Fear not, faithful readers, 'tis not your correspondent who needed care but two of his ever-faithful companions.
On Sunday, after taking Rufus to be treated at the Virgina Tech Vet School Hospital, it was on Mr. Fuzzy's schedule to telephone the local vet and cancel Rufus' appointment for 9:00 a.m. Monday morn. Life intervened again though, and the appointment time was kept, not for Rufus, but for Fred the Cat. Fred is one of the four siblings born here in the bedroom four years ago. He is a tad on the scruffy side and unlike his brother and sisters, his fur is rather coarse. Like his little sister, he is a roamer, leaving Stratheden Farm's boundaries for weeks at a time, always to return (the knowledge of which does little to mitigate Mr. Fuzzy's anxiety when Fred has been away for more than a week). Last night, Fred drifted in after nearly a fortnight of adventure elsewhere. It was observed that in order to purr, Fred had to breathe through his mouth. Over a fifteen minute period, he launched several ballistic-level sneezes; his tiny pink nose ran constantly. So in Rufus' stead, Fred went to the local vet this morning. Diagnosed with a cold, he is in isolation (JackTar's former hospital acomodations) and is to receive the same liquid antibiotic that was given to JackTar - all before Mr. Fuzzy's hands & arms had opportunity to heal from JackTar's protestations...
Rufus' lab tests today confirmed the initial diagnosis by Dr. Honious at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning - Addison's Disease. The Virginia Tech hospital phoned shortly after Mr. Fuzzy & Fred returned from the local vet to say Rufus could be bailed out at 3:30 p.m.
Mr. Fuzzy leapt into the jalopy and sped northward toward Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, anxious to reunite with his buddy. The attending clinician, Dr. Ziglioli and student-intern-soon-to-become-a-DVM, Mr. Walczak, were there with Rufus. It must be repeated that both of these professionals complimented Rufus on his personality & behaviour, neither the fault of Mr. Fuzzy but just Rufus' innate character. Two other professional who apparently attended during his medical adventures made the same observations regarding Rufus, bless his heart.
The student-intern-soon-to-become-a-DVM, Mr. Walczak, carefully explained the malady which had struck the faithful canine and what steps were necessary to put his life back on a normal track. It was most gratifying for Mr. Walczak to address Mr. Fuzzy as if his level of educational achievement exceeded the third grade... the information was detailed & thorough as communicated orally; in addition, a printed sheet reiterated the information, including the somewhat complicated treatment modality.
As Mr. Fuzzy and his erstwhile quadruped companion prepared to leave, Rufus actually wanted to go back through the door where his new friends entered... it so evident that the medical staff were not only technically competent but truly loved animals and were deeply compassionate. It is difficult to say enough about how positive our experience was at the hospital. Below you will set your eyes on the visages of Dr. Ziglioli and student-intern-soon-to-become-a-DVM, Mr. Walczak, with Rufus. You can feel the warmth and sincerity.
A small leftover from Sunday night, if you will forgive the lack of sequence, dear reader: Mr. Fuzzy was delighted to learn that his entry in the New River Valley Fair won a blue ribbon, some small consolation for the poorness of the yield in this year's gardens, sigh. As you see below, there was, besides a blue ribbon, a cash award of $4.00 US.
Last, but not least, an update on the Raiders of the not-so-Lost Coop. Although no chicken lives were lost last eve (apparently verifying the source of ingress and egress was ended) the game camera camera captured an errant possum attempting to break into the coop. Perpetual vigilance is required to protect the domestic animals of Stratheden from its wilder inhabitants.
Mr. Fuzzy thanks the medical staff at Virgina Tech's Small Animal Hospital from the bottom of his heart for their expertise & compassion. Good night all.