“LITTLE MAN ON THE COUCH”…On A Trip To The Emergency Room

You’d be grumpy, too.

TP: Great to see you, Little Man. Heard you were sick.

LM: Thanks, doc. Yeh, I had a rough time last week. Couldn’t even eat! That freaked everybody out.

TP: I bet.

LM: Three straight days of no appetite and even my vet, Dr. Evan, was worried. Apparently, he told dad that when big, rakishly handsome cats like myself stop eating for even a short period, our internal organs can shut down and, well, next stop—the big litterbox in the sky.

TP: Scary. So even your vet thinks you’re “rakishly handsome,” does he?

LM: Just paraphrasing, doc, okay? Anyhow, by late Wednesday night, mom and dad were pretty worried and, no kidding, I was hurtin’. Giving dad the old do something eyeball and my most pathetic woe is me cry.

TP: That’s when you went to the Pet ER?

LM: Right. Dad checked with Dr. Evan first to see if we should wait until morning to see him, but Evan said, No way. Get that little stud to the ER, pronto.

TP: Were you worried?

LM: I have to be honest, doc. I was. Mom couldn’t get over my total silence on the drive over. I was busy with that whole life flashing before your eyes deal. It’s true, you know. Thinking about all the things you did, shoulda done, coulda done, would do if you were allowed just one more bite of the apple. Maybe I shoulda been more of a lap cat for mom, a better (slimmer) hunter for dad. Perhaps I coulda been nicer to that dweeb, Curly, or less aggressive toward the annoying kid in the plaid pajamas. Probably shouldn’t have laughed when dad fell out of the tree and fractured his rib trying to “save me” when I was little. Stuff like that.

TP: Hmm. So what happened at the ER?

LM: What always happens there. First, you wait forever while they take care of all the dopey dogs. Then, the ER doc arrives to poke, prod, and generally violate your personal space—all of which merely suggests what might be going on—a preliminary diagnosis that can, of course, only be confirmed by a battery of tests and an overnight stay that puts a serious dent in dad’s wallet.

TP: So they put you up for the night?

LM: Put me under for the night, actually, and frankly it was a relief.

TP: Relieved the pain, you mean?

LM: That too. But the real relief came when I no longer had to listen to three big, supposedly macho Fidos yapping and crying like little girls. Weenies!

TP: Hmm. What ended up being wrong with you?

LM: Infection of the bladder. Nasty stuff. But they gave me some good poppers and now I’m feeling chipper again…at least physically.

TP: Why just physically?

LM: Get this, doc. The next morning, as I’m coming out from being under, I hear voices. I was still pretty fuzzy, you know, but I could hear talking. Sounds like one person is calling out to someone else.  Did you see this? The other one seeming real shocked. What is that? I squint out from my cage and see these two girl techs. I didn’t remember them from the night before. Maybe they’d just arrived for the morning shift. Suddenly, I realize they’re staring at me.

Oh, my God, the one chippie says. That’s the biggest cat I’ve ever seen.

The other one pipes up. He’s awesome. Hey, she yells to yet another tech-type, Garfield’s here!

Now, doc, you know I like Garfield, and “awesome” is certainly an adjective that I have no quarrel with, so at that point I was feeling ok about this little wake-up call.

TP: But…

LM: But then, this third tech, a young buck who apparently considers himself the ER’s resident comedian, crosses the line.

Damn. Put a leash on it! he yells.



Now, I’m really awake and just praying this bozo’s nose finds itself in my wheelhouse before I get sprung.

TP: Didn’t happen?

LM: Nah. He lucked out. One of the nice chippies—the “awesome” one, I believe—got the nod to roll me out for my release to mom and dad.

TP: Rolled you? What, they put you in a wheelchair, like when people get released from regular hospitals?

LM: Sort of. Well, not really. Alright, listen up doc. But this stays strictly between us, right?

TP: Little Man, everything that’s said here is privileged. You know that.

LM: Right. Well, thing was, the sweet young techie couldn’t carry me—something about me weighing more than most dogs—so I was wheeled out on some sort of transport trolley they generally use to move heavy equipment.

TP: I see.

LM: Gave dad quite a chuckle to see me rolling down the hallway like that. And actually, it was an incredibly smooth ride. Got me thinking about taking a spin in one of those crazy-looking SEGWAY things sometime.

TP: Uh-huh. So all things considered, the ER did right by you.

LM: Yeh. I even liked the doc there, despite his calling me a grumpy old man.

TP: I’m surprised that didn’t upset you.

LM: Nah. In a way, I took it as a sign of respect. Listen, doc. There’s only one way to take a cat’s temperature. And it’s not by sticking a thermometer in its mouth. The only other option involves that violation of personal space I referred to earlier. Any self-respecting male cat takes that without getting grumpy deserves to lose his man card.

TP: Right. Speaking of losing something, just curious. Did you lose any weight through this ordeal?

LM: Half-a-pound, doc. One glorious half of a pound.

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