Paws for Thought – The Experiences on an Ex – Pat Cat

One of my concerns when we moved permanently to France was how well our young tabby cat Daisy would cope over here. So many things would be different: the language – should I have used flash cards to teach important vocabulary like souris & oiseau?; the food -for an English born cat used to no nonsense Go – Cat, Friskies were initially viewed with great suspicion, and last but definitely not least, what kind of treatment would she receive from a French Vet (or Veto as the French call them)?
When, a few months down the line, we were also adopted by a tiny white kitten rescued from a pig farm, our experience of pet care in France developed rapidly. So that I won’t be accused of being biased, I’m handing the rest of this account over to the cats themselves.
Daisy- Senior Cat

I can tell you that as an English cat of delicate sensibilities, the news that we were moving to France came as something of a shock. Even though my “people” totally failed to ask my opinion about the move and in fact tried to bribe me with talk of a much larger manoir (French for manor) with hot and cold running rodents in abundance, I didn’t fail to pick up on their concerns about the quality of care I could expect to receive. They were, I recall, particularly worried as they had heard that French vets didn’t really take the care of felines seriously! You can imagine how anxious that made me feel- talk about a bad fur day – mine was standing on end for weeks! So it was that I resolved not to get ill. Staying out of draughts, I made sure I ate only the freshest hand -picked rodents, got the recommended minimum of 22 hours sleep each day and, when things got too stressful….I embraced alternative therapies, combining pilates with aromatherapy ( no mother , I was NOT simply rolling around in the catmint, I was preserving my emotional and physical well being!)
I was beginning to relax into La Vie Francaise ( yes, fortunately I have discovered a natural talent for languages )when “he” arrived….tiny, white, male and….French. An orphan of dubious parentage…but with a cheeky insouciant charm. It was his arrival that gave me an insight into French Veterinary Healthcare and allayed my fears……..
Fergus – Small white kitten

I may be a tiny white kitten but I’m certainly very, very lucky. When I first came to live with Les Anglais I was a sorry sight. Mama said I was so tiny and thin it looked like I had borrowed my coat from an older and much larger kitten! I also had a very swollen tummy. It really hurt and, even though I ate all my meals up, I never felt full. A few days after I arrived, I was very, very sick. Fortunately Mama made an appointment with the vet straight away. I was very frightened but Madame was so gentle with me and took such a lot of time to stroke behind my ears that I started to feel better straight away. I didn’t enjoy the injection she gave me but was very proud when she said I had a good strong heart and lungs! She also spoke to my Mama in English – just to make her feel welcome- and spent a long time writing out all the instructions for my tablets in English ( just a pity they didn’t realise that my name would become Fairgoose in France!). Mama said that the surgery and waiting room were very clean and noticed that a lot of the medicines that were advertised for Cats and dogs were the same ones that were used in England but were not so expensive. When I came home, I told Daisy that she should stop hiding in the barn because going to the vets wasn’t even scary and that, when she went for her injection next week, I’d come with her and hold her paw because after all -“je connais les ficelles” ( I know the ropes as they say in these parts).

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