Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cat Stories, Customer Service and a Koala Fact

I woke up when I heard the bedroom door open in the middle of the night. We keep the door closed to prevent the cats from sleeping with us. Julie was it bed beside me so I knew it wasn't her.

While doing some remodelling we replaced all passage locks with lever style handles. Maggie, the younger of our two cats, studied the problem over several months and learned how to open the door. She jumps up, grabs the lever with her front paws and swings her hind feet against the door to cause it to open a few inches. Smart cat. Getting into a room is one thing but learning to open the door from the inside is another. If she ever solves that problem then I'll consider her a feline genius.

Maggie feeling ill.
Maggie feeling ill.

Julie took both cats to the vet recently for annual shots. It was Macy's first trip. She's become fairly tame but turns into a rigid furry cactus if we pick her up. Through a little deception and artful use of Macy's addiction to mayonaise Julie managed to get her into a carrier.

The trip went well with two slight complications. For two days after the visit the cats didn't eat or move. They chose safe spots and slept. Julie phoned the vet to determine if this was normal and received a "I don't know. I guess it could be due to the shots." She completed an online form expressing concern about the response and a person phoned her. In the end it was great customer service.

The second complication is a little more serious. About a week after the visit Maggie began limping. We checked her leg and she didn't react. We touched her toes and she pulled away. Using a light and magnifying glass we failed to find an injury. After a week of limping where she got progressively worse so we made another trip to the vet. It turns out it was a reaction to the feline leukemia shot which sometimes causes a small lump at the point of the injection. If the lump grows larger or lasts longer than about 10 weeks there could be a serious problem. Wish they had told Julie this when the shots were administered. Not good customer service. The vet provided some syringes of an anti-inflamatory which stopped the limping after two days.

There are three interesting items from the second visit. The man who phoned Julie after her online response to their service heard we were in the clinic. He came in, introduced himself and spent about 15 minutes talking with us. Julie had inquired about cat doors (magnetic, infrared and chip operated). He couldn't answer one of her questions so he did some research, phoned manufactures and emailed Julie. Once again, great customer service.

The second interesting item relates to Maggie's limping. She didn't limp while in the clinic. I commented on this and was told that ninety percent of cats mask symptoms when they enter the clinic and smell dogs and other animals. When we got home she resumed limping until the anti-inflamatory had time to take effect.

The third item relates to koalas. A small video screen in the clinic shows images of animals and relates interesting facts. I learned the fingerprints of a koala are almost identical to human fingerprints. In fact, koala prints have been mistaken for human prints in crime scenes. Being skeptical (as I think is wise in the information age) I did a web search and this fact was confirmed. Either that or there's a world wide conspiracy of misinformation to which the Australians are party. I'll go with it as fact.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Animals have greater problem solving and communication skills than the "superior species" will credit.

2/17/2011 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

This high koalaty blog is the cat's ass. Seriously though that's a pretty smart cat.

2/17/2011 12:45:00 PM  

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