So, it is another beautiful day in Happy Meadows. The cherry blossoms have started to fade, as have the pear trees and forsythia. On the other hand, the azaleas and dogwoods are coming into bloom. It is a lovely time of the year. I get out and wander farther than in the cold weather, and am catching up with some of my old feline friends (and making a few new ones.) Mike and Judy stay home except for their daily walks through Happy Meadows. Judy runs an errand once in a while. Mike stays busy on the computer. Yesterday he lost his mind and started deep cleaning like a banshee. He says he has nothing but time, and the house won’t clean itself. Not to say that the house isn’t clean as a rule. But he is crawling around on his hands and knees, getting behind furniture, and generally going where one doesn’t normally go. He says he found enough cat hair to make a new cat, but I don’t think we need another cat. I let him know in no uncertain terms.
So, today is Doctor’s Day. Mike says he has never thought much of Doctor’s Day. He says “Just go to work and do your job. Don’t expect adulation.” Generally, I would agree with him, but we both think this year is an exception. Doctors these days are literally risking their lives taking care of COVID-19 patients. Those not on the front lines are quickly accomodating to taking care of patients using telehealth technology, and responding to the crisis in many other ways. Even Mike, as low tech of an old guy as he is, is seeing patients remotely. He closed his practice last year, but still is the medical director of the Berman Center where they treat people with mental health and substance abuse problems. The idea of Doctor’s Day came from the wife of a doctor in Winder, Georgia, just outside of Athens, where the University of Georgia is located. Her name was Eudora Brown Almond. Her husband was Dr. Charles B. Almond. March 30 was chosen because it was the birthday of Dr. Crawford Long, also of Athens, Georgia, who is credited with being the first person to use ether as a surgical anesthetic. He first used ether on a surgical patient in 1842. He subsequently used it extensively in obstetrics, including on his own wife. The first Doctor’s Day was celebrated in 1933.
Along with doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel are also risking their lives every day treating critically ill persons with COVID-19. It turns out that there is a National Nurse’s Day as well. It is celebrated on May 6, the first day of National Nurse’s Week. The week ends with International Nurse’s Day, May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was an English nurse who became famous through her service during the Crimean War (1853-1856.) She was very organized, and probably her greatest contribution was her recognition of the importance of good hygiene and sanitation in the military hospitals. The death rate fell precipitously under her watch. It turns out that hand washing was a novel concept in those days, as was the sanitary disposal of sewage.
I think the Extreme Vet in Happy Meadows ought to get some recognition too. It turns out that veterinarians do also have their special days. World Veterinary Day is April 25 this year. Also, a company that sells health insurance for pets sponsors Veterinary Appreciation Day on June 18. Mike and Judy have not taken out health insurance on us. Mike says he has spent more money on insurance during his lifetime than you can shake a stick at, and he is not buying health insurance for a bunch of cats. I don’t blame him. But, they do take good care of us. We probably get better care than if we were insured. This way, they can take us to Happy Meadows Extreme Veterinary Medicine, and not XYZ Vets. Also, if the doctor recommends a treatment plan we get it without worrying about whether it will be denied in favor of the el cheapo alternative. But maybe I’m not being fair. There are probably some good plans out there. Don’t let me influence your decision. I’m just an opinionated black cat.
So, Mike saw in the Sunday paper (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) that Rev. Joseph Lowery died last week. He was a leader of the Civil Rights movement and a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King. There is a great write-up about his life in the paper. I suggest you read it if you haven’t already done so. When life offered him the opportunity to change the world, at times risking his own life (seems to be a theme today), he made the most of it. Thank you Rev. Lowery, and thank you to all the heroes of the Civil Rights movement. As a black cat, I can appreciate you.
Well, that’s enough out of me for now. Be well, be safe, use good judgment, and keep on praying. I love you all, and will holler out again soon from Happy Meadows. Bye, bye!