20 September 2007

The post I typed with two fingers only

Yesterday was a bit of a shock. We only had 13 cows waiting for us and somehow, SOMEHOW I had managed to forget all about this. I had blocked it out of my mind even though I know that is the only way to palpate some organs. The middle of the morning found me half-way inside a cow, again, and the very first one I palpated (650 kg/1430. lb minimum) squeezed so very hard I actually became nauseated, and this time the added bonus of my bound wrist meant I couldn't hold her tail so whenever she saw fit to to slap me across the shoulders and general upper body - which was continuously bcs let's face it, there was a human up her arse and that's bound to be bothersome - all it took was the first 5 min for my coveralls to be covered in shit. The first 5 minutes. And bcs she also swayed her hips left and right and kicked to try and dislodge me (cows can kick outwards and backwards) and by that time I was in shoulder-deep I was forced to really brace myself all the while matching her moves so she wouldn't dislodge me, so much so, in fact, that my legs hurt when I got up this morning.

In the evening all nine of us went to our teacher's home to watch the rugby match [Portugal-Italy; and in our defence we are the ONLY team in the World Cup that isn't sponsored enough for Rugby to be their livelihood, i.e., they all have jobs and meet to train afterwards. Terribly sad, and not fair at all.] and after that I had the pleasure of listening to my three roomates breathe, blissfully asleep, while I tossed and turned and bemoaned life as a never-learnt-how-to-fall-asleep insomniac. And then a nightmare involving lost cats woke me up at 6.30 am and blimey, that did improve my mood.

I never really wake up looking clever and bright, especially if I slept little and/or poorly and it's very bright outside. I will look either mental or mad at the world or blind or, most commonly, a combination of all three:

Simply exhudes intelligence.

Today was loads of fun though, not one rectum in sight. First we examined some sheep and took some rather cool pictures of facial eczema and contagious ectima. We also tended to them. Then we checked the calves and younger cows for keratoconjunctivitis (my teacher is doing a study) and it looks rather dramatic, not to mention the impact it has on production and the animal's well-being.

See this colleague of mine?

He drew blood and then promptly stabbed me with the needle in my pinkie [kindly notice the white wrapping on my right hand to staunch the blood; it took ages!] and on the way out also managed to draw blood on my palm. It hurt and stang like the bloody hell and it's still throbbing as I type this. He also sent me flying a few times, I think the shift in weather is affecting my balance bcs it took very little for me to lose it and be forced to wildly cling to whomever happened to be standing by. The one time was funny bcs we were cleaning sheep wounds and he sent me clean across the whole pen and if it weren't for a colleague happening to be standing behind me I'd have hit my head on the hay feeder. [Sad, sad story behind it though: men are hunters, hunting season ends, men decide they have no further use for their dogs, men abandon dogs, dogs starve, dogs form wild packs, dogs will kill and maim up to 200 animals in one go bcs unlike wolves they do not kill only what they can eat and eat it all, they will bite randomly and sheep die of suffocation if in pens bcs they'll panic and frantically climb all over each other]

With the calves some of us immobilised the animal while some took pictures of the affected eyes, drew blood, cleaned the eye, swabbed it for microbiological testing etc. The best way to distract a calf and keep it from moving about is to let it suckle on your hand. Notice carefully and properly positioned hand - calves do have teeth you know.

But suckling seems to be a reflection-inducing activity and it may very well be that you find yourself suddenly thinking Hey, why can't I feel any teeth, he doesn't have any problem with his teeth does he?, so you angle your hand to check.

And that's when you find out that no, HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH HIS TEETH

and you know this bcs he happily munched on you, img_2864

and honestly, between the pierced finger and the chewed finger and the cut palm it's like living inside a penis.

12 furballs:

manuela said...

Omydear... you are well aware of course, that while we FEEL for you in your veterinary mishaps, we also laugh with you.

Check out my current post and see if I can't return the giggle.

Udge said...

Hey, that looks like fun. Can I be a vet too?

Anonymous said...

I would just like it to be known that I wrote a comment and Blogger wouldn't let me post it, despite my repeatedly clicking on "Publish". Grrrr.


Anonymous said...

And it was a witty, self-deprecating, appreciative little comment, too. Double grrrr.

V, again.

Udge said...

(fascinatedly contemplating the line "like living inside a penis")

Lord Chimmy said...

Loved the pictures. I bet your a lot of fun in class! You're well on your way Lioness. Soon, you'll be a vet, and everyone will be asking you what's wrong with their sick animals.

You look great in blue ;)

Lioness said...

M., oh I have, I have. Only you.

Ugde, why yes you can! We actually need large animal vets! *points way* Is it settled then?

V., Blogger is a fickle thing. I'km sure it was an exceedingly brilliant comment, sorry to have missed it. Twice!

Udge, well, you know what I mean right? With all the throbbing? Not the most poetic of images but true nonetheless. And this is for V. up there: sad when life turns penis-y.

Chimmy, oh God, don't remind me, I don't know anything! No one should trust me with their animals! And I know - blue AND brown, right? ;)

portuguesa nova said...

You are the cutest vet ever!

paulmonster said...

Nicely done, Lioness.

I once had a llama mistake my hand for a sheaf of pampas grass at a petting zoo. Fortunately, llama teeth aren't particularly sharp. The experience was--I can't believe I'm admitting this on the internet--almost arousing.

ALMOST, I SAY. I was fourteen and you're so going to burn in the afterlife for thinking what you're thinking.


Lioness said...

PN, you didn't smell me! But tnx!

PAUL! HI!!! *waves madly, madly, madly* I'm not thinking much other than "What the...??" - kindly explain how a llama bite can be almost arousing. I was once spat at by one and it wasn't remotely almost anything other than plain vile - for a herbivore it has rather nasty salive.

CarpeDM said...

You are so adorable! I would gladly let you take care of my large animals. If I had any. Maybe Eddy will gain some weight. He's almost up to 10 pounds!

Lioness said...

Dana, should you adopt a stray cow pls make sure she isn't anywhere near me. And don't over-feed Eddy!