I’m Suspicious About Everything (Or How Appearances Impact Perception)

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So basically, here’s the deal.

My cat has a weird, squishy lump on her leg that appeared last week (as far as I know). I decided I wanted to take her to the vet, at the very least to ease my mind about it. I didn’t want to go to the vet I’ve used in the past because she is expensive and always tries to talk me into a bunch of extra things.

I asked a co-worker (who had a pet-sitting business in my area for the past 5 years) what vets she would recommend. She gave me the name of a great one that was close to my home. So I made an appointment and took the cat in on Wednesday.

When the doctor came in the exam room, I was surprised to see that he was about my age (youngest vet I ever met) and didn’t appear especially “doctor-like”. He was dressed pretty casually (Chucks, t-shirt, etc.) under his white lab coat. Whatever, we got along well, he was nice, etc.

cat in a box

the cat in question

He felt the cat-lump and explained things like:

  • It’s near where a lumph node would be
  • But usually inflamed lymph nodes are hard, and this is squishy
  • Which means it seems more like just a “fatty benign tumor,” called a lypoma, and if that is the case,
  • It shouldn’t bother her unless it gets any larger
  • And if it does, we should remove it before it becomes a problem
  • Since it’s on my cat’s *only* back leg.

Cool. He said something like “Let’s stick a needle in there and draw some stuff out of it, and I’ll look at it under a microscope, just so we can be sure it’s just fat and there’s nothing else in there that could be dangerous.” Okay. (Yes, he spoke very casually, not all stiff and doctor-like.)

And here’s where things start to get… confusing…

A few minutes later he came back with the needle and an assistant and within moments, he was finished and (amazingly) the cat didn’t even flinch when the needle went in. He set his microscope slide on the exam table and squeezed the contents of the syringe onto the slide.

Then, I’m pretty sure he did it again, as if he didn’t get everything out of the syringe the first time. And I was looking at the slide and I just… didn’t see anything on it. I thought perhaps that the contents were just too small or transparent for me to see, or perhaps I was just standing too far away or my eyesight was failing me (which has been kind of a problem lately; I think I need new glasses). But still.

There was also a second slide, which I expected him to place on top of the first one to preserve the stuff on it or whatever, but he didn’t. And he proceeded to stand there for a moment or two more and talk about how he was going to look at it under the microscope, etc. before he finally left to go DO that stuff.

He and the assistant left the room, and we waited. A while later he came back and announced “It’s a lypoma!”

Then he thanked me, shook my hand, asked me how to pronounce my last name, and we parted ways.

OKAY, so…

Anyone else find the whole needle-and-slide thing a bit… odd? Or am I being suspicious for nothing?

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2 thoughts on “I’m Suspicious About Everything (Or How Appearances Impact Perception)

  1. (For the record…)

    Linsomnia said:
    “Seems very unorthodox, or just winging it. Is he licensed vet or just a vet tech?Did you see his licence, diploma, etc.
    As a New Yorker, I’m predisposed to find most behavior suspect, and this is no exception.
    Maybe you can check your State’s vet licensing board online to verify credentials and see if any complaints have been filed.”

    I checked. He is licensed, no complaints. A recent grad (2009) who has been working at that hospital since 2011.

    Linsomnia replied: “So he’s just kooky.”

  2. (For the record…)

    Miaka said:
    “Here’s my take: sometimes they don’t put a cover on the slides bc it might affect it. I don’t know exactly what they were looking for. If its a fatty lump I don’t think it matters how long it sits there open. Seems weird that you didn’t see it on the slide though. At the dr office I worked at they looked for yeast in open slides (no top cover)”

    So this eases my my mind quite a bit.

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