Border medical care is always tons of fun, mainly because, along with the normal worry about the bedside manner of a doc, the office environment, and quality of care, there’s a whole new (major) worry about qualifications. Mexico, simply put, is a different country, with a whole different set of rules and regs pertaining to doctors. And the crossover requirements for a Mexican doc to practice in the US share some qualities with mystical beasts like dragons and unicorns. Do they exist? Where can they be found? If I see one, will the world fall into chaos and ruin, à la Tom Cruise’s 1985 cult classic Legend?
So most non-Spanish speakers drive further into the States, rather than risk driving to Mexico for any kind of medical care. Not being able to ask questions like, “where did you go to school?” and, “how long have you been practicing medicine?” especially without the ability to verify these things online, justifies the added cost of a whole day’s trip for a simple check-up. It’s understood that if you have any not-from-around-here friends you’re eventually going to be called upon to accompany someone on the hours-long ride into one of the big cities for a doctor’s appointment. Which is nice, because then you also get to eat a real meal at some big-name restaurant like Olive Garden.
And all this still applies when you’re seeking medical care for pets. So I (along with a friends, of course) drove the kitty to a neighboring (only about 80 miles away) town today for her first ever check-up.
We bought her a collar for the trip, which took some getting used to:
It’s always a surprise these days when people are genuinely polite or friendly to me. This vet was both. Also, the office staff has seen me a few times, now (this is the same place we brought Sasha, the ill-fated First Pet), so they’ve warmed up considerably.
Dr. Schtick, as I dubbed him, was delighted to hear all about the origins of the name “Wawa,” explained the intricacies of a feline leukemia test in great detail, and quipped “cat on a stick!” during one particularly uncomfortable exam, to my utter delight. I’ll be requesting that guy from now on.
Kitty has a 100% clean bill of health, which is good news for her, since both I and my husband are the opposite of bleeding hearts when it comes to pets.
I guess she’s in.