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Picture of the Day

December 31, 2013

having a sick kitty is very sad and scary.
day by day we palpated lump on her side,
convinced one day larger, the next smaller,
generally about golf ball size. she had one
once in seattle--an abscess--and it took 3
people, a giant bald patch, overnight stay,
and $400 to treat it at la clinique de chat.
  now here we are on remote volcano slope.
we'd heard tell of an alabama gentleman, a
large-animal vet, drug out of retirement by
popular demand. we found unmarked office
and waited in wire chairs on his back patio.
the wailing cat ahead of us had Singer written
on its carrier; is that the cat's name or yours?
the doctor started a new patient file on a piece
of looseleaf paper, shaky hand scrawling M \ 5 o
but when time came to shave her with straight
razor his steady touch kept patch size
to a minimum. he plunged the big
needle in without even asking us
if we wanted to watch but there we were so why not?
pus and a little bit of blood sucked up into the tube.
after that, i asked if he had a restroom. "just go in
the yard. there isn't a bush that hasn't been used."
as i was peeing, the next client arrived but i don't
think she saw me. i asked the vet if he needed his cane
picked up off the floor but he said no, he got around
the office by leaning on things. there was no "billing
process"--he just told us how much and we paid him: $79.
miso, of course, being the super cat that she is, took it all
like a champ, surfed the dashboard on the hana highway.