Zodi’s Blog

What the hell are you doing to my cat?

 Adventures at the vet.

Yesterday we had to take our animals for immunizations and check-ups. This is not as easy as it may sound. Most of the vets in southern Spain work strictly on farm animals. Since nobody here ever bothers ‘fixing’ their animals (or anything else with dogs and cats), very few of these vets have ever seen a house pet. Some have noticed that there is money to be made off of the British that come over, so they ‘give it a try’ and end up killing more puppies than a minor league Jeffrey Dahmer. If a new ex-pat moves here and takes a pet to one of these vets, the results are bad. I’ve heard of these hacks killing animals by trying to spay them, by trying to fix a broken leg, and by trying to correct a stomach problem.

See, I rescued my cat when I found him tied up in a trash bag with two other dead cats when he was three weeks old. I hand fed him with a plunger straw for two weeks, nursing him back to health. My wife dotes on our dog like he’s a freakin child. So yeah, we love our pets. So we were really cautious. After maybe twenty phone calls we found a ‘family’ vet down on the coast that seemed competent. We even went in to talk to him before we brought the pets. He seemed nice enough and certainly able, so we thought, we’ll give it a shot.

When we get to his office he seems edgy, he’s talking a mile a minute, and is a little sweaty. He was probably on coke, everybody else here is so why not him. Or maybe he was on swine speed or something, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that he’s never seen a miniature Dachshund before since he kept asking, “perro, no?” Which mean ‘is it a dog?’ Now I’m thinking to myself that this ought to be good! After we all agree that yes, he is a dog, not a puppy, but a dog, YES, he’s a dog, he finally notices the cat. He proceeds to grab him out of his cage by the scruff of his neck. He’s still holding him with one hand, grabs a pair of clippers, and starts shaving his neck. As ginger cat fur starts to fill the air, I’m starting to see visions of the Texas criminal justice system flashing in my mind, so I ask him, “we are just doing some booster shots right? You’re not going to execute him are you?” He assures me that it’s just the shots. Then seemingly without warning, he grabs a syringe out of nowhere and injects my cat’s thigh. “To make him sleepy, so I can draw blood” he calmly says. When I asked how long the cat will be out he replies, and I’m not kidding, “maybe one hour, maybe two, maybe even a day or two!” I had to ask him, “ahh, couldn’t you like weigh him and give him an appropriate dosage based on weight” I was told, “that just isn’t the way we do it here.” WTF??

 After visiting the vet

When our own Dr. Doolittle returns from his second trip to the bathroom, we get into an argument about what shots are needed for our dog. By the time he starts manhandling our nine pound dog, my wife looks close to tears, our dog is filled with fear and hate, and our vet is sweating and grinding his teeth. Dr. Feelgood actually ended up giving us a syringe to take home filled with some type of medicine to be administered, “if anything bad happens.” Now I’m seeing “Pulp Fiction” except I’m kneeling over an unconscious dog asking, “so I stab him three times in the heart?”

After eight hours, my cat is still walking into walls, my dog has PTSD, and the vet is in rehab (I hope). At least they are both ok and I didn’t have to resuscitate anybody!

Oh, I almost forgot, when we were walking out the door of his office, the vet gave us a watermelon! Only in Spain!


May 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. interesting to hear how something we take for granted in the US can be such a production elsewhere — thanks for taking care of the kitties, anyway

    Comment by Davis | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. Whew…what are the real doctors like?

    Comment by Shawn | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  3. Davis, Yea you don’t know how good it really is in the states till you leave! I came home for a week at Christmas, and it was paradise! Well as close to paradise as florida can get anyway!

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. Shawn, The doctors here are actually scarier than the vets. They are treated like royalty and misdiagnose everything in their paths. I’ve heard of a guy getting prescibed valium for a broken back. They are supposedly a little better in the north tho.

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. You Americans are so soft. Oh my poor angel this and oh don’t crush my baby’s head that. Pathetic! When I lived in Russia I had my head cut off three times. At the emergency room I was given nine shots of vodka and moldy bread. I do feel sorry for you cat though and your dog and possibly your wife and you of course… but other than that, NOTHING!

    Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | May 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Three times RR? Too bad they only fixed it twice! I admit I’m soft. I like me that way.

      Comment by Claire Collins | May 29, 2009 | Reply

  6. We are soft, soft and weak! You were lucky that they gave you the vodka! Vodka has great analgesic properties! If your head was cut off here, they’d give you a valium. You would still be in excruciating pain, but you would have less anxiety about not having your head attached. Me, I’m all about the morphine drip! There is nothing better for my anxiety about my unattached head than a nice morphine drip!

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  7. Tied up in a trash bag.

    Wow. It boggles my mind that people can do that kind of thing.

    Your cat went from being one unlucky cat to one very lucky cat. Nicely done!

    Look at me, getting all smushy and sentimental.

    Comment by alantru | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  8. Alan, On a serious note, animal rights are pretty dismal here. I threw out a bag of garbage and heard a very weak meowing. I couldn’t believe it when I opened a bag to find 2 dead kittens and what was to become our cat. Named him Tunado, which is Spanish for fortunate. It took a couple weeks till he was back in good health. It was a very rewarding thing, but now I’m scared to death to throw out the garbage. I can’t end up with a houseful of animals!

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  9. Wow. Look how cute they are! My dog was left in the backyard of a house when the people moved out. My cat was stuck between a trailer and a building at work. They heard him and had to move the trailer to get him out. He was about 2 weeks old. We bottle fed him too. I couldn’t have held myself together as well as you did with the vet. I would have been grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and injecting him in the groin with whatever syringes I could get my hands on!

    Comment by Claire Collins | May 29, 2009 | Reply

  10. Claire, that’s awesome that you saved both of them! I’ve had a few pets and I gotta say, the bond is the strongest when you’ve saved its life! It seems like they know too!
    I managed to hold it together with the vet, but I was getting pretty pissed. Plus I promised the horse girl I’d stay away from syringes! (we have a big date at TGIF!) It’s just a totally different world over here. The doctors are treated like royalty and never questioned. Then they end up with overinflated egos and coke problems. I should have shot him full of morphine, it would have evened him out!

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | May 29, 2009 | Reply

  11. Well since you’re coming all the way back here for your big date at TGIF, You might want to see a Dr and take your date to the vet while you’re here!

    Comment by Claire Collins | May 30, 2009 | Reply

  12. Claire- You are brilliant! If I take my date to a vet, they should know all about horse herpes! Once that’s cleared up, I can get a morphine drip for my unattached head. I can get Rooster and the Spanish vet into a rehab for their respective vodka and coke problems, then I can have a wonderful meal at TGIF!!! Then maybe we can go horseback riding on the beach, yea that would be nice! NOT bareback though!!!

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | May 30, 2009 | Reply

  13. Going to the doctor in Mexico or Costa Rica pretty much yielded the same result. “I’m pretty sure I’ve got lice and need something to get rid of them.” “Nope. You’ve actually got diptheria. Let me draw some blood from your eyeballs and take a swallow from that jar marked ‘poison'”.

    Then again, I went to the doctor in Arkansas after a moped accident and was told that the rash and fever was not caused by the infection from rocks embedded in my hip, but rather I had contracted the German measles. We went to a different hospital.

    Comment by Pammy | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  14. Pammy- That’s hilarious, I actually got pretty jacked up surfing in Costa Rica myself and decided against any type of medical help. I didn’t want to wake up to find they had harvested a kidney or something!
    I’ve lived here in Spain for over a year now and haven’t been to the doctor or dentist yet. I admit I’m scared to death!

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 3, 2009 | Reply

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