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Practice Cats 3
Dauphin is a settlement of some 8000 people in the province of Manitoba, central Canada, with a sizable proportion of its inhabitants being of Ukrainian descent. The Dauphin Vet Clinic is a full-service, fully equipped veterinary clinic for both large and small animals and it has a practice cat called Squeakers.
Squeakers arrived at the clinic in June 2004 via the town dog catcher, since the clinic also acts as the city pound. He was thought to be about 4 years old at the time. Although he had a tattooed ear, the identification showed that he wasn't a local cat, so his history is unknown and it proved impossible to locate his owners. He was put up for adoption, but there were no takers; however, he was allowed to wander around the premises and after a while became accepted as 'the clinic cat'. There had been previous clinic cats, but the position was vacant at the time. Perversely, once he took up the post, lots of people wanted to adopt him!
Now he acts as official 'greeter', and as soon as he hears someone coming in the front door he will be up on the counter for a greeting and a scratch; if he's not around people always ask after him. In summer he likes to visit the used-car lot next door, or patrol the grounds outside in search of mice, squirrels or anything else he can bring in to 'treat' his friend the book-keeper! He still will play a little occasionally, but now he's getting older he tends to prefer sleeping in his chair, or in the sun on the book-keeper's desk. At night he has a special kennel to sleep in. Squeakers is unusual in that he seems to be allergic to fish but catnip is a different matter, and he has a special client friend who, each summer, brings him a new supply which usually lasts him for a year.
He certainly fell on his paws when he arrived at the Dauphin Vet Clinic, and despite his quirks he's a cherished and much loved member of the clinic staff.
Many thanks to Celina Dunfield for supplying us with information about Mr Squeakers.
Two friends who are vets started their own animal clinic, called Duo-Wet, during 2010 in the Polish city of Wroclaw, operating from premises in the basement of a block of flats. It wasn't long before a semi-feral cat visited and decided he rather liked the place; now he's the clinic 'supervisor' and has his own warm spot with a bed, food and water. Named Wirus ('Virus' in English), he likes to sit in the window and observe what is going on. That is when he's not out and about when the weather is fine, maybe visiting one of his 'girlfriends'! He still doesn't like people to get too close to him, but is gradually becoming more trusting.
If you'd like to comment or tell us about any other clinic cats, please contact me,
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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.
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