It is with heavy heart that I feel compelled to “go to the voice of the people” on behalf of Kaida’s kittens and ask yourself … if you were going through this experience how would you feel and what would you BELIEVE is REALLY going on. Does the words and actions meet up to what their mission statement claims? I have my own take on this situation and I feel that this is a massive problem with our society today. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED AND HOLY IN OUR LIVES, WE MUST STOP THESE TYPES OF ATTITUDES IN THEIR TRACKS, if we are to live in a world where these situations cease to ever happen AGAIN. The events as relayed are to the best of my memory and in no way are to incite anything other than to protect any other animal(s) or their human caregivers from these very stressful experiences.
The story begins … Kaida is a feral cat that we took into our home over this past winter (ALOT OF SNOW AND VERY COLD … -35%). We do not own Kaida, she merely shares the freedom and security of knowing there is a family of humans who are committed to her health and well-being, WITHOUT compromising HER RIGHTS to still be a feral cat. Within a week, we noticed that she appeared to be showing signs of being pregnant. At this point, there was nothing we could do but to allow this one litter of kittens and thereafter get her spayed as soon as possible. All progressed as planned and Kaida gave birth to 4 precious little angel kittens on April 24th starting at 4:50 a.m. All progressed as normal and starting in June, we were preparing the kittens for new homes. On June 5th, I took 5 cats to the Haliburton Vet. Clinic for a check up and was given a “clean bill of health”. So, I made an appointment for Kaida to get spayed the next week on June 12th. Kaida was spayed on that date; however, by June 30th, I started to notice her sneezing but thought nothing of it because she is a feral cat and God knows what she could get caught up her nose (think mouse or chipmunk fur. Sorry, I know folks, but she is a feral cat).
Then within a couple of days I noticed the kittens starting to get what appeared to be a “head cold or allergies”. On Thursday, July 3rd I noticed one of the kittens playing with what appeared to be a piece of string but later turned out to be a piece of elastic. I became quite concerned and rushed them to the same vet clinic for this and to get the sneezing checked out. The kittens were attended to by the owner of the vet clinic, Laurie Brown and her diagnosis was that Kaida picked up some kind of social disease that she had passed along to the kittens. This struck me as odd because Kaida is a “new mother-first litter” and we noticed that she did not stray far outside before returning to check in with her babes. Our nearest neighbours (NOT SO NEAR) either have no cats or they have indoor cats, thus she would have to travel too far, to come into contact with another cat, being impossible because she was never gone that long. The last time another cat was on the property was back in February when she got pregnant.
However, being that this person was presenting herself AS THE PROFESSIONAL, who was I to say otherwise. Well, events as they played out, would paint an entirely different picture for me to draw my own conclusions of what was really going on. Ms. Brown (the vet) advised that the course of treatment was eye drops and some type of vitamin chewy. She advised that they would be better within 4-5 days. Now it appeared that these kittens would not be going anywhere for the foreseeable future, which was fine, as my main concern was their health and happiness. The next day, Friday, July 4th, I contacted the vet clinic with concerns about the apparent downslide in their health. Being that it was Friday, I did not want to be caught in an emergency situation with four sick kittens. I felt that Ms. Brown was not really listening to my concerns and just blew me off, not wanting to be bothered over the weekend. Once again, I conceded to the professional and hoped for the best. By Sunday, July 6th, I contacted my neighbour, Nancy, as she has had ALOT of experience with cats and felt that she would be able to give me another perspective. She checked them out and was also concerned for the apparent downslide of the kittens. She questioned why the kittens were not given a healthy dose of antibiotics and I could not give her a plausible answer other than that is what the vet decided.
By July 8th, after the sickest of all four threw up all of his breakfast, I became rather concerned that I may loose these kittens, if someone in that clinic DID NOT start FIRST listening to the kittens and then to the “one” that was paying their bill. I, again, contacted the Haliburton Vet Clinic and advised that I NEEDED IMMEDIATE PROPER CARE for these kittens and that I DID NOT HAVE ANY CONFIDENCE in Laurie Brown and requested another vet attend to their care. I advised that I was bringing all four back to have them checked AGAIN!!! The next appointment I was met with Aimee Filion, the original vet that gave them their “clean bill of health”. I attempted to explain my concerns and the fact that I could not, in all good conscience, pass these kittens along to ANYONE else’s home in this condition. I pleaded with this vet to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE focus all of your efforts on these kittens and return them to their “clean bill of health status”, because THAT IS WHAT THEY DESERVE!!! Instead of doing what I asked, Aimee proceeded to try and convince me that I was reading this all wrong, that Laurie is a good vet and was “her mentor” and that “no-one goes into veterinary medicine for the money”. I could NOT COMPREHEND why Aimee was wasting valuable time attempting to convince me that I was not have this experience, so, AGAIN, I felt it necessary to say “I do not mean to be rude; however, you can try and convince me of your position LATER, but will you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, focus ALL OF YOUR ENERGIES AND ATTENTION TO THESE VERY SICK KITTENS.
This is not even the worst part, as it became abundantly clear that money PLAYED A BIG FACTOR IN ALL OF THIS, as evidenced by the amount of times this clinic felt it necessary to shove the fact that “their bill WILL have to be paid, as this is their policy”. I REALLY do not know why they felt it SO necessary to keep bringing this up, as I have NEVER given them the impression that I DID NOT comprehend the whole “commerce thing”. The most insulting part of that is, that most of the so-called women in this clinic look to be younger than me (I am in my 50’s and have been working since the age of 12). It was decided that #2 and @4 kitten would require clinical care and the other two could go home with a new treatment protocol. However, the more I let me own instincts govern what NEEDED to happen, I contacted the Haliburton Vet Clinic and advised that I was going to take Kaida and kittens to MY OWN TRUSTED VET (1-1/2-2 hour drive, one-way, to the Yorkwood Veterinary Clinic in, Keswick) and have them get WHAT I KNOW IS THE BEST VETERINARY CARE IN ALL OF CANADA!!! I advised them, that if the other two were well enough to do the journey, could they get them ready and I would be back later to settle their bill. The receptionist said that she would have to speak with the vet and the next thing I have Aimee Filion (the vet) on the phone attempting to “guilt me into following their business policy” before I could get them to my vet. When I attempted to remind her that, nowhere in the Veterinary’s Oath, nor their Mission Statement is their ANY mention of money or their office policy, she continued the “guilt-beat down”, with the statement, “well, you said you would pay the bill and now you are not keeping your word”. I attempted to point out that I was NOT SAYING I WOULD NOT PAY THEIR BILL, I WAS MERELY ASKING THAT THEY PUT THE CARE OF THE KITTENS, BEFORE THEIR BILLING. I was advised in no uncertain terms that, “no money, no kittens”. So, I felt I had no choice, due to the fact that since their birth I have attended non-stop to their needs, and this most stressful and unnecessary set of circumstances had drained me on all levels of my Being. So, I requested that they continue monitoring and caring for the kittens in their care and that I would be back the next day, AFTER I HAD TIME TO ATTEND TO THE OTHERS AND MYSELF FIRST. I mean this with all sincerity folks, I was soooooo past exhaustion at this point, that I just did not know how much longer I could do this. My health was now at risk, due to the evidence of my neighbour having to come over to my house, before these kittens got sick, because of the overwhelming effort that goes into caring for animals. We also have two dogs that need my attention and they were not getting their share because of my focus on the kittens.
My vet attended to Kaida and kitten #1 and #3, made their own assessments and initiated their own treatment protocols and sent us home, feeling like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders, which I KNEW I WOULD RECEIVE FROM THIS CLINIC, because this has been my experience WITH THEM for over 20 years. So, I KNOW WHAT A REALLY GREAT VETERINARY CLINIC, LOOKS LIKE, FEELS LIKE AND REPRESENTS THE TRUE MEANING OF THEIR PROFESSION. They set the example, that in my humble opinion, ALL OTHER CLINICS SHOULD MODEL AFTER. What it boils down to everyone is this … if we continue to allow, so-called professionals in whatever sector of our society, to nail their Certificate, Degrees or Diplomas to our foreheads, all the while shoving their invoices down our throats, at the expense of the vulnerable members of that local and/or international community, then WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING HERE? WHAT GOOD ARE WE TO THESE MEMBERS WHEN WE ALLOW OTHERS TO PUT THEIR PRICE TAGS ON THEM BECAUSE THEY SAY THIS IS THEIR POLICY!!! To make this very long and exhausting story shorter, suffice it to say, that I was able to get THE BEST CARE FOR THE KITTENS and they are slowly gaining ground, improving every day. I was concerned that two of the kittens were presenting such severe eye problems that they were going to loose sight in the affected eyes. However, since they are Kaida’s kittens and what I believe to be little animal Earth Angels, it is no surprise that it would appear they may make a full recovery. We shall wait and pray for the best possible outcome. LOVE AND COMPASSION CAN AND DOES PLAY A LARGE FACTOR when caring for ANYTHING, especially sick animals. They will just WILL THEMSELVES TO LIVE FOR THEIR HUMAN CAREGIVERS. WHAT A BLESSING TO BEHOLD.
That will be my “silver-lining in this very DARK cloud of unfortunate circumstances”. LESSON LEARNED … ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR OWN INSTINCTS AND NOT OF THOSE THAT CANNOT, NOR WILL NOT WALK THEIR TALK, DESPITE WHAT COMES SPITTING OUT OF THEIR GOB.
Summary (and these are just my way of reflecting in order to come back to my peaceful place)
What does not add up for me is this:
1. June 5th, Kaida and kittens get a clean bill of health.
2. June 12th, Kaida goes into Haliburton Vet Clinic to be spayed.
3. The week of June 30th, I noticed Kaida starting to sneeze. Not alarmed, for the reasons as previously stated.
4. Their position is that Kaida is the responsible party for coming into contact with another cat around our home. Not sure how they can state that never being to my home and witnessing any evidence that Kaida has EVER left her newborn kittens for any longer than a quick break and back into the house to care for them. AGAIN, for reasons previously stated. My vet confirmed that the “viral infection” that Kaida/kittens were presenting with takes 10-14 days to start showing first signs of symptoms. You do the math, like I did.
5. I pose another way of looking at it AND would make more sense as to the incessant (make work project) pushing to lay the blame at Kaida’s and my feet for the kittens being sick. Is it possible that, while Kaida laying weak and vulnerable recovering from her operation, that she was exposed by a sick cat IN THEIR CARE/CLINIC and do not want to admit it BECAUSE OF THE SERIOUS PROFESSIONAL, BUT MOSTLY FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS, being that this would cut into their bottom-line? So what gives folks … ANSWER: Sharon’s Credit Card, apparently like a magical money-tree, by their standards. Do not take my word for it, and we have all been in these types of circumstances that present this way, I just ask you to look at the EVIDENCE and not what was SAID in order to determine my most burning question …
6. WHERE IN ALL OF THAT EXPERIENCE COULD ANYONE CONVINCE ANYONE THAT THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF KAIDA AND HER KITTENS WERE BEST SERVED? WHAT APPEARED TO BE THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF ALL PARTIES? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT, TO ENSURE THAT NOT ONE MORE VULNERABLE MEMBER OF OUR SOCIETY SUFFERS IN THIS WAY, ALL FOR A PRICE TAG, CALLED “COMMERCE/OFFICE POLICY”?
Note: supporting documentation (pictures and invoices) will be provided soon.