Jacoby’s most recent veterinary experience started me thinking about how close a relationship he has with our local vet. Of course, they are literally just up the street from where we live, so we’re neighbours, too. But Jake and the vet seem to have a special relationship that the other cats don’t really have.
It might be because he and I went there for the first time on the third day after he came to live with us.
Even at the tender age of 3-1/2 months, Jake was fearless in the face of thermometers and needles.
He had a few memorable trips to see Dr. Natalie during his first year. Like the time he had Giardia (which, thankfully, there are no photos of). And we still talk about his neutering, when he woke up from the anaesthetic before 11:30 and promptly started shouting the place down demanding to be fed!
Yes, Jake definitely has a very special friendship with Dr. Natalie.
It was when he got his foot caught in the escalator at the Broadway T station, however, that Jake’s affair with the vet’s office really took off. When we came in that Saturday morning, Jake was so calm and so trusting he impressed the entire staff. He barely needed to be held down while his foot was cleaned and examined and his wound glued together and bandaged; he just sat quitely and let them fix him, never growling, hissing, or even flinching. He was amazing.
(This was also our first experience with the kitty painkillers. He’s had those little syringes so many times I’m starting to think he may be at risk of becoming addicted to prescription drugs!)
We had to go in several times following the initial emergency visit to have his wound checked and his dressing changed.
It was late October and chilly in Boston, so Jake also got to show off his wardrobe!
His foot healed well, and today the only reminder of the incident is a slightly thicker claw on one toe.
It was only five or six months later that Jacoby had his first urinary tract infection.
(This was highlighted with our first attempt at getting a feline urine sample.)
After all that, seeing the vet for his annual check-up and vaccinations was a cakewalk.
He tends to treat the waiting room as just another room he hangs out in, now.
He’s very comfortable and relaxed, unlike most cats in the vet’s office.
Heck, he’s more relaxed than I am when I go to see my doctor for my annual physical!
Interestingly, his calmness carries over to other veterinary hospitals. He’s just as happy in the waiting room at Angell Memorial, although he’s less familiar with it (thank goodness!). Of course, I’m sure his therapy training has something to do with his medical familiarity.
I also tend to bring him along even when he doesn’t need anything done, as moral support for the cat who is being seen by the doctor. It also reinforces that the vet isn’t a “bad” place. It’s just a place we go and it might smell funny, but it’s no big deal.
He sometimes calms the other cats during a vet visit all on his own. It’s really sweet to watch him do this.
Despite all he’s been through, Jake still really loves going to the vet.
So much so, he even has his own set of scrubs! Maybe someday he can become a veterinary office cat, and welcome the kitties who come in to see the doctor. Come to think of it, we could even start calling him “JD”…