At the Vet

Before anybody asks, there’s no connection whatsoever between today’s poem and the accompanying illustration, other than the fact that I finished painting the one last night and wanted to show it off, and that we had to take our cat, Biscuit, to the vet today, thus inspiring (which is perhaps stretching the word ‘inspiring’ to its limit) the other. It turned out to be Biscuit’s colitis kicking off again, so no need to panic. All complaints, therefore, should be sent to the usual address: Wheelie Bin 4, Fleetwood Market Bottle Bank, Lancashire.


This room is disinfectant hell,
A soap-mixed-up-with-damp-fur smell.
Around the walls, in silent rows,
The worried sit and watch their toes,
Each with a growling box.
My stomach is tied up in knots.
I always seem to be here, in this room of in-between,
Where time suspends itself as I suppress the violent urge to scream,
With gory posters showing dogs’ insides and horses’ inner tubes,
And my own box that complains in syncopated interludes.


12 responses to “At the Vet

  • JahTeh

    The new cat is only 3 years old, he should be paying my doctor’s bills before I have to pay for a vet. And I’d have to take him there in a shark cage, he’d be through a cardboard box like a Bondi tram.

  • Brian Hughes

    We’ve got two carriers now, Wicthy – one made from reinforced plastic and metal with teethmarks in the door, the other made out of wicker. We’re saving the second for May Day.

  • Jo

    I was at the vet with gangly dog this morning too, just a Pre-op check. Funny how you still panic that something might be wrong though. Love the image and the poem. 🙂

  • Syncopated Eyeball

    I like your painting, Brian, I like your style and all the details. The poem too.
    You described the smell of a vet’s exactly as I remember it.
    My late friend, Jack the cat, absolutely hated going to the vet. It must be so alarming to all the patients with the smells of such a lot of other creatures.

    • Brian Hughes

      Thanks. To be honest I really hate going to the vet. I freak out in there more than the cats do. So I send Michelle nowadays instead, and then hang around at home feeling just as worried but also guilty.

  • basiga

    Me~how~r~u Busquit?
    Nice painting and enjoyed the poem too.
    You’ve got your hands full.

  • eccentricess

    Vet visits – send me to the Doctor instead any day!
    We all know our furbabies are miserable, and then the worry on top of that.
    Glad to hear Biscuit will have comfy innards again. 🙂

    • Brian Hughes

      Anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics. She ate for several hours after coming out of the vet. Now she’s stopped again. Presumably the anti-inflamatories have worn off and now we’ve got to wait until the anti-biotics kick in, by which time she’ll probably need another injection because her stomach will have shrunk. Good money after bad. Sometimes I think we’re keeping that vet going.

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