“Ves, your next patient is here to see you.” Amy, my assistant, calls out to me from behind the counter in the waiting room.
I quickly push my papers back into a neat stack and stand away from my desk, pulling my white coat on as I exit my office.
As I walk out into the waiting room, I find Mrs. Stevens standing behind the counter, holding a little gray kitten to her chest.
“Who do we have here?” I ask, closing the distance between us and gently rubbing the kitten on its head.
Mrs. Stevens offers a wide smile that makes her blue eyes shine. “This is Lola. I found her in a box, on the side of the road. Can you believe someone would dump such an adorable kitten?”
Hearing the news causes a bout of pain to surge through my chest. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel and heartless. “Well, it looks like she’s found a good home now. Haven’t you?” I pet the kitten and she lets out a soft meow.
“Let’s go back to exam room one, and I’ll give her a once over before we start up her first round of vaccines.”
I lead Mrs. Stevens and Lola back to the exam room and pull on my gloves. “How’s Mr. Stevens doing? I’m sure he’s just as much in love with this new kitten as you are.” I feel my lips turn up into a smile. Mr. and Mrs. Stevens are one of my favorite couples in town. They take in all the stray animals in need without question. I can only hope to find a man that loves animals as much as the Stevens do. Already I dream about spending my future working in farmlands that is overrunning with animals.
“He’s doing very well,” she says as I begin to examine the kitten. “He’s looking forward to this one getting a clean bill of health, so he can introduce her to the rest of the family.”
“Well, she looks pretty healthy to me. I think she’ll just need some de-worming and some vaccines, and she’ll be good to go home and meet them all.” I pick the kitten up and hold it softly against my chest. “What do you think of that, Lola?” I ask, looking down at her.
She replies by settling into my hand, purring loudly as her green eyes close to enjoy all the attention she’s getting today.
I gently hand her back to Mrs. Stevens. “Let me go get everything I need, and I’ll be right back.” I pull off my gloves and leave the room to get the vaccines from the cooler in the back.
Amy sticks her head through the swinging door as I’m preparing everything for Lola. “Hey, Ves, I just got a call about a horse at The O’Connor Ranch. Would you be able to drive up there and check her out?”
I look at my watch before turning back to my work. “I can head that way as soon as I’m done with Lola. Do you have directions?” I look at her from over my shoulder.
“I’ll have everything you need by the time you’re done.” She spins around, long, dark curls fanning out behind her.
I make my way back into the exam room with the tray of needed supplies. “Okay, Lola. Are you ready?” I ask as I pull on a fresh set of gloves.
Mrs. Stevens places her back on the table, and I pick up the syringe of de-worming. “How about we do the easy part first?” I place the end of the syringe against the kitten’s mouth and gently push down on the plunger, allowing her to taste the meat flavored medication. With one lick, Lola falls in love, leaving no trouble at all to get her to finish the rest of the dose.
“Good girl.” I coo, gently petting her head. “Was that good stuff?”
The kitten meows, wanting more.
“Okay, Lola, I’m going to give you the vaccine now. Hold still and it will be very quick.” I pick up the syringe and uncap it. Pinching the fluff of her neck, I insert the needle and push down on the plunger, injecting the vaccine. Lola meows loudly, but by the time she begins to lose her patience, I’m already done and releasing her to run back to Mrs. Stevens.
“All done.” I say as Mrs. Stevens picks Lola up against her chest.
“Thank you, Vesper. You’re the best vet in town.” She smiles wide before looking back down at the little kitten in her hands.
I laugh. “I’m the only vet in town.” I pull off my gloves, then reach out to pet Lola. “Hopefully, by the next time you see me, you’ll have forgotten all about that little poke.”
Mrs. Stevens starts making her way out of the exam room and into the waiting room. I join her at the counter. “Amy, Lola will need a six-month check-up.”
“Okay, would you like to go ahead and make that now, Mrs. Stevens?”
“Absolutely. We have to make sure we keep this little one healthy, don’t we?” she asks the kitten in her hands.
“It was good seeing you again, Mrs. Stevens. Tell Mr. Stevens I said hello.” I make my way behind the counter, heading for my office.
“I sure will, honey. And you tell your daddy that I’m making some of that pineapple upside-down cake he loves so much.”
I laugh. “You know if I do, he’ll be beating down your door for a slice.” I use my back to push open the swinging door that leads to the back of the building.
“That’s quite alright. We have enough to go around, don’t we, Lola.”
I smile at the love she has for her new kitten. “Have a good day!” I say as I slip past the door to gather my things.
I remove my white coat and hang it behind my office door as I make my way to the desk to shut down the computer and get my things. It’s already going on five, and The O’Connor Ranch is at least thirty minutes out of town. Luckily, it’s mid-spring, and daylight lasts a bit longer.
I climb behind the wheel of my SUV and place my purse and medical bag in the passenger side seat as I program the address into my GPS. Immediately, I roll down all my windows, letting the warm Colorado air blow through the vehicle.
I turn the radio up loudly as I drive through my small town—a town I’ve lived in my entire life, but also a town I love and never want to leave. I can’t help but notice the way it’s coming to life with the season. The trees have bright green leaves and the grass is lush and starting to grow thick. Our little main street has potted plants lining the business fronts; helping to bring beauty and charm to the town.
As I drive past County Line Road, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the rearview mirror. My strawberry blonde hair, blowing all around me from the air coming through the windows, and my green eyes are shining bright with the setting sun shining against them. I pull out my sunglasses and put them into place. Stopping at a stop sign, I pull the ponytail holder off my wrist with my teeth and tie my hair up into a messy bun. Looking both ways at the crossroad, I hit the gas and the car leaps forward, carrying me off to my destination.