16 July 2008


So the 'Dawg writes about taking a vicious kitten to the veterinarian, and ensuing blood and pain.

Now, I grew up with cats, and we were cheap, so we did home vaccinations. I got scratched. But I did not truly understand the evil of an angry cat until I was in Iraq.

We took a vet with us when we deployed. She was a major, some years in the Individual Ready Reserve, who ran a cat clinic in the South. A kind, short woman, who received cards, letters and photos from her "patients."

We shared a tent in Iraq. It was really fairly comfortable, since there were just three of us. The specialist, me, and the major veterinarian, who we referred to as, "The Ma'am."

One day, The Ma'am was showing us a postcard from a kitten, or some such madness, when the specialist took note of her arm.

Ma'am, are those...scars?

I glanced down. Our sweet, kind, southern vet had long white scars running from the backs of her hands up to her elbows, and a few disappeared beneath the tan sleeves of her uniform t-shirt.

Oh, she answered. Yeah. From back in the days when I held cats myself, before I started hiring assistants.

I grew up with cats, and I like cats. But cats are definitely, totally, not nice.