I took my cat to the vet yesterday cause he had a seizure. He had been pretty lethargic over the last few weeks, and I was worried, but just thought maybe he’s just getting old. After all he’s 16 years old. I made an appointment to see the vet next week then when we woke up yesterday he vomited, and then had a slight seizure and I went into panic mode. I grabbed his cat carrier and pounded the pavement to urgent care which was about half a mile away. He’s 25 pounds, so you can imagine the pain in my limbs running down the streets trying to get there without taking rest stops for my arms.
When we got there it was set up for curbside assistance. They wouldn’t let anyone in to the hospital due to the Corona virus, so they would take the pet in while you waited outside. They took him in, and I sat outside for two hours waiting to hear back from the vet for the results of the tests and a diagnosis. As I sat out there I watched people come and go with their pets. They’d wait for their turn for the staff to come retrieve their pet by the curbside for emergency care. Everyone was being respectful of 6 feet apart spacing, and everyone had masks on. Then this guy pulls up in his SUV Porsche, parks in the bus lane, and gets out with his dog without wearing a mask. His dog then takes off to meet the other dogs, and I observed people being uncomfortable, but not saying anything. Not only was he not wearing a mask, but he was disrespecting peoples space. Then this homeless woman strolls by, and starts yelling at him for parking in the bus zone. Then a bus goes by and stops in the middle of the street, opens the doors to let people exit, and I saw his face of frustration and the homeless woman starts yelling more at the Porsche guy, and pointing at the bus and he just completely ignored her. Once the bus took off, she went her way and I looked over at the guy and he had this smug look on his face. I could have said you might want to move your car since you are blocking the bus stop. Or, I could have said you might want to respect peoples spacing and keep your distance. Or, I could have said you might want to adhere to the rules of appropriate mask wearing like the rest of us. But I didn’t. I’ve been in this situations before, and have sworn to speak out if I see people not abiding to the new social contract, which is just put on a mask if you’re outside among the public and keep your distance, but somehow it was all so outrageous I didn’t even want to get involved. I didn’t have a dog for his dog to run up to which would make him break the 6 feet spacing rule, but if I did and he tried to approach me with his mask-less face I would have said something. I would have loved to check the guy, and thought bad for the other people that were stuck not knowing how to respond to his poor behavior, but decided to mind my own business and let people respond however they see fit.
When my cat was done with treatment, the staff came back to the curbside to deliver him to me. It turns out he had an erupted bowl which was feces that were backed up for weeks. He got cleaned out and an injection for antibiotics, and I was sent home with pain medication to give him for the next week. As I walked home the pain in my arms didn’t seem to be so bad. Maybe it was the relief that he was going to be ok, but what really crossed my mind is why it took me so long to get him help. It reminded me of the vow I took after my Dad died. He died of cancer in 11 days, and could have sought help for months, but refused to see a Doctor. That’s pretty much how I was raised. Unless you need some surgery for an appendicitis, you’re not going to the Doctor. Unless you rip off your finger playing handball in a high school, you’re not going to the Doctor. Unless you tear your patella kneecap playing softball in grade school, you’re not going to the Doctor. I swore I would break this pattern after watching my Dad die after knowing that if he sought treatment things might have been different, yet here I am with a sick cat and wait for him to have a seizure for me to take action and get him to the vet.
Patterns are hard to break. How you are born and raised shapes you into the person that you are today, but sometimes it can be a struggle to eliminate those bad behaviors. All you can do is try and learn lessons as you go so that next time, if your gut tells you to take your animal to the vet don’t wait till it’s too late. If your gut tells you to stay out of somebody else’s business, even though you want to say something (like to the mask-less Porsche guy) follow your instincts.
Life has its challenges, but like I said, we learn as we go and do the best that we can from what we know from our past, so we can better shape our future.