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Don't like my cat? Fake it


Clients can sense if you're not a feline fan.

I was a cat hater for a time. I'm not sure what turned me-my first cat's disappearance, my second cat's untimely death, or my third cat's eventual disdain for me. But I know exactly what


turned me to my feline-friendly ways: my fourth cat, Pippa. I'm absolutely wild about her, and I'm certain the feeling is mutual.

Pippa (that's her on the left) ranks right up there on my list of family members. I take her health seriously, and I've been happy overall with the medical care she's received. However, I haven't been so pleased with the emotional side of her care. In fact, I've left two veterinary practices because I got the feeling they just didn't like Pippa very much.

Turns out I might have been right. About 34 percent of team members prefer working with dogs over cats, according to the February VetMedTeam.com survey. Some 43 percent of survey respondents speculated their co-workers prefer working with dogs.

I get it that not everybody likes cats. But feline health is suffering (see "Get Cats out of the Shadows"), and I'm convinced that's due in part to cat owners who dislike going to the veterinarian as much as their pets do.

The idea of taking Pippa to the doctor certainly makes me sweat. I don't have a problem getting her into the carrier or keeping her calm in a lobby full of dogs. Instead, it's the catty (pun intended) comments that I dread. When Pippa opens wide and hisses, I've heard a sarcastic, "Well, her teeth look good." I've heard jokes about Pippa's attempts to bite and claw her way off the exam table. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard a team member say, "Wow, she's not very happy today."

You don't need to remind me my cat is fractious. I know she turns into Mr. Hyde at the clinic. What I don't know is whether you understand she's not like this at home and she's reacting this way because she's petrified.

Sure, an angry cat is hard to manage, let alone love. But all I'm looking for-all any cat owner is looking for-is a veterinarian and team who think our cats are as beautiful and wonderful as we do. Please just show our pets a little love-even if you have to fake it.


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