Yesterday, I took Rachel to the vet for her annual check-up. For those of you who know Rachel, you know that this was a minor miracle. And for those of you who don't know, this is why - we've never picked up Rachel*, never trimmed her nails, never pet her when she didn't want to receive pets - she very much sets the terms of our relationship with her. In some ways, she's just a typical cat.
Anyway, I spent 20 minutes chasing her around the cat's room and was finally able to throw a blanket over her, pick her up and put her in the carrier. It's a good thing I did - she has some kind of eye infection, potential ear mites and a tooth that needs to come out.
But back to the point of this post - the vet. How I praise his name! He totally got our relationship with Rachel. We love her very much, but we don't push her to do things she doesn't want to because 1) it stresses her out, usually exacerbating whatever issue she's having; and 2) we don't like being scratched and bit. Past vets, when we've explained that we can't apply ointments or force feed pills to Rachel (and Paul, for that matter), have just given us the stink eye and said we had to, that there was no other treatment. And, then, we'd hang our heads in shame, purchase whatever treatment the vet suggested, attempt to apply it once, then throw it out months later - the cat no healthier and we out $50.
The vet yesterday, oh he got it. He started to suggest an ointment for Rachel's eye, then stopped himself and asked: "Are you even going to be able to apply an ointment?" After saying no, he said he could give her a shot of antibiotics which should clear it up, but if not, to bring her in for 2 to 3 days and they'd administer the treatment for us.
Hallelujah! He gets it and is willing to work with us. Yes, we'll pay for it, but it's so worth it to have a healthy, happy cat. I felt so relieved and grateful - grateful that Rachel was going to get the treatments she's been needing and that I didn't feel like a bad parent because I couldn't administer those treatments. And while I'm not looking forward to corralling her to take her back next week to get her teeth worked on, I am looking forward to another positive vet experience.
Just a side note - we are working with Hugo so that he is comfortable with us picking him up, trimming his nails, examining him, etc., so we at least have one cat we can easily take to the vet and treat on our own.
*Well, I did pick Rachel up this one time, got her to about waist height, and we were both so shocked that we froze for a moment and then she leapt (leaped?) away, giving me a good scratch.