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Cat Wrangling

I saw this on FaceBook and it made me laugh. I don’t know how many pills I’ve given cats — but it’s lots! My first ever job was in a cat and dog boarding kennels. I looked after all the cats and a kennel of dogs.  This was before the days of compulsory cat vaccinations, and that year cat ‘flu hit the cats. (Scroll down for the rest of the story.)

I had to give all the cats a tablet twice a day and the sick ones more and different pills and plenty of water, using a squeeze injection thingy  (technical term) to squirt water into their mouths.

I got right into the swing of giving cats pills. The vet showed me how. I tucked the cat into my armpit, gently pulled its head back by the scruff of its neck until its mouth opened, tossed in the pill, and massaged the cat’s throat until it swallowed the pill. (Or not, in which case I retrieved the spat-out pill and repeated the process.) And it was all done and dusted quicker that the time it took to read this.

I was sixteen and as it turned out, I was doing two people’s work. They’d sacked one kennel-maid, and I was given her work in addition to my own. Plus there was the cat-flu. I got no extra help from the people who owned and ran the kennels. It was also high summer, and while they and their two daughters spent their lunch and tea breaks in air-conditioned comfort inside, I was never invited. 

I did the work because I loved the animals, and I cared about the sick ones so took good care of them. The fact that I was exploited didn’t occur to me until much later. I guess it was a life lesson. A lot of us start our working life being exploited, don’t we? 

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theo
theo
11 days ago

The pictures are hysterical! I haven’t seen that before. You’ve read this one, I’m sure: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC372253/ And yes, we’re all exploited when we start out. I made a dollar an hour at the concession stand at the movie complex. I waited customers, made the popcorn, cleaned the machine at the end of the night, which was the world’s worst job, washed the floor, emptied the glass shelves and washed them all down, cleaned all the counters, refilled the pop machines for in the morning, cleaned the butter machine…for a dollar an hour. Yup, exploited. But it did teach me how… Read more »

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
11 days ago
Reply to  theo

That article is hilarious, Theo. I laughed out loud when I came to the last point, about giving a dog a pill. Very funny — thanks for sharing. As for being exploited when young — yes, I think it’s a kind of rite of passage. And hopefully we learn from it. Though it’s the bosses who are the problem, aren’t they? A friend’s son (who I used to babysit) worked for free for several months in a fast food restaurant, who told him he was “being trained” and when he was good enough he’d get permanent employment. How much training… Read more »