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Yours truly

There's a bit of love in everyone's life, and one of the constant (as opposed to, um, non-constant) companions in mine has been Chandra, short for Subramaniam Chandrashekhar, Nobel-prize winning black hole physicist. And some 15 and a half years ago, this then college-age adoptee thought it an appropriate name for a black kitten. Who, I'll have it known, is a he, damnit!

Napa Small Animal Hospital

Well, years take their toll, and Chandra's finally getting to the end days (or months or years) of his life. How long, exactly, I really don't know. But his kidneys are failing.

This became painfully apparent in early August, when I took a very sick kitty to the vet. These are trips I've made periodically, largely when unavoidable, other than for routine shots and checkups, over the years. As I've moved around a bit, finding a good vet is always part of the relocation hassle, and I'd found my current care through my neighbors who have cats and a dog of their own.

Napa Small Animal Hospital isn't an imposing-looking business. White cinder blocks, a small parking lot, off Lincoln Ave. in Napa. But it's got a very caring staff and set of vets, starting with Dr. Rock Irvine, who founded the practice.

Chandra was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease as well as a bad case of dehydration (there's a number of complicating factors, of which this is only one, more later), and spent three days hooked up to an IV to get his fluids back up. I was in daily to check on him (damned patient cat for having a needle stuck in his foreleg), and got to see how the staff were with the patiants: very caring, professional, and competent.

After three days, with fluids back up and a daily regimine of subcutaneous fluids (basically: a needle in the back delivering 150 cc's of saline), we were ready to go back home, but there was an additional problem: Chandra's red cell count was low. He was badly anemic. With 27% or so being normal, his was hovering around 13%, and falling. There's drugs that can help, but they're awfully expensive, and, well, four years into the post-dot-com era, I'm pretty much broke.

Dr. Rock offered to see if a dose of EpiGen (aka ProCrit), the blood-forming hormone produced by kidneys) might come available, and a week or so later, it did. Dosing: three micrograms, every other day. Results: day and night. A once very visibly near-death cat is up, around, active, clawing at doors to be on the other side of them, scaling fences, walking all over the newspaper when I try to read it, and purring like mad. Modern medicine really can be impressive at times.

I offered to put up this page in return, noting that the hospital doesn't have a website of its own. I've found my personal pages do pretty well in search rankings, and felt it was a small favor I might be able to do. And I like plugging people and businesses who do The Right Thing. "Honestly, we've got all the business we can take right now", said Dr. Rock. "But sure".

So, speaking as a happy customer with a (for the moment) still loving, breathing cat: if you find yourself in need of vet care or boarding for your dog, cat, or other small animals, in the Napa Valley, and you can get in, give the Napa Small Animal Hospital a call. Good people and good care.

Napa Small Animal Hospital
517 Lincoln Ave.,
Napa, CA
(707) 257-8866

mail: kmself@ix.netcom.com
Last updated 2004/10/02 08:02:16