The Last Meow Essay Prompt

The New Yorker, September 8, 2003 P. 46

ANNALS OF VETERINARY MEDICINE about the ever more sophisticated medical measures available for ill pets... Follows a cat, Lady, through dialysis and a kidney transplant... Lady arrived looking ravaged and ravishing, Shawn Levering waited with her in the Animal Medical Center on New York's Upper East Side. Levering had come from Wilmington Delaware. Dr. Cathy Langston, the veterinarian explained that Lady was suffered chronic kidney failure and suggested dialysis to buy her time to see if a candidate for transplant was available, and laid out the risks involved. The center has eighty-five veterinarians, and each is a specialist. Little more than twenty years ago, all vets were general practitioners, and neutering and spaying were their most elaborate procedures. "We're looking at a thousand dollars in the next twenty-four hours. Between three and four thousand in the next week," Langston told Levering. Then Lady would have to be transferred the to University of Pennsylvania, where vets were more experienced at performing transplants. Lady was already anemic, asthmatic, and congenitally blind. She had already become allergic to her own tooth enamel and had all her teeth pulled. The Animal Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania are the Mayo Clinic and Mass General of their field. The A.M.C. keeps thirteen donor greyhounds and twenty-six donor cats and three ferrets to ensure a steady supply of blood. They often treat exotics, common in New York, where many owners are dog-averse. Director Guy Pidgeon was in practice when most vets were generalists, and has lived through the change. His staff likes to tease him about the time his father, a farmer, came to visit and couldn't understand why he was giving oxygen therapy to two prairie dogss. Back home in Nebraska, farmers waged holy war on them. The pet-owners who bring their animals are not dragon-ladies who kiss their lapdogs on the lips. Lady's owners, like many in the waiting room, could scarcely afford the procedures they were buying for their animals. Shawn Levering cares for the disabled and live in a three-room apartment outside Wilmington. His wife Karen has been too ill to work after an automobile accident. Author visited them at their home. They have two other cats, whom they rescued. Karen describes how, while recuperating, the cats comforted her. "I don't know what I would have done without the cats... the pain was so extreme that I would just to the bathroom and cry." Lady seemed to sense her moods. She would leap onto the bed at night and nestle on her chest. Karen suspected her feeling for Lady were partly misplaced mothering instincts... Describes the operation where Jasper, the donor-cat, has a kidney removed. Dr. Aronson, who is thirty-six, has been transplanting animal kidneys for ten years... Most veterinarians make around sixty thousand a year, and veterinary training can be as costly and rigorous as medical training. Although malpractice suits are rare, that may be changing. Recently, owners have been suing for emotional damage: a man whose neighbor shot his Labrador retrievers with arrows is suing for three hundred thousand dollars. "The more people spend in their pets, the more that cost is going to be reflected in the law," Geordie Druckler, the retriever-owner's lawyer says. Vets say rising malpractice will hurt vets and pass the cost on to the patient's owners... Describes the sometimes extreme measures owners go through to prolong the lives of suffering pets, as with Taberia, a mastiff suffering the final stages of liver cancer... Lady's transplant is successful... Americans spend nineteen billion a year on veterinary bills, up from eleven billion seven years ago... Lady will have to take five hundred dollars of immunosuppressants a year for the rest of her life. "It would be hard not to have Lady around," Shawn says.

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Поторопись, - крикнул ей вдогонку Стратмор, - и ты еще успеешь к ночи попасть в Смоки-Маунтинс. От неожиданности Сьюзан застыла на месте.

Она была уверена, что никогда не говорила с шефом о поездке.

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