Inside the veterinary office, Flyer, my new puppy, quickly sensed we were on a different mission and began a tug-o-war session. I greeted the receptionist with our names.
“You said her name is ‘Flyer?’ Did you go to the University of Dayton?” the receptionist inquired.
“I got her as I was beginning to write my musical on the Wright Brothers. She didn’t look like Orville and had too much hair to be called Wilbur.” I joked, lamely.
The receptionist chuckled. “Oh, aren’t you the guy who brought your cat in for…”
“Yes.” I politely interrupted. “I am that guy.”
In the examining room the new vet on the staff introduced himself. “Say, are you the guy who brought his cat in…?” I nodded. “What a great story! How embarrassing.” With that he turned his attention to Flyer.
Little did he know that I was so accustomed to these episodes in my life that I seldom, if ever, got embarrassed, especially after that one summer morning when my six- month old cat woke me with an incredible screech. I hurdled myself over sheets and bounded into the hall to find her half-crawling down the hallway, dragging her backside and crying out in agony. I threw on my clothes and a ball cap, and carefully wrapped her up in a bath towel. The entire time in the car, I held her snuggly in the towel, trying to comfort her from what ever had fallen and crushed her backside.
Fortunately the veterinary office was open to accept pets scheduled for surgery. I ran in-side, carefully arranging Logan on the front counter.
“Something fell and crushed her back legs.”
The two sympathetic attendants began examining Logan as I filled out an appointment card. Within seconds Logan began her shrill, excruciating cry and the awkward crawl.
“I’m sorry, but there is not much we can do for her at the moment.”
The tears started down my cheek. In two months I had become so attached to this darling little tabby who, despite warnings from friends that a cat would never walk on a leash, go for bike rides in my back pack, ride in the car or learn the standard tricks of a dog. Logan could do it all, and more. I got her eight years before I adopted my first son and she was my first real living thing for which I was responsible. And now I had failed to protect her… Logan was dying. I wiped away my tears and asked the vet’s assistant what our next step should be. Put her down?
“Oh, no!” Both ladies burst into awkward laughter. How rude and insensitive! Realizing I did not grasp the moment, she placed her hand on my arm. “Logan’s in heat.”
I managed a smile, gathered up my furry daughter and walked out of the office with all the dignity I could muster.
“Well, Flyer is a healthy, sweet little thing,” said the vet as he played with Flyer, “and what a personality. Do you have any questions before I give her the first set of puppy shots?”
“Hmmm… well, the only thing that really concerns me is that when she urinates she doesn’t hike her leg.”
I saw the doctor’s lower teeth slowly rise to grab hold of his upper lip as his body began shaking. Without looking at me he playfully told Flyer, “Your daddy needs to learn about girls.”