Social Distancing, Sick Kitties and Compassion Fatigue

Human, we’re going to need some supplies and PLEASE more protein and less of these veggie things!
-Alberto

Hello Furiends,
As my regular readers may have noticed I did not write my regular Wednesday feature last week. The world has gone insane and our Female Human has been working hard to keep up. It’s been a bit confusing because, just when we thought we were going to have full time staff at home, The Human found out that since she has clients whose businesses are deemed essential so she has to go to work. Frankly, as frazzled as she looks I think she should just stay at home.

And speaking of frazzled there was a bit of a scare at our house this weekend. Jasmine was not feeling well (she was having “plumbing problems” if you get my drift.) This is a serious issue with kitties and especially kitties like Jasmine with kidney disease. There we were, with our sister Jasmine howling in pain and our Human in a situation where she and the other humans are told to “social distance”.

The good news for us is that we have a veterinary practice (or as I like to refer to them “a stabby place”) that is open 7 days a week. Yes, you heard me right, EVERY day of the week. Why is this? They are attempting to make themselves available for sick kitties (and other pets) as much as possible while also caring for themselves as well and looking to avoid something called “compassion fatigue”.

What is Compassion Fatigue?

When The Female Human went to the Cat Writer’s Association conference last year she attended a very interesting presentation about Compassion Fatigue given by Beth Stultz-Hairston from Pet Sitters International. The presentation focused on compassion fatigue for pet writers but also included information on compassion fatigue in the veterinary industry as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no big fan of those stabby, stabby places but , whenever I have to go there I get kisses and ear skritches and, if I wasn’t feeling great, I always feel better after the visit (don’t tell The Human I said this).

Compassion Fatigue, according to Dr. Charles Figley and Professor Paul Henry Kurzweg is, “… a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress; it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper.”.

Vets have two times the stress

Those people in the stabby places have to deal with 2 patients, we felines who, for the most part are less than thrilled to be there and our humans who are worried about us. If your humans are like my Human, sometimes there are even tears involved. As a feline who rarely worries about anything except being stuffed in my carrier, a loud sneeze or humans I don’t know coming into my house, I’m no expert on stress but I did have my Purrsonal Assistant find some information about compassion fatigue for me.

Reducing Stress For Patients

My stabby place built a whole new building to keep stress to a minimum and enhance wellness for all of their patients. Oliver and I did a review about this. Ever since we’ve been to the new place our visits have been much better and the rest of the Tribe never even knows where we’ve been when we get home so there is no hissing festival when we’re released from our carrier. It stands to reason, when the felines are less stressed, so are the humans and the stabby people but still, it doesn’t stop compassion fatigue for those folks who take care of us.

How Our Vets Manage

In addition to the fantastic new stabby place they built and offering after hour emergency services they also changed their business days to 7 days a week. This has been great for the human cat parents but it was taking its toll on the people working there. They decided that they would not do after hour emergency services but would still do the 7-day a week schedule. Those folks are doing all they can to mitigate compassion fatigue.

Good News For All

Even during these stressful days, and without after hours emergency service, Pend Oreille Veterinary Service managed to help our Jasmine this past Sunday. As I mentioned she was having some “plumbing issues” and was yowling in pain.

But, but, it’s Sunday. Where is The Female Human going with Jasmine?!

The Female Human called the stabby place, they said to come over and so Jasmine and The Human sat in the “outdoor waiting room” (translation, the car)

I’m not happy about this Human!”
-Jasmine

Before she knew it, The Female human’s cell phone rang and someone came out to get Jasmine. She stayed there most of the day and the good folks took great care of her. I’m thinking without the nervous Human hanging around it must have been much easier for them. By late Sunday afternoon, Jasmine was delivered to the car and sent home with medications.

“Human, I am not pleased with you right now!”
-Jasmine

Jasmine is doing much better and, thanks to the fantastic, compassionate folks at Pend Oreille Veterinary Service it looks like we’re on the road to beating this infection before it gets to her kidneys.

So folks, during these stressful times, The Tribe wants to remind you to be kind to all the people at your stabby places. Compassion Fatigue is a real thing. We felines know that all you humans are stressed right now but the humans who care for us kitties are pawsome, they deal with so much and we should give them a little love (from a safe distance and without touching, or course!

12 thoughts on “Social Distancing, Sick Kitties and Compassion Fatigue

  1. We are glad Jasmine is feeling better. Our vet has the “car hop” service too, but so far we’ve only needed booster shots.

    You gave a lot of good advice, Alberto. Hopefully the idea of 7 days a week to be open will spread,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you’re feeling better Jasmine. I’m thankful for all the wonderful folks that are out there keeping things moving. Bless them all.

    Have a fabulous day and stay well. Scritches to all the kitties. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First off, we are pleased to hear that Jasmine has great care!
    Second, here’s hoping The Human’s work situation calms down a bit.
    Thirdly, we appreciate our veterinarians SO MUCH, and will endeavor to tell them at every opportunity, so we won’t add to their daily stress.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/01 | Feline Opines

The Tribe of Five would love to hear you opine!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.