day dedicated to dermatology, I was pleased to find that both of the speakers (Dr. Edmund Rosser of Michigan State University and Dr. Stephen White of UC Davis) made the time fly by. They didn't reveal anything that I hadn't heard before, but I appreciate the opportunity to refresh my memory banks on a subject that can be drawn out over the course of months. What I mean is, while some skin disease cases can be solved on the same day, others can prove quite difficult as certain tests have a long turn around time and very different issues can mimic one another. 2012 has also been a horrible year for fleas in Houston, and it was nice to get an update on the different tools available and the reality of their effectiveness.