new world, new life, new questions, and, as always, a cat

If our embarrassed government decided to inaugurate Obamacare for pets, it could only aspire to operate on the caliber of the megapharmacy I’m now dealing with to procure Coolidge’s new prescription.

My veterinarian has researched thyroid formulations for Coolidge’s sensitive skin, and, based on past experience, decided to use an out-of town compounding pharmacy that features free overnight shipping. It’s an online megapharmacy serving humans and pets nationwide. All I had to do was call in my payment info so the pharmacy could have Coolidge’s prescription to us tomorrow.

I dutifully called the pharmacy this morning. I listened to the recorded menu instructions until finally I qualified to do something. I pressed “0” because I am a Pet Owner.

Twelve minutes of obnoxious wait music later, I began to wonder whether I was going to be making a free overnight call. But finally a friendly human voice displaced the muzak. The sequence is universal. First, the cat’s name, always. No one seems to worry about duplicates. Then our vet’s name, and lastly, my name. The friendly human voice belonged to Dominique. She found our vet’s name, but not Coolidge’s name or mine. This was not seeming to go well.

Ah, but our vet called in our prescription on Friday. The megapharmacy was closed Friday. They probably didn’t want customers to expect Black Friday discounts on their prescriptions. So the order would be among their voicemails, voicemails from all over the country, which, Dominique told me with some (but, I thought, not quite full) confidence, they would get to by the end of the day. Someone would call me for my payment info, and Coolidge’s new skin-safe thyroid meds would be in tomorrow’s mail.

Before heaving a sigh of phone fatigue, I realized I had said my vet “called” in our prescription. In point of technical fact, she faxed it. I use “called” interchangeably, but I suspect Dominique is more particular. Faxes are not voicemails, and I had led Dominique on the entirely wrong trail. In a nationwide megapharmacy, for all I know, voicemails and faxes are in separate buildings. Or it could operate out of some guy’s basement.

In my state of gumption depletion, I called my vet’s can-do person and asked her to please relay the correct information to Dominique. Doctors and their people get to press a number that by-passes the wait music and gets a knowledgeable human specialist on the phone right away. Mere pet owners must wait, and while they wait, they should be comporting their thoughts to the specialized language of megathings.

I have so much yet to learn, not only in treating my cat’s illnesses, but even how to give and receive information to and from entities the likes of which I have never dealt with before. It can be frustrating and discouraging, but it has come into my life.

Isn’t that part of what sanctification is—seeing that a customary way of doing things has been just wrong all along, and no longer works in a new life?



Filed under Action & Being

3 responses to “new world, new life, new questions, and, as always, a cat

  1. I have been following the Coolidge health story with interest Lauren.You make a very admirable Cat Evangelist.
    It’s easy to understand how people get attached to their fluffy companions. My three ferals (there were about six including interlopers on the prowl) rely on me for their daily sustenance, which has grown from one plate of crunchies per day, to sometimes three plates with wet food as well.
    They swirl and twirl around with me with copious purring until the food is put down: when sated they go about their business until the next time which is always far too soon.
    Your Mega-Pharmacy Odyssey makes for hilarious reading ; I am wondering whether the call center might indeed be located in India or some other such animal loving country far, far away ?
    Frankly the person who invented the “please press o now for Cat dept” should be set adrift in the middle of an ocean (but of course that wouldn’t be at all civic minded )
    We can but dream of a simpler life, of a life long ago when things went along at a more sedate pace without pressing and clicking at every turn..
    I hope Coolidge responds to your loving care and attention.


    • Our sentiments resonate Robin, because we are foagies transfixed in the “know your ——” (fill in the blank) era. When I renew any of my or Coolidge’s prescriptions locally, the pharmacist answers the phone. It’s a desk phone. I say, “Hi Greg, it’s Lauren.” I don’t have to memorize a low-status code number.

      I also tire of seeing things I grew up with in antique shops.

      I suspect madam “press O” is a voice actress like Siri (I don’t have an iPhone or any smartphone), of iPhone voice fame.

      True confession: I don’t know how these things work.


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