Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gandolf: 1 Vet Tech: 0

My wonderful Neighbor (AZMom) already had Gandolf safely bundled into a carrier when I arrived at her place. He was lying down in it, calm but shaking. He stayed that way, slightly curious, mostly calm, definitely scared, all the way to vet and into the exam room. I opened up the carrier while waiting for a vet tech, but he remained within it.

The tech came in, and I explained the situation-- that he's semi-feral, part of the colony, that my neighbor has no trouble with him (he cuddles with AZMom and purrs). The tech reached into the box and got hissed and swiped at. I don't know if he bit her or scratched her (it looked like scratched, but given her reaction she at least thought it was teeth), so she grumbled and gretzed and left, saying she had to go wash her hands for 10 minutes as it is policy.

I started taking apart the carrier, and as I did so, Gandolf calmly ambled out of it and started sniffing around. After a moment's hesitation, he jumped to the ground.

Another tech came in, and he started trying to get away by jumping back up to the table, which was just too high for him. He settled for flattening himself on the ground. I explained the situation to the second tech, who immediately left. I could hear her conversation (involving fun band-aids, and Gandolf) with the first vet tech (through the door) who was, indeed, washing her hands for at least a good 5 minutes, if not 10.

I waited with Gandolf. He wandered around, tried to get back into the carrier (which I had closed), sniffed a bit, then settled into a kitty loaf on the floor. I sat a few feet away, also on the floor, trying to be welcoming, supportive and non-threatening.

The vet came in, and calmly stepped around Gandolf who just stayed in his kitty loaf. She also heard the story, took a note or two, then decided that the best way for all involved was to anesthetize Gandolf for an exam and blood draw. She left and returned with an estimate (oh, kitties, why must you all find new and exciting ways to cost me so much money?? anesthetizing a kitty, as it turns out, rather expensive. They are giving me a 20% Good Samaritan discount, which is nice, and new for that matter. Which saved me quite a lot of money. But that just speaks to how expensive it is to begin with, eh?) And then she and another vet tech (#3) herded Gandolf into a clear box (using a towel.) There was no trouble with that last part.

So he is still at the vet and they will be calling me. We won't have the results of the blood test 'til tomorrow, but I'll get a preliminary report today, from the physical examination. They decided to run a comprehensive panel on the blood test, feeling that that way was less expensive than piece-mealing things together, and I'm all right with that. (The blood test wasn't the expensive part anyway.)

I queried as to how safe the anesthesia was, given that we don't know what's wrong with him, and the vet understood my concerns, and admitted some small risk, but also that it's very safe, easily and quickly reversible, and far less stress for Gandolf as they examine him. So he'll get a physical examination while asleep (I hope they look at his teeth-- I worry that that's the answer, given the situation with Bozo over the summer. Gandolf eats wet food-- maybe he can't eat the dry.) She'll treat anything she finds physical. She'll draw blood and send it to the lab.

So, I'll hear something today (and pick him up today, too, barring unforeseen circumstances) and we'll get test results tomorrow.

Fingers crossed, please. He's a sweet boy (when he's not attacking presumptuous vet techs).

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