We got up early in the morning to take Moly to the vet. She's got a bald stripe on her back, starting at the base of her tail. This isn't the first time it's happened, and I guess the fur was thinning for a while, but only over the last week has it become obvious. Now that we're watching her more closely, we can see that she's licking it a lot and pulling at the fur. Last time, the vet thought it was a flea allergy. I wasn't sure I bought this explanation, since we live in a third-floor apartment in a rather urban area and the cats don't go out. But the treatment worked -- the vet gave her a steroid shot to stop the itching, and we had both cats on Advantage for a few months, and all was well.
So, back to the vet again. As we approached the office, we could hear a rather large dog barking inside. This vet has an L-shaped reception desk, with the corner at the closest point to the entrance. On the corner that's a hook where people can tie their dogs' leashes while paying or whatever. There was a rather crazed weimaraner tethered there, jumping around and barking loudly. Given the length of the dog's leash, there was not a whole lot of safe space between it and the door; maybe we should have just waited for the dog to leave before coming in, but I wasn't sure if it was coming or going. I got by quickly with Moly's carrier and deposited her in the farthest corner of the waiting room so the barking wouldn't bother her too much.
Having set Moly down, I went back to the reception desk to check in. In retrospect, perhaps I didn't have to pass the dog again at all -- I could probably have checked in with the person sitting along the long side of the desk. But I thought I had to go around to the short side, and so I skirted around the edge of the dog's range... and at my closest point, it lunged and broke its leash and fastened its jaws on my forearm. I was too startled to even yell, and there was a second where nobody was looking (Ken was going to Moly, the receptionist was signing out the dog owner) and this dog was chewing on me. Then everybody noticed at once and the owner hauled her dog off and took it outside. I don't remember exactly what happened, to be honest, but in the end the dog was gone and my jacket was torn and my arm had some red scrapes but the skin wasn't broken.
The vet's office people were very concerned, of course, but I hadn't been badly hurt and all the fuss was a little embarrassing. They had some guy who seemed to be the head vet or something look at my arm, gave me some ice since it was swelling, and ascertained that the dog and I had probably had all the relevant vaccinations. The owner never came back in to see if I was okay or offer to pay for my jacket or anything. I was perhaps a little shocky, and I kept insisting it was no big deal, but I don't think she stuck around even long enough to hear that.
Moly eventually got to see her vet. She's very frightened at the vet's, and curls up as small as possible with her tail welded to her body. She'll stay wherever you put her -- some vets have conducted the entire exam with her on the scale, since she huddles into it while they're weighing her. So when the technician had me put her on the scale, I just left her there, figuring maybe she found the shallow walls more comforting than the bare table.
When the vet came in, I sort of expected her to lift Moly off the scale or even ask me to do it. Instead, she picked Moly up by the scruff of her neck and plopped her on the table, while she frantically tried to curl into a ball in midair. It was a new vet, and I disliked her instantly for it. An eight-pound cat is too heavy to be lifted by her scruff without ANY support for her body weight, even for a second or two, and the poor thing was scared out of her mind already without being handled roughly. Yes, I understand perfectly that sometimes cats have to be restrained, you want to be firm rather than tentative about it, and sometimes a hand on the scruff is appropriate, but she hadn't felt out Moly's attitude at all and that wasn't a good start. To her credit, the vet figured out very quickly that Moly was not going to give her trouble, and didn't do anything else to piss me off. I put a hand behind Moly's rump to keep her from backing away from an inspection of her teeth, and the vet gave her her steroid shot with no restraint at all. The diagnosis was exactly the same as last time, and the vet (after quite a bit of diligent combing) actually found one flea on her, so I can't deny it this time. Moly really is flea-allergic, and she somehow picked one up. The cats are on Advantage again, and all should be well.
After dropping Moly off at home, I had to go to the dentist, because I was not yet up to my daily quota of stress. Actually, the appointment was quick and relatively non-invasive and the result was that I was pronounced healed and sent from the periodontist's office never to return (we hope).
When I got home, I took a badly needed nap. Both cats joined me. I got only one load of laundry done, and no housework, but I felt better for the extra sleep. The swelling on my arm has gone down, leaving some painful red marks but nothing terribly alarming. My jacket is ruined; the shoulder's worn out from my backpack strap, so I was going to replace it anyway, but it's still annoying.
When I was puttering around waiting for Ken to get home, the phone rang. I picked it up, reluctantly because it's always telemarketers. "Hello?" Click. Guess it was a wrong number. A few minutes later -- ring, ring. (slightly irritated) "Hello?" Click. A few minutes later, more ringing. I ignored it; it rang twice. A few minutes after that, two more rings. It was getting dark, and I went around closing the blinds, feeling slightly creeped out. It rang again, four times; the answering machine kicked in. No message. On the heels of the final ring, I heard a key in the door. Ken, of course. There were no more calls (which, if I were paranoid, and it's been a long day so let's say that I am, would also be creepy).
Just as I was finishing up the spaghetti for dinner, the phone rang again. I had no intention of picking it up, but Ken took it. It was the vet, calling to make sure I was still okay and saying that they'd contacted the dog's owner and told her her dog wouldn't be allowed back in the office unless it was muzzled.
And that, I think, is enough excitement for one day. It's about bedtime.