The Power of a Referral Heals The Captain!

As a copywriter, I’ve been blessed with receiving a tremendous amount of referrals from graphic designers, developers, public relations firms, photographers, business coaches, as well as many of my clients. In fact, the majority of my steady business has come via referrals.

I am also generous with offering referrals, too. I love recommending people I trust and enjoy working with to new clients and friends. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of being a small business owner.

Well today, I wanted to share a little story of a referral that isn’t business related, but certainly relevant for any business owner who is interested in growing their clientele. Through a referral, The Captain was saved.

Who is The Captain? He’s our cat – a tough, belligerent, 15 lb. tabby with a bad attitude, sharp teeth, and even sharper claws. Don’t get me wrong. We love him so. He sleeps next to me every night, and usually can be found sharing my office chair with me throughout the day. He’s just no-nonsense, a trait that I can appreciate.

 Well, last Friday, The Captain decided that he wanted to enjoy the roast chicken that was sitting on our counter while we entertained one of my husband’s fraternity brothers. The Captain managed to pull the chicken onto the floor, and by the time we figured out what he was up to, only a few bones remained. I can’t say that this was the first time he was guilty of such poor feline etiquette, and he’s been known to grab whatever food he can literally get his paws on. From dinner rolls and pizza to shrimp, corn on the cob, and seafood of any kind, The Captain likes to eat. Once, I even saw him trying to eat from a bag of flour. He’s perpetually hungry, and it’s a chronic problem keeping him away from people food.

So after his chicken extravaganza, The Captain woke up Saturday in a funk. Not surprisingly, he didn’t want to eat his canned cat food. By Saturday afternoon, he was hiding in my closet and drooling. He wasn’t well. My husband took him to the emergency vet clinic that evening as we were beginning to speculate that he might have a chicken bone lodged somewhere. The vet couldn’t find anything wrong. There was nothing in his mouth or down his throat. They gave him some fluids and sent him on his way. By Sunday morning, The Captain was even worse and still hadn’t eaten. Another trip to the emergency weekend vet resulted in still no diagnosis.

Monday morning, I lamented to our son’s preschool director about our rough weekend with The Captain. After patiently listening, she said, “You know, one of Judd’s classmates is a veterinarian. Would you like her phone number?” Hmmmm, I thought for a second. We already had an appointment with our usual vet, but we haven’t been particularly happy with his efforts. I took the number of Dr. Ashenfelter at VCA McCormick Ranch Animal Hospital and gave them a call and soon as I returned home. We were able to schedule an appointment for 10:30 the same day! I was already impressed.

When we got there, we were given a new patient welcome bag and shown into an exam room. The veterinarian assistant “Bunny” was extremely gentle and kind, even with The Captain hissing and scratching. She asked lots of questions and truly seemed interested in getting all the information needed to best help him.

After Bunny’s initial overview, Dr. Ashenfelter came in and continued to ask questions as she examined The Captain. Like Bunny, she was gently, patient, and honestly concerned. She made us feel immediately comfortable.

Dr. Ashenfelter wasn’t so sure that The Captain had ingested a bone, and gave us several diagnostic/treatment options at different price points. Since we had already been to the emergency vet clinic with no clear diagnosis, we opted to get the x-ray so that we could rule out some type of obstruction from a bone.

Three hours later, we received a call that The Captain was ready for pickup! What they found? Well, he had a sore throat and some gas. From what the doctor could gather, it looked like he had an upper respiratory infection and a tummy ache. She also found a pellet lodged behind his ear. I guess a war wound from before we adopted him at PetSmart back in 2003.

The Captain was given some IV fluids to rehydrate him, an antibiotic injection, and an anti-nausea medication. When we returned home, he chowed down by eating nearly an entire can of food. This was his first meal since his roast chicken on Friday. By yesterday morning, he had returned to his old feisty self – wanting to be fed at 5:00AM, scratching the furniture, and meowing loudly to wake up the boys. The Captain was back in action!

So, by receiving a referral to Dr. Ashenfelter, we were able to get the help we needed for our ferocious tabby who is such an important part of our family. Thank you to everyone at VCA McCormick Ranch Animal Hospital and to Mrs. Frank at Growing Place Preschool. …And, the Captain thanks you, too!

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