Friday, March 22, 2013

Mystery of dead cat continues: A day in the life of vet nurse

Image: Just one of a multitude of creative expressions inspired by that moustache. This one from The Little Duckling.

INVESTIGATIVE skills to match those of the fictional detective with the curly moustache, Hercule Poirot, would be needed to solve the multitude of 'cold cases' in the Lost & Found archives. Every edition of the Classifieds brings more mystery and intrigue with missing pets often the star players. However, it took a most extreme event to elevate one Redland feline to the cast, with a notice announcing "FOUND Deceased Cat ...", complete with capital letters as a mark of respect.
COMPASSIONATE veterinary nurse Clare Baker placed the notice after a woman delivered the young female tortoiseshell with a black collar to Cleveland Veterinary Clinic last week. "The lady found it in Ross Court – apparently it was hit by a car," Clare said. "It didn't have a microchip so I thought I'd advertise it so the owner could at least know what's happened to it and not need to keep searching." Clare can only wonder if the notice has allowed a grief-stricken owner to "get some closure" as no one responded. The tortoiseshell has been in cold storage awaiting a possible 'viewing'.
FROM time to time finders took dead animals to the clinic although "they are supposed to call the council" for removal from roads and streets, Clare said. While the latest delivery reflects a sombre side of a veterinary clinic soap opera, there must be a lot of joy in working so closely with the animal kingdom. And bright, loving smiles surround baby animals. The clinic sometimes accepts unwanted kittens for people wanting pets. "We desex and microchip them and give them their first vaccination," Clare said. "If they are with us for long enough, they get another vaccination. "The cost of the kitten after the three procedures is $200, which is cheaper than getting them done separately, so the owners do save some money."
CLARE enjoys her career as a veterinary nurse; she started at age 16 in North Yorkshire, England, where she was born and grew up. She came to Australia as a backpacker and worked with the RSPCA in Sydney before moving with her husband Steve to Redland City in 2006.
FOR many generations, browsing the Lost & Found notices has been one of the highlights of the "local newspaper" experience. It's free with every edition, and it really is an intriguing 'soap opera' of our lives and times, although many mysteries are never solved. Just what is the story behind that 'pelvic sling' found in Victoria Point? Sorry, I wasn't game to ask.

This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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