I was packing up to go home, my shift being over for about an hour ago and I was finally done with all my medical charts and call backs. A receptionist asked me if I could talk to a woman on the phone whose cat I had seen several months prior. Normally I would stay and talk but it was my boyfriend and my 1 year anniversary and I had dinner reservations so I asked if someone else could speak to her. The receptionist came back and said no other doctor was available and the client urgently needed to speak to me, begrudgingly I picked up the phone.
The owner’s cat was acting “unusual” and she didn’t know why. When asked if she was giving the medication she was prescribed at the last visit she told me no. The cat was eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, all normally and had no wounds, bleeding, masses, etc. so I told the owner she could make an appointment and see me first thing in the morning. She became very upset and I said I was very sorry but I was off the clock and had a very important event I was going to be late for so she could either make an appointment or was welcome to go to the emergency hospital tonight if she was that concerned. Upset she hung up and I began to head out.
As I was going out the door my boss motioned for me, the owner had called back upset and was threatening to complain via social media, so I had to see her. The other vets were too busy and this had to be handled. She would be here in 10 minutes. Upset, I made my way back in and waited.
Forty five minutes later the client showed up and said she was told there would be exam fee for her “inconvenience” earlier. I didn’t argue because I wanted to get to my dinner. I did a complete examination and found nothing wrong. The owner could only tell me the cat was “off” but couldn’t explain how. The owner declined lab work, radiographs, a fecal analysis, and everything else I offered. Grasping at straws I offered a Cerenia injection in case the cat was feel nauseated. The owner agreed and I gave the injection and she went up front. I gathered my belongings again and proceeded to leave, now late for my reservation, when the receptionist came back to tell me the client didn’t have her wallet. “Just tell her to call with her credit card tomorrow” I said.
Moments later the receptionist was back, the owner had no credit card. I went up front.
“Ma’am… I understand you are worried about your cat. But you are telling me you came here without any money and no way of ever paying this bill?”
She began to cry. My phone vibrated and I looked, my boyfriend was texting me to say the restaurant couldn’t hold our place any longer and we had lost our table. I took my wallet out and told the receptionist I would just pay the bill. The owner said thank you and left. I went home and we ordered a pizza.
A few weeks later I got an email informing me someone had left a negative review about me. I looked, it was the owner of the cat. Her review said that I didn’t seem concerned about her cat and that I had been looking at my phone during the appointment.
Sometimes you just have to shake it off and go about your day as best you can.