Every vet, at some point, takes in an animal natural selection tried to throw out.

I moved to Newfoundland with 3 cats and a dog. I have always said 3 was my magic number, I had no intention of taking in any more cats. And I definitely didn’t need another dog.

I wasn’t at work more than a month before the girls tried to get me to take in a homeless orange tabby with a stumpy tail. As much as I have a soft spot for stumpy tails, and an even bigger soft spot for orange tabbies… I didn’t give in. I almost did, but then I thought better of it. I really did have a full house already.

Once I’d been at work going on almost 6 months, however, I caved. And this is that story.

Some clients brought in a teeny tiny kitten they had found in the woods. He appeared to have an injured back leg. They didn’t want to keep him, because they already had a very high maintenance cat, so they left him with us. The staff fell in love with him, and one of the assistants was going to keep him if we could fix him. The clinic owners were approached, and gave the okay for me to “practice” on him for free – out of hours and with a volunteer assistant.

Long story short, we did end up amputating the leg. The assistant who was going to keep him named him Cole, after Cole Harbour, birth place of Sidney Crosbie. She wanted to name him Patrick, which is Crosbie’s middle name, but got talked out of that. Might be awkward if she and Sidney got married. She took him home. . .

. . .and her dogs LOST THEIR MINDS. So she couldn’t keep him. Very sad. Started a facebook campaign to find him a new home. The more I thought about it, though, he was my FIRST solo amputation. I had assisted in Tristan’s amputation, and I had assisted in two additional amputations as a student, but this was my first amputation as the doctor. And I did it all by myself. I couldn’t let this kitten go to just ANY home.

So he came to my home. I didn’t like having a black kitten named “Cole”, so I renamed him “Patrick Cole” and he generally just goes by Patrick. I decided he wasn’t my cat, he’s Ollie’s kitten. Ollie loves cats and my grown boys don’t like him. Patrick at least could grow up with Ollie and maybe they’d get along (sometimes, they do… Ollie is 40kg to Patrick’s 2.5kg, though, so he kind of scares the bejeesus out of Patrick when he gets excited…).

Iddy biddy Patrick meets Ollie for the first time.

Patrick is kind of… special. His tail has a distinct 90 degree bends in it. This has the delightful effect of making it look like another leg when he’s sitting up, so he looks like he has all four legs and maybe no tail. He was bilaterally cryptorchid (in other words, his testicles never came down into his scrotum. Maleness fail.) He very recently finally had surgery to hunt down those testicles, which were hiding up in his hip.

Oh yeah, I’m super sexy. Me-yow.

Patrick loves to lick people. A lot. He likes to smoosh his face into bags and purses. He will randomly get underneath Stewie and chew on him.  He tries to move in on Fluff’s sleeping spots, and gets beat down. He likes to sleep in Ollie’s crate and steal Ollie’s kibbles. He purrs loudest when he’s sucking on the nubbly cat pillow… and he lifts the pillow right off the ground with his intense sucking, he’s so into it. He’s my tiniest cat by half, and possibly my most entertaining – he tries so hard to do what the big cats do, but missing a back leg really hinders his jumping abilities, and his running abilities when he gets overly excited.

I made this pillow years ago, and while the other cats enjoy it as a bed, none have loved it as much as Patrick. . . it’s a bit disturbing, really.

I’ve put my foot down, now. No more pets. Four cats and one dog is enough for one person, I’d say. I certainly love my gimpy lil’ freak, but NO MORE. There’s hardly room in the bed for me as it is!


About dottiemaggie

A veterinarian living and working in St John's, Newfoundland. I love my job, and I love my home. Professionally I am passionate about critical care and client education. Away from work I am passionate about enjoying life, spending time with friends, enjoying hobbies of all sorts, and exploring this wonderful province I call home.
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10 Responses to Every vet, at some point, takes in an animal natural selection tried to throw out.

  1. Susan says:

    No more, OK.
    Can you see me making a big OK sign with my fingers and rolling my eyes?

  2. JaniceP says:

    It sounds like he ended up with the perfect home. (I’m at my maximum too. I’m very rarely tempted to add another pet; but I know I’ve got the right number now. I understand where you’re coming from.)

  3. Kate says:

    And that’s why you were meant to be a vet. My vet has a gazillion and a half pets and I feel so good when we bring our beloved pets to see him because he understands the love we feel for those animals. The animals that have captured our hearts and are part of our family.

    • maggie says:

      It’s true – I gained a lot more respect for the vet I worked for while I was in high school when I saw how much he cared about his own cat. Hard to take a vet seriously if you don’t believe they care, or really understand what it’s like to have a pet that’s a part of your family 🙂

  4. linlah says:

    Sometimes you just never know how things will work out but Patrick was meant to be at your house.

    • maggie says:

      I think so 🙂 I do believe things happen for a reason, and what’s meant to be will be. . . Patrick definitely brings some extra smiles to my life 🙂

  5. frigginloon says:

    That’s what I said, 2 cats, 2, ducks, 1 bantam, I chicken, 2 lorikeets, 8 cockatiels and one dog later 😦

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