Let me preface this post by telling you I have been going through a phase of seeming to guard against stupidity. My own and others!
A stupid person or act is well-defined by this classic:
THE BASIC LAWS OF HUMAN STUPIDITY
by Carlo M. Cipolla
illustrations by James Donnelly
This short treatise, (though I think inaccurate on the ratio of males to females born), asserts that stupid individuals are placed at an even rate through society and their very random, unthoughtful and irrational behavior makes them unpredictable and very dangerous. They can cost you a lot if not guarded against vigilantly.
(Example, touring with a young couple interested in a short-term stay at the Odell House (my other line of work) when showing them a month-long place to stage a house hunt, they suggested that in this room:
We tear out the hundred year old built-in book-case at the foot of the twin bed
so their five-year old child could have his clothes stored more conveniently near to him.
This obviously did not happen, but it works well into the idea that people are either:
Intelligent. Dealing with intelligent people is a win-win–both parties benefit.
Helpless. These people lose by allowing others to take advantage of them.
Bandits. People who gain from others misfortune or loss.
Stupid. Stupid people cause themselves loss while also causing others to lose.
So how does this relate to horses and vets? (Or in this case, horses, cats and vets)
An example of Intelligent behavior:
X client has been having difficulty with the bitting of her horse. She rides very well and is conscientious about properly fitting tack. The horse has had his teeth worked on, but still seems uncomfortable sometimes with his bitting. We were talking yesterday and I said to her:
“Every day before you ride check his mouth for soreness in the bars, particularly on the right–and I really think you should make an appointment and have an x-ray of that lower jaw on the right. I can feel something there, and we need to know if there is a spur or a leftover wolf tooth. Better to know what we are dealing with than to guess.”
She has appeared hesitant to spend the money, yet later in the day I got a text: “Appointment on Monday–soonest they could fit it in.”
This is an example of an intelligent well-reasoned choice to use medical help. The benefit of knowing will almost surely outweigh the cost.
Here is an example of a not so well thought out moment.
This is Pasha, who you have met in other places in the blog.
Here he is shown admiring the new bike just come in from a winter ride. He likes to go out, and does so on a leash, accompanying me to the grocery store in the car on occasion.
He’s obviously an indoor cat, but he does get to go and play in the chicken house looking for mice–his hobby.
But most of the time he just hangs out.
Last night Rick brought him in from the chicken house, and all seemed well.
But around two in the morning I noticed a large wet spot at the base of the bed, where he often sleeps. I got up to see what was going on. On picking him up I found he was rather helplessly attempting to lick himself on his chest–he was soaked!
Realizing in my semi-asleep state that there was a cat and a lot of wetness involved, I thought to myself, “This is an emergency!”
(I am not an expert in cats. I do horses.)
But my cat vet has frequently pushed home the point that cats live on the verge of dehydration.
Disturbances to fluids are very serious.
I asked Rick to help me, and shined a flashlight on Pasha’s face and chest. Pasha looked unhappy and unwell! Continually licking himself, yet I could not find an injury.
I told Rick, “I think we might have to take him to the emergency clinic!” And went off to get dressed.
Rick appeared in a moment, saying, “Are you sure?”
Long stubborn female pause.
Rick again. “He jumped off the bed just fine.”
As a primary diagnostic I went and got Pasha’s bag of treats–told him to sit, which he did, and daintily accepted the offering. (As you may see from his figure, Pasha typically has a good appetite.)
Pasha had not in fact gotten a stick (or mouse) lodged in his throat.
He was not stricken with the dreaded drooling disease.
He had, in fact, missed his jump to the bathroom counter and landed chest side down in the open toilet.
And, as there is a lot of fur involved in Pasha, there was indeed a lot of water involved–as well as some measure of feline distress and a great deal of licking.
This would have not been helped by a trip to the ER–though they might possibly have found it as funny as Rick does. . .