Last weekend, St. Francis Animal Shelter hosted a vaccination clinic offering shots, microchips and tags to our four legged friends. This event was a great service to our community. Getting our pets up to date on their shots can prevent diseases such as parvo, respiratory disease and rabies. I learned the hard way about the importance of keeping up to date on these vaccines.

Our cat came to us in a very cat-like way. I think that she somehow knew that, despite being self-proclaimed dog people, we were in fact also cat people. She started coming around during the late summer a few years back. In the beginning it was just for a little attention, a good scratching once in a while. Then almost every time we came outside there she would be purring and nudging our legs until we caved in and petted her. Being the animal lovers we are, we started leaving food out for her. We swore she wasn’t going to be our cat, we just didn’t want her to starve to death; we’d never let her inside. As the season started turning to fall and the temperatures dropped, we realized that there was no way we were going to let her freeze. Three years later we have a spoiled, healthy cat named Shelly Cat.

A few months ago Shelly Cat was not acting like her usual self. She didn’t want to be petted, was grumpy and hid from us, she didn’t want to eat and wasn’t drinking any water. Something was wrong. She was sitting on my husband’s lap and begrudgingly allowing him to pet her when she started to drool and growl. This prompted an immediate call to our vet. It was after hours and the gal who answered the phone (not a veterinarian) said it could be rabies. She also informed us that rabies is prevalent in Wyoming, mostly found in bats and skunks. All of the bats that Shelly Cat had hunted, caught and brought in as “gifts” came flooding to mind. Her recommendation was to confine our beloved Shelly Cat in a crate and bring her in to see the doctor in the morning. Even though she had been vaccinated three years prior they recommend a booster shot every two years in Johnson County. Which we had not done. One bit of advice if you think your pet might have rabies do not Google it. Let’s just say Brian and I did not get much sleep that night.

The next morning we contacted our vet who got us right in, after an inspection she determined it was not rabies but in fact a bone lodged in Shelly Cat’s intestines. She assured us it would pass on its own. She did give her a booster shot and sent us on our way.

A few days later Shelly Cat was back to her usual self, and we slept a lot better knowing that her vaccines were all up to date.

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