“I need some more antibiotics for me cat,” I was informed, on the phone. Her voice was familiar, I’d seen this cat a lot of times over the years. “Them snuffles have gotten bad again, and I’m out of that paste stuff that makes her better – can you come around today?”
“I can’t make it today, I’m afraid,” I said, after finding a safe spot to pull over, and dragging my computer out of my bag. “But I can come around tomorrow morning – will that be OK?”
“Yes, sure, see you then,” She replied.
The next morning as I drove towards their home, I thought about all the times I’d seen the cat, usually dripping big green sticky gobs of snot from it’s nose. You seriously didn’t want to be in front of this cat if it sneezed, I kid you not! I’d tried using homeopathy and other complementary treatments, but the only thing that helped the snot recede for a time was treatment with antibiotics.
They were a funny mob of people, living right over near the airport, in one of the poorer corners of town. I pulled into their driveway, beside the tired little old house. The yard was mostly lawn, no garden to speak of. I walked over and climbed up the 3 or 4 worn old wooden stairs, and knocked on the door.
“Come in, come in,” a voice echoed from inside.
I walked in and took a seat in a comfy old chair. The inside of the house was nearly as bare as the yard, everything was old, though sparkling clean and tidy. The decor was stuck in the 70’s, with the odd kitschy glass ‘thing’ sitting here and there. It was obvious that these guys didn’t have much money to spare, though they were always cheerful, overflowing with smiles.
“How’s the old cat?” I asked.
“Just the same as usual, snotting all over the place,” she told me. “Do you want to have a look at her?”
“Yes, I’d better give her a quick check over,” I replied.
We went into her bedroom, closed the door to stop the cat bolting once we had extracted her from her hiding place, deep under the bed, and with a fair bit of cursing and panting, and a some mild winkling with a handy broom, she shot out!
“Quick, grab her,” her mum squeaked.
I reached out, but she saw me coming, and shot around the other side, and back under the bed.
“Oh bugger!” said her mum, with some feeling. “She’s a shocker of a cat to catch when people come around, isn’t she?”
She went back to gently winkling away with the broom, and this time, I collared her as soon as she issued forth from under the bed at high speed. She wasn’t scratchy, just didn’t like strangers much. I gave her a quick once over – her breathing sounded like someone blowing 2 or 3 straws furiously through a thick shake, crackling, snuffling, all wet and horrible. I had carefully pointed the snuffly end away from me… (Having nearly caught a faceful on a prior visit, I was understandably wary!) She sneezed, spraying big green gobs of snot everywhere, and then I let her go. She shot back under the bed.
“Yep, about the same as usual when you run out of the antibiotics, eh?” I asked.
“Yes, the poor dear- It nearly goes away after a week of the paste stuff you give me, then she’s pretty good for maybe a month, sometimes 6 weeks, then we have to start all over again. She’s a lovely old thing though!”
I dispensed the medicines, and rolled off through the day, off to the next animal in need of help…