How Not To Be Taken In By Your Doomsday Prophet Veterinarian: Cats, Love, and ER

Well, the short answer is, there is no way not to be taken in. Not if you ‘love your cat.’ And you’ve been talked into taking her to Cat ER.

The other day our cat Missy started hyperventilating. She’d run in from some mystery event or encounter outdoor. She was rippling—if you have a big cat you know what that means, I don’t need to explain it to you—swatting at one side of herself, acting berserk, eyes popping, hair alight (almost), rapping one ear as if she was going to take it off. The works.

And instantly the consensus in my household was, Missy’s dying.

Because six months ago her brother died of congenital heart failure. Also at the ER.

I wonder, did Missy really need stabilizing that night, and the x-rays, and the blood tests and the observation and the sedation and the overnight stay and the medications she came home with?

Or was she just stung by something and had an allergic reaction?

But we’ll never know.

Because our ER vet hung over our heads, the whole time, the specter of Missy’s imminent and irreversible demise if we went the way of waiting and watching. And I looked at the earnestness in my child’s eyes and the connection he was having with the vet lady, and shelled it out.

Missy’s home. She’s been home for days, and she’s exactly the same lovable mess she always has been. No signs of keeling over and making her owners live in the purgatory of cat-owner negligence and subsequent cat death guilt.

But I still wonder: were we guiltmailed by the vet? And the next time? Will we be guiltmailed again?

Here’s how to deal with the Vet who tells you your cat may or may not be dying, they simply can’t say, but if you don’t give her the benefit of ER, well….

You give in. Every time.

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