Yesterday, my husband Michael, our cat Joan, and I were waiting for hours to see a veterinarian at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.
Why were we waiting there yesterday? Well, we’ve been waiting for over six weeks, since we adopted Joan, for various problems (mastitis, skin problems, and ear problems) to clear up. During the waiting, we’ve consulted with the adoption agency and our home-visiting veterinarian (who is on vacation), and we’ve tried oral antibiotics, injected antibiotics, ear mite medication, different cones, topical creams, and lots of patience. Despite assurances that these problems “should” resolve quickly, the waiting for Joan to get better kept going on and on.
During the weeks of waiting, my son Aaron said that when he overheard Michael and I talking for long periods of time, he knew we were talking about Joan. Michael and I wanted the waiting time to be as short and as comfortable as possible for all of us, but despite following all the advice, Joan’s conditions got better, worse, better, worse, and so on.
Yesterday, getting sick of the waiting and noticing that the problems had gotten worse again, I investigated waiting times at nearby urgent care vet centers. We didn’t expect the waiting time at Angell to be so long (when I called at 1:00 PM, I was told there was “no waiting” compared to a four hour waiting time at another facility), but there were many people and animals waiting to be seen when we got there at 2.
While I was waiting in line to check us in, I noticed that a film crew was videotaping Joan who was waiting in her carrier:
Joan is always ready for her close-up, no matter how she is waiting or what cone she is wearing. Here she is earlier in the day, waiting for this whole cone thing to be over with:
I had added the Mona Lisa mask to that soft cone to prevent her from licking her leg, but doesn’t Joan look like she’s waiting for me to take that damn thing off?
Here are photos I took while we were waiting and waiting and waiting to be seen at Angell:
While we were waiting in our assigned waiting area …
… Michael and I discussed the logic of having the cats and the birds waiting in the same place. I speculated that this was for the benefit of the cats, because having birds in the area would make the waiting more interesting.
As the waiting dragged on and on, I asked an employee there how much longer we’d be waiting. I was told, “Barring any emergencies, Joan is up next to be seen.” The waiting gets easier when the end is in sight, don’t you think?
Soon after that, I overheard somebody checking in a pet that was “very lethargic.” I wondered if that pet might bump Joan. Moments later, I noticed that a sad-looking young man had taken a seat across from us holding….a chicken.
Indeed, the chicken (named “Chicken”) did bump Joan (Chicken was in worse shape than Joan), but after another period of waiting, we did finally see a vet. The vet prescribed this cone for Joan:
While people call this the cone of shame, there is no shame in waiting to get better. The vet also put medicine in Joan’s ears, tested the bacteria on Joan’s skin, gave us more oral antibiotics, another external ear mite application, and these skin wipes which are waiting to be used at home:
There will be several more weeks of waiting before Joan is all better.
While we were waiting for Joan to be seen, I posted this on Twitter.
People’s responses, which included this …
… and this …
… cheered me up while we were waiting.
Later, I posted this on Twitter.
We’re waiting for Joan to be better, but in the meantime I’m going to enjoy every moment with her.
What are you waiting for? Leave a comment, below.
There will be no further waiting for gratitude, as I thank all who join me here on this blog, including YOU!
Joan does not look impressed at all. She is just waiting to resume a collarless life of luxury!
It’s the hardest part
It seems very sad that Joan is sick and has to wear contraptions to help her healing. I hope she recovers quickly now.
The care she is receiving from you and various vets is impressive. I hope the pet chicken is okay.
I feel for all of you, especially Joan. she’ll have quite a story after this –
I’m surprised that such a reputable place as Holy Angels, is so short staffed.. .. I know – the excuse is Covid.. I hope Joan feels better soon.
Like Senora’s dance in Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In The Line” my dance has no title but it is a happy dance, and a happy dance is what I’ll do when Joan feels better.
I started to say “Poor Joan,” but I think I shifted to being more concerned for you and Michael and the long waiting! I do hope your beautiful Joan is doing better! You are patient cat parents!!
I agree with Debra… you definitely are patient cat parents. Your Joan is blessed to be in your family.
I hope that Joan gets better soon, so you can stop worrying.
I’m hoping this diagnosis and these prescriptions take their proper course for Joan (and you and Michael), Ann.