Inside the environment was hostile. The smell of a flatulent dog pervaded the room and a sickly automated air freshener competed with the dog’s anxiety. Reception was unstaffed and we stood with our cat in his basket staring at the other blank faces and wet cheeks peppered around the waiting room.
Everything was in slow motion. No one would know this was a place of emergencies. People and their pet’s just waited patiently, in turn and waited and waited.
Casualties included a blind cat, a whimpering Shar-Pei that had received eye surgery, a Westie that had been hit by a car and left for dead, and a man and his dog that had both been bitten by another dog in the local park.
As if by magic a member of staff eventually turned up at reception asking pertinent questions such as whether or not people were on benefit. Personal details became apparent to all as this wasn’t a place for discretion.
Shortly, a distraught woman came in to collect her cat. It was evident that English was not her first language as she tried to describe her situation and sobbing through it all. She claimed that the surgery had called her and said that if she didn’t collect her cat immediately they would ‘make it sleep’. My gut wrenched as I heard her sorry tale and wondered what kind of a place I was entrusting my cat to.
Time passed slowly. Fluorescent lights showed up peeling posters and hair covered chairs and faces full of angst. I escaped for a time, through the security doors and out into the open. I breathed in the smell of the rain and then went back inside.
This event happened yesterday evening. As I write I don’t yet know the end of the story. Gizmo was kept in overnight and put on a drip. Today he will have x-rays. The likelihood is that he will need an operation.
To be continued………………………………..