|Kitty & Michael - Christmas 2010|
Kitty is our sweet cat that adopted us in Belgium back in 2003 at Henri-Chapelle. She's a well travelled Cat. In fact, she's been to more foreign countries than many people. She's moved with us to France and then to the Netherlands and now is happily settled in with us here in Italy. She hasn't been feeling well lately as evidenced by her finding places other than her litter box to relieve herself. Needless to say, this isn't fun for her or us. So I let my fingers do the walking on Google Chrome and found what I suspected to be the case - a possible urinary tract infection. Michael called Mike today at the office (it was a Sunday you know...) and told him what the recent news was. At 5, Mike called me and said get Kitty ready to take her to the vet as soon as he got home. I was a little surprised at this as the only vets I know of that are open on weekends or Sunday evenings are usually emergency vets. Apparently, this is one more thing that is different here in Italy from all of the other places we've lived. Our friend lives close to the vet which is really only 5-10 minutes from here (minus any train crossing delays...) and he met us and led us straight to the clinic. I expected a small office in a strip center. Nope! We drove up to a large white building all lit up with a large parking lot (almost unheard of here) and we walked in the double doors to find a row of offices on the left for about 4 vets and at the end was the emergency clinic (which we were not visiting), in the middle of the large hall were two rows of chairs and on the right was a large pet supply store. Also included in this Disneyland for pets was a groomer and also a self-serve pet bathing room. I'm surprised that the vending machines didn't serve snacks and drinks for the animals vs. those for the humans... But, they did, of course, have their coffee machine because there are few places in Italy very far from the possibility of getting a cup of coffee!
We signed our name on the clipboard on the door of the vet and sat down. More people came in with their cats and dogs while we were waiting. Most of the animals in the carriers had blankets wrapped around them just as their owners had their heavy winter coats on (which they've been wearing no matter the temperature since September). Our friend told us that they definitely think that pet care is a priority here and treat their animals like royalty.
Finally, it was our turn. We went into the office and the Dr. asked about the problem and then said he would need to get a urine sample and stepped out to another room. Mike and I were wondering how he would go about doing this with a cat. In minutes we found out just how one accomplishes this. He asked me to hold her by the scruff of the neck and then he started examining her underside. He obviously squeezed some important spots and out shot his sample onto the table. He collected what he needed and then did an analysis. Back he came to give her a shot that included antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory and advised that she needed to eat a special food now. All of this for 10 euros! The new cat food cost more than that! We get to go back tomorrow for another checkup and shot but we now know where our pets will be pampered for sure! Just one more step on the way to feeling like we live here!