Saturday, October 25, 2008

Politics of Dogs and Chickens

It's not easy to find a good veterinarian. It's even harder in Mexico. Weeks of trying to get Emma the kitty decent medical treatment led to the diagnosis of liver disease. That confirmed my own suspicions, since Google and I had also concluded Hepatic Lipidosis. Emma the kitty has been doomed for close to a month now.

I was really having a hard time with that. Emma was the kitten that picked me out and followed me. Because she fell in love with me at first sight, I decided to adopt a girl cat, and my girlfriend at the time was sort of fenced into taking Emma's brother - Spike the kitty. When we broke up, I stole Spike and kept the family together.

Fifty thousand miles and one international border later we're missing Spike and Emma has been failing rapidly. It's been long and heartbreaking, but she never stops eating. It's hard for me to give up on an animal that's ravenous. Something in that doesn't feel right. Maybe it's just that watching someone die slowly can force an addiction to hope.

So the third vet... the desperation vet... the 'I can't stand to see Emma wither away for six more hours, so please just tell me something better' vet... whose office is more like an urban barnyard pet and feed store, takes one look at her and literally makes a "pssh" noise at the idea of liver disease, and sentences Emma to four days of shots for parasites.

Four days later she's getting her fourth shot, and Emma the kitty is much improved. We pay the second half of our 300 peso vet bill and we go home. Everyone is going to live!

Well, not everyone.

A few hours after giving Emma her last shot, and telling us to come back in three days for a check-up, the veterinarian and his two helpers, along with a 15 year old boy, were gunned down in their shop. I don't know anyone's names. If I did I'd recount them uselessly for you.

Nor do I know exactly why it happened, although it's pretty easy to connect the dots if you start with the roosters and consider our local cartel wars.

What I do know is that Emma is sleeping on a green towel right now, and the guy who saved her life is dead.

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