Doing the right thing for our injured stray cat would take courage-and faith. She needed a name and I really needed to unite my team. I told my compassionate but frightened staff that our struggling patient would be named Faith.
Pets can be powerful teachers. Each of them has a spirit. Most are more pure and uncluttered than ours. They share our lives to help us learn the real meaning of being.
The next morning with bright lights, a magnifying loop, and our tiniest instruments, I carefully re-repaired Faith’s jaw fractures. I did the first of three skin grafts on her lower lip. She and I became close in the weeks that followed-but so did everybody in our group.
Faith got well and became our staff’s pet for the rest of her life. She was a happy, shiny, beautiful cat. She would proudly saunter through the hospital reminding us that life can be simpler and that you don’t really have to do a lot to be loved and valued; you can just be. Our cat Faith was a living, breathing reminder that short-term pain, however intense, can give way to healthy change.
We needed a kitty at our work because veterinary medicine can be stressful and, well, we just love pets. Faith often camped out on the reception counter, greeting our patients and their people near the front door where we first met her. A few times she used a potted plant in my office as a lavatory. Bad Faith!
Amid the challenges of a busy practice we found an unexpected opportunity to serve. We pulled together in our belief that we could make a difference. Our investment paid us back. We did what it took to save Faith and we saved ourselves in the process. We were rewarded with the calm serenity of our cat every day.
Faith’s horrific injuries were a gift to her and to us because of the lessons she taught. Every pet we treat is a learning opportunity. This time we gained even more. Faith can be a hard virtue to live, but it can quiet fear.
For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com.
Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post pet behavioral or physical questions on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.