It’s a gas

The past two Tuesdays have been busy with operations. So much so that I rarely set foot outside theatre on either day. Last week I assisted with the anaesthetics for an exploratory laparotomy, two cruciate ops and a  fracture repair. This week  there was an entropion op (to correct in-turned eyelids), an eye removal, a mammary tumour operation and yet another cruciate. Both weeks I ended up staying an hour late. We passed part of the time talking about the Julebord (Christmas party). It won’t be happening for two months, and yet it is already the subject of much discussion. It sounds quite a wild event. Apparently last year, Jan Arne had a candle on his head. The dress-code is listed as “Pyntet” which is the same word that is used for a Christmas tree when it has been decorated, but sometimes things can be taken a bit too far.

Thursdays are a bit more varied for me. As has been happening lately, I arrived to find Magne having coffee with a couple of the vets from the large animal practice next door. He invited me to join them and seemed disappointed when I said no, but when I explained that if I didn’t get on, his room wouldn’t be ready when he needed it, a wave of approval washed over me from all of them. Dedication is my middle name!

I found myself back in theatre later in the morning when Jan-Arne had a cat to spay. We were just examining the cat to check that it was healthy for its operation, when Jan-Arne spotted the fact that the cat’s mammary glands were distended. Having inspected them, and decided that he could still go ahead, he said something and suddenly started to giggle.

‘What is it?’ I asked him.

‘I just realised I said “pussy milk”‘ he said, and started laughing more.

He was quite insistent that I must add it to my blog, though I did express some concerns over the possible Google Searches it might send my way. I quite forgot to mention that my parents would be reading. Hello Mum. Hello dad!

As ever, a flank cat-spay seems to cause enormous interest in the practice. At one point I looked up to see Wivek, Magne and Irene all looking through the glass windows in the doors of the theatre. Seeing me looking at them, they all pulled crazy faces. I so regret not having my camera. I had never noticed the resemblance Wivek has for Jack Nicholson before, but it was very striking. Luckily she didn’t have an axe.

The operation itself was more difficult than usual. Most young cats have very little abdominal fat, but this one had more than average. It wasn’t hard to find the first ovary, but the second one was difficult and so Jan-Arne asked me to take over. It took a while to track down the offending ovary, but having finally located it behind the kidney, we were all able to relax a little. It seemed that the cat was not quite finished with us however. As I returned all the intestines to their correct place and prepared to close up, there arose in the room a vile miasma. The stench of cat-fart wafted around the room to a wretched chorus of groans and fluttering hands. The cat’s bowel had been quite distended before I pushed it back into the abdomen. Undoubtedly I had caused the stink. Without looking up I made a general apology to Jan-Arne, Kirsty and Marita, all of whom were standing in the room to watch.

‘Sorry about that.’

The silence in the room was palpable. So much so that I looked up, puzzled, only to see a wall of astonished and horrified faces (well, there may have been admiration on Jan-Arne’s. He is a man after all). It dawned on me that every single one of them thought that I was personally responsible for the awful odour.

‘Hey, no!’ I said, looking round at them all. ‘I only meant that I had caused it by handling the cat’s guts.’ The look of relief that came over the faces was hilarious. So much so that I began to giggle, and then Kirsty joined in, and then suddenly the whole room was filled with laughter. It was hard to stand up. About five minutes later, I was able to control myself enough to wipe away my tears and begin to stitch. So much for professionalism.

 

The picture at the top shows Ingo, a French bulldog who was in for an intravenous drip following a bout of illness. He was very patiently waiting for me to remove his drip so he could go home. Feel better Ingo!

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