Hi, everyone! I thought this could be a fun, interesting, and maybe a bit intimate topic to explore every quarter of the year: one for winter, one for spring, one for summer, and one for fall. I am not big into all the reflecting at the end of the year, because I have bad memory, and also we’re wired to remember more hardships than good times. And I want my life to be filled with as many good things as possible!
These last few weeks (or months, rather) have been challenging. They always are when you’re a small business owner, and the busy holiday times hit & you’re trying to keep up with everything, but this fall has drained me already. Don’t get me wrong – I have NO problem with the amount of orders I’ve been receiving – after being in business for almost 5 years, I am pretty used to the high volume of orders during the fall season, so all is good in that department. The main things affecting my poor mental and physical health are the outside factors.
Let’s start with one of my cats having a slight ear infection (plain yeast infection, nothing big, should be over in no time). Or that’s what we thought. Our usual vet has retired, so we’ve been on the mission to find a new one. Well, we thought we found a decent vet – she spayed Vampiria, and has said that she loves working with fearful animals, to which I thought “Awesome! Bacha always freaks out when she goes to the vet, so this lady might be a good fit!” Uhm, ABSOLUTELY NOT.
So, we bring the cat in to get checked for ear infection. She takes swabs and brings them to the lab, comes back, tries to take a closer look into the cats ears – one ear is fine, but she shakes her head a couple of times, when the vet tries to look into the infected ear. What our previous vet would do in these situations? He’d just tell us how to hold her, or would invite his assistant to hold the cat properly. What does this new vet do? She sedates the cat without a second thought. Yep, she sedates the cat, because the cat (completely not aggressive, very friendly, has never scratched anyone) shook her infected ear couple of times. The vet CLEARLY has no idea how to properly hold the cat, and it seems she’s also a bit afraid of it. Then she takes a look at the ear, when the kitty falls asleep, complains about some gunk in the ears (hm-hm, the cat has an ear infection on top of being an oily Sphynx – shocker, she has some gunk!), then invites her assistant to clean out the ears. Ok, assistant comes, all is fine, until she starts digging all over the ears using this huge cotton bud. And she’s being rough! The cat is not completely sedated, only to the level of where she can barely move, and oh man, you can see she feels everything! She started trying to get away, digging, scratching, trying to cry while she was “sedated”, and she was clearly in a lot of pain. I give a few mad looks to the assistant, she calms down a bit. Oh, and can we just talk about the fact that she had the most disgusted face, when Vampiria shook her head (again, while “sedated”), and some of the ear cleaner got on her? It seems like all of these people are in the wrong profession.
So, after paying a hefty bill, we came back home. And now we need to deal with a cat, who is absolutely terrified of us touching her ears. She used to snooze and purr while her ears were being cleaned, and after the vet visit we HAVE to make a purrito out of her, because otherwise she would injure herself and scratch our eyes out while trying to get away. She was never afraid of vets, she loved people, and would purr and give headbutts whenever we brought her to vet. She’s a completely different cat now. And it breaks my heart so much.
Oh, but there’s more! The “amazing” check up appointment a week later. The vet who checked and treated Vampiria for the first time, was busy in surgery, so another vet took her in. There was a slight hope, that was quickly destroyed. I wasn’t there, but my husband was. So, he brings Vampiria in, and the vet is already preparing the medicine to get her sedated. My husband says a firm “No” to the sedation (after Vampiria was so traumatized, there was no way we’d put her through that again). The vet tries to argue, but gives in, and comes to check her ears without sedation. And it went completely fine! The infection was gone, the ears looked fine, and she had absolutely no trouble checking everything.
It seems like sedation is a common practice there. Easy to brag about being good with fearful pets, when you just sedate them, right? While living here in the capital for almost 7 years, we had luck of trying out about 9-10 different vets. This usually would happen if we needed a follow up appointment, and our usual vet was away, we’d need to go to a different one in his clinic. We also tried 3 or 4 different clinics over the years, in hopes we could find some vet who’s closer to our home (our usual vet was about 45 minutes away). Now, no shade to female vets over here in Finland, cause I am sure there are good ones out there, but we had an absolutely awful experience with EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Our usual vet? An experienced man, who was always quick, super professional, knows how to handle the animals properly, and had a great customer service. Our cardiologist? Again, a man, very professional, handles the cats quickly, gives accurate diagnosis, etc. Pleasure to work with.
Now, the female vets. There are very few male vets in comparison to females over here, so you usually end up with a female vet. Some of the things that many female vets share (from my personal experience when visiting about 8 different ones over the years):
– lack of knowledge on how to handle and hold the cat;
– being VERY afraid of getting scratched – once the cat moves even a bit, it needs to be sedated, cause it’s a killer cat;
– lack of education in the medicine that is out there. Now, hear me out on this one. I noticed that a lot of female vets tend to try to modernize the field a bit too much. I remember maybe 4 years ago, one of our cats got flu. Simple to treat? Well, not really, as we found out later! So, our vet is on vacation, we go to this female vet we’ve never been to before. She checks the cat, confirms it’s a simple flu, prescribes the meds. What kind of meds? Some kind of antibiotics, that are very fancy and new, and cost almost a €100/pack. OK, we suck it up, and buy two packs as per her recommendation. We give the meds for two weeks, absolutely no improvement, if anything, the cat’s getting worse. Finally, our vet is back from vacation. We pack up the cat, and go to him. He checks the cat, asks what meds she was given. We tell the name (can’t remember anymore as it’s been a while), and he just gets this look on his face like “Yeah, I know the meds, but…really???? It’s a new medicine, but older ones work just fine”. So, as his usual straight forward self, he prescribes meds that cost €15/bottle, and the cat is healthy within a week. Never again!
– Making the situation sound worse than it really is. You know how usually when you go in to get some kind of diagnosis, and the doctors keep everything to themselves until they know what’s wrong? Well, not when it comes to vets over here! Imagine, you had a headache for a while, go to the doctors office, and the doctor behaves something like this: “Oh my gosh, how long has this been going on??? A week? You had headache for a week?! You’re so irresponsible!!! We need to do an X-Ray, a cat scan, heart scan, do all the blood and allergy tests, flush out your intestines, check your bladder, and checking your eyes would be good too. If we don’t do that, you may die within 24 hours!”. So much for not freaking out the people, right? That’s how many vets we’ve been to behave, by suggesting all the possible tests, even though they may be completely unrelated to the actual problem. Oh, and add the slight freaked out face!
– Being afraid of any type of dirt. “Eww, there’s a piece of grass in your dogs fur”, “Ugh, your cat’s ears have some gunk”, “Oh, I see you haven’t brushed your pet’s teeth today, looks awful” are just a few things I have heard over the years.
– I won’t even start about the lack of knowledge when it comes to Sphynx breed.
So, we keep looking. For a vet, who’s a man, and not a woman. We think we found one not too far away from us, and they seem to have good reviews from other cat owners, so that definitely gives us some hope! We will have to vaccinate Bacha and Beliza next month, so fingers crossed it will be a good experience!
Now, Finland’s Post aka Posti. Very shady! It’s crazy how a government owned company got so corrupt. I mean, sure, it’s not shady at all that the company’s directors salary increased by over 60% in mere 3 years, where he’s been earning about 84k/month in 2019. This has caused a public outrage (righteously so), and so he resigned. I mean, sure, when you keep on cutting workers’ salaries, and increasing prices for your crappy services (the prices increased by 25-30% in the past 4.5 years), you become a millionaire. The whole management team there is just as shady – at least the director apologized. And so they have yet another strike. Can’t say I am surprised – they want to cut off workers’ salaries by 30%, completely ignoring the original work agreements that were signed. Uh, bye Felicia!
It’s just such a mess. They tried to hire additional workers to do the job during the strike (which is illegal, because Posti is a government owned company), they threatened to fire the wokers if they don’t come to work because of strike (which is again, illegal). Road deliveries just shut down, international airport that’s responsible for mail, is shut down, railroad and ship companies will join the strike too. Many other unions have already joined. It’s mindblowing that a government owned company even has a right to negotiate. They’ve been “negotiating” the whole week, now they will meet again on Monday, aka today. I wish this sh*tshow would end already, I am so done with it.
It’s stressful, cause my customers’ packages will be delayed yet again as this is the second strike this fall. And while 99% of customers are absolutely amazing, and understanding, and patient, there will always be that 0.1% that will be rude, outraged, and will blast me all over the place for it. But that comes with the job I guess! It’s crazy how nowadays some people don’t know how to communicate with others without being mean and vicious.
All the strikes probably aged me by 5 years, and added like 200 gray hair on my head! I haven’t been able to sleep well either, which makes my fibromyalgia flare up even more. I am trying to get back on the straighter path though!
And, of course, the dark autumn. November is the darkest month over here in Finland. It literally looked like nighttime the whole day today. Can’t wait for the snow, so it will at least be brighter, and we’ll get some sun, hopefully.
2019 has been such a wild ride. Good things happened, bad things happened, but we’re all trying to stay alive in this sinking ship I guess! I still wait for the new year, and am looking forward to starting things fresh. In order to end this on a positive note, here are a few things I’ve been really grateful for this fall season.
– Cats, of course! Those purring balls of warmth and softness are the best things ever. They’re so loving, and always keep me company, no matter how great or bad I feel. Cats really do make the world a better place!
– Awesome customers! For every not-such-a-nice-person that I meet, there are 100 amazing ones! I love reading lovely reviews, chatting to people privately, and see all the beautiful pictures of their kitties. Whenever I feel down, stressed, or unsure, all the heartwarming reviews and messages make my day.
– Music, that I used to enjoy as a kid and teenager. Looking at you, Robbie Williams!
– All people, who are close to me, and are trying their best to be helpful during these challenging times!
So, this is my reflection on the fall of 2019. Will we talk on this blog more, or will this be the last post of the year? Only time will tell. But for now, I wish you a wonderful week ahead, and stay cozy wherever you are!