At the Children’s Museum, there is a pretend veterinary office. Little kids get lab coats, toy medical implements, and stuffed animals to work on. Liz just eats this up, and we always spend lots of time in the vet’s office when we go to the Children’s Museum.
Yesterday’s visit started with me bringing in “Curly the Poodle,” a black poodle with a foot injury.
Dr. Liz said, “Oh, poor thing! What happened?” I explained that Curly was out running, she stepped on her knee wrong, and then didn’t want to put weight on that leg. Dr. Liz said, “Oh. Okay. Well, we can fix her with a band-aid. And I have to check if she has any splinters and pull them out. And then we could do a checkup, so you know that she’s healthy. But she should do lazy things today, like lay on the couch and watch Planet’s Funniest Animals.”
After a minute or so of pulling splinters (OMG, did she fall on a cactus?!), Dr. Liz said, “She just had a puppy!” She pulled out a toy boxer puppy. “No wonder she was acting weird. Now you have a puppy. And she’s a girl puppy. And you could have a contest with your friends to name her.”
Her next patients were Billie and Nushi, black and white furry toys that look like the cats at home. Nushi was coming in because she wasn’t grooming herself (true story; we’ll need to go to the vet this weekend), and Billie was tagging along for a checkup.
At this point, Dr. Liz realized that maybe she should ask some questions. So she ran over to the computer and pretended to type. “What does Nushi eat?” she asked.
“Dry cat food,” I answered.
“Did she ever go to another vet?”
“Yes, she went to another vet before I moved across town. I have her business card if you want it.”
“Does she get exercise?” she asked.
“Only when the dog chases her,” I answered. “Nushi is lazy.”
“Maybe she doesn’t groom herself because she’s too lazy!” Dr. Liz said. “I could just groom her.”
“That’s true,” I said, “she is very lazy. But up until recently, she had been grooming herself.”
“Hmm.” Liz grabbed the phone. “I’m gonna call my boyfriend. He’s also a vet.” She punched in a few numbers. “Hello? Oh, hi honey! This lady’s cat isn’t grooming herself and she might be sick. Uh huh. Okay. Yeah. Okay, I love you, bye!”
I asked, “What did he say?”
“He said, awww, poor kitty!”
Nushi got a thorough grooming (including a “baf,” a manicure, and a bow on her head), and then it was time to see Billie. I told Dr. Liz that my only concern about Billie was that she’s super old.
“Is she a billion?” Dr. Liz asked.
“Well, she’s 22 in people years, so…yeah, pretty much. How should I make sure such an old cat stays healthy?”
“Feed her good food, and take her to the vet a lot, and be nice to her.”
“Alright,” I said, “but how much exercise should she be getting?”
“Well,” Dr. Liz said, “Cats can sometimes be lazy about their exercise. They like to lay down and watch things, and take naps, and groom themselves.”
“Billie plays tag with the dog,” I said. (she really does!) “If anything, I worry that she’s exercising too much.”
“Well, I don’t think that’s a problem. Cats are lazy, and as long as she only exercises sometimes, she’ll be healthy.”
Billie also got groomed, but Dr. Liz said, “She wouldn’t let me put a bow on her head.”