madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,
madshutterbug
madshutterbug

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It Is Good to Have a Plan

Not to be obsessive-compulsive about it, but yes, having a plan is a good thing. After all, if (and when) things go awry, it's easier to improvise off of a plan that it is to make things up whole cloth under stress. This attitude of mine could be a result of my Nursing education, though I really can attribute the roots to my time as a Federally Subsidized Tourist. Every morning at muster, the senior NCO conducting muster would read the "Plan of the Day" which included handy tidbits like what the uniform of the day was, which duty section stood watch and when, even time for special events. Doesn't seem like much, and certainly could be interupted by unexpected events, but again, having the Plan of the Day made improvisation much easier.

Today's Plan started much like most work days. Get up, make coffee, shower and clean up, get dressed, go to work. The point where it changed is when I turned the key in the ignition and Sydney Subaru Outback did... nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Not even lights. The most likely explanation is the demise of the battery, which after all is original equipment (we purchased Syndey Subaru Outback brand-new in August 2000, he being a 2001 series vehicle), and Sydney boasting a comfortable 96,000 plus miles. In fact, there'd been a hint that the original equipment battery would do this shortly before I headed north for AORN Congress. Since I'd been in the throes of getting ready for that trip, I opted to postpone replacement.

Which may be proved today to be a less than optimal plan.

Now, the obvious first improvisation would be to jump-start Sydney Subaru Outback using Forrest Nissan Pickup. Which we immediately implemented. And... nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Not even lights.

Next step, call hospital and let them know I would be late. Then, collect tools, and pop the hood (bonnet for my overseas readers). And discover that indeed, it probably is the battery because both terminals are rather buried under accumulated something which accumulates around battery terminals which are left unattended in relatively moist climates. So the next improvisation comprised cleaning off the terminals so I could even access the lock nuts.

I'd assumed, looking at them, that the positive terminal connector would be the most difficult to remove, and would very possibly need replacing as it hid under the larger pile of whatever it is that accumulates. In the long run, it was a bit more difficult to remove than the negative terminal. Unfortunatley the negative terminal proved easier to remove because it quite literally dis-integrated in the process. The positive terminal, however, proved not as difficult as I thought, and to be reusable, at least for the short run.

Then load the detritus up into the back of Forrest Nissan Pickup and trundle into the nearby community of Williston, there to purchase a replacement battery (3 year replacement warrenty, 84 month pro-rated replacement thereafter) and a replacement connector for the negative terminal. Following the payment there for, load the new swag up and head back to the ranch and the installation of the new battery. With the connections all made, Sydney Subaru Outback started right up, happy as can be with fresh juice.

All of this required about three and a half hours, no worries since I'd told hospital I would be late, and I headed up to the house to wash my hands before heading in to work. Stepping in the door, I spied on the floor just inside a not large but certainly noticable smear of fresh blood.

Say what? Quickly washing my hands, I turned as Herself came into the bathroom and stopped, asking me first what I was doing home, and second, did I know anything about the blood on the floor in the bathroom? We proceeded to follow a blood trail through the bedroom, through the Great Room, and into the kitchen, where we found Three of Four Kitten of the Apocalypse limping on his left rear leg. Closer physical examination revealed a six to seven centimeter laceration on the dorsal surface of his lower leg, from just distal to the heelbone to just proximal to his paw.

Since our small animal vet is located on the route to hospital, Three was immediately bundled into a cat-carrier and loaded into the now happy with fresh juice Sydney, and off the two of us went to drop him off for debridement, irrigation, and suturing of this wound. Not terribly happy to be leaving the ranch, Three spoke to me about his indignity for most of the duration of the short trip to Doc Harbin's. I must say his constant nattering provided some comfort that his unhappiness at least indicated not being in shock or total exsangination.

Dropped him off, and he's probably being sutured up right now. Doc Harbin frequently has partner/assistants in the clinic, usually young vets just out of school and looking for some additional experience before opening up their own practice, somewhere. This time, however, the partner/assistant proved to be Doc Samiek, who we once used to see with my erstwhile companion cat, Ukemi (long since dead of old age) when we lived in Gainesville before acquiring the Ranch. Very happy not to need to explain anything about how I'm able to do such a detailed assessment of the situation, Doc Samiek took report, did his own quick exam, and they bundled Three off to the inpatient facilites.

Today is a half-day for the Archer Animal Hospital, so if Three is not fully recovered from his sedation by noon, they'll keep him overnight. However, they will not charge us for the overnight (though I'm quite willing to pay) because it is a half-day.

Now I'm at hospital, and resuming the regularly scheduled Plan for the Day.
Tags: cats, ranch
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