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Crazy Cat Ladies
26/08

I had one lot of clients in Townsville who were.. a bit different. Two older ladies, living together in a tired old queenslander cottage. I’d often get 3 or 4 phone calls from them before they’d finally get me around to actually do a visit for their cats. “Dr Edward? My cat, Roffles, has been just a bit strange, he won’t come out from under the covers, at least not when we are at home. There’s just this big lump in the bed, that tries to bite us if we touch it. He seems a bit grumpy.” – then there’d be a long silence – “But we think he’s alright, I just wanted to tell you about it, that’s all. Miffy has been peeing on the floor, too, but she does do that now and then, so it’s probably not too much to worry about, she seems pretty lively – at least we can’t catch her, so she must be fairly well.” – another long silence – “And Boo Boo’s starting to snuffle a bit again, so he might need some more antibiotics soon.” – long silence – “Anyway, I might give a ring to make a booking for a visit soon!” And she’d be gone again for a few days, weeks, or months. And a similar call would ensue. They got to be entertaining after a while! I’d time the silences… But, eventually, she’d actually make an appointment, and off I’d go. I’d pull up at the front of this non descript, tired looking old cottage, get my bag, and knock at the door. There’d be a scuffle of activity inside – “Wait a minute, we have to make sure the cats don’t get out” I’d wait, and eventually the door would crack open, and I’d be rushed inside. There wouldn’t be a cat in sight, of course, they had all vanished into the dim chaos of the house. I’d be offered a seat at one of the computer desks on the front verandah. The house was dark, grey, everything was covered in dust, and the smell of cat pee was intense (I used to have to change my shirt after these visits). Every surface was piled high with all sorts of junk. There were faded empty piles of computer game boxes as tall as me, and to go anywhere meant threading ones way between stacks of carefully hoarded stuff. All sorts of stuff, none of it useful. Old dead bits of computers, printers, light stands, broken things, some new things in boxes, things, stuff, stuff and more things. The rest of the house was the same, choked with worn out furniture, empty boxes, 5 foot high piles of magazines, boxes of books, and all of it gently covered in a grey film of dust. “Boo Boo’s the most important, he’s got his snuffles bad again. He’s under the bed, I think, or maybe he’s behind the couch?” Every now and then a furry streak would flit across the floor in the next room, and once, a furry face glared at me for a microsecond before slipping under the couch. “We’ll just have a look for him.” I’d sit back and listen to them arguing with each other – “He always hides behind the couch, you know that! – But he’s not there! – Have you got a torch, let’s check under the bed then – There he is, the little dear! – get the broom, and nudge him out, and I’ll stand at the door and catch him!” There’d be a scuffle and a clatter, and out he’d shoot, straight through the waiting hands and behind the couch. Another long wrangle about how best to get him out, and muffled clattering and sliding out of couches, and moving of stacks of things would ensue. If I was lucky, one of them would bring out this cat, wild eyed, hissing, fur standing on end, and I’d try to have a look at him. Usually I’d get a glimpse, and he’d be off again, sometimes leaving me bleeding gently. He was, to use a professional term, “unexaminable”. I won’t share the less professional terms I was careful to say only silently, to myself! “Ok- I can hear that he’s snuffly, I’ll give you the usual antibiotics for him,” I tell them. “But what about the others? Do any of them need a check up?” They’d look at each other, then at me. “Well… You know… Boo Boo is the easiest to catch, and the other ones, they can get just a little bit grumpy, so maybe next time?” So I never did see more than a disappearing glimpse of the other cats. In fact, I only ever saw a glimpse at all of two of the others. They had 6 cats all in all, none allowed outside at all. What a pong! And such hoarders of clutter I have never seen since…

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“Thank Goodness for Dr Edward, the Home Visit Vet. Convenient, affordable, professional, and most importantly my pets are seen in a stress free environment. Thanks so much, from all of us.”

~ Sandi Wickman