Regular readers know about the great veterinary services our cats have had for years at Reelfoot Animal Hospital in a small corner of NW Tennessee.
But now all the pets and all of their owners are grieving the loss of one of the best cat veterinarians ever – Dr. Steven Crews. Dr. Crews had a remarkable way with cats – he knew where they were hurting, even though they couldn’t talk, and he kept searching for at least relief if not a cure for each one brought to him for treatment.
We’ve taken many, many cats to all the vets at Reelfoot, and this memorial isn’t meant to ignore any of them. But let me mention the special skills Dr. Crews had.
Our farm cat Callie May kept brushing at her face and eye, so we took her into town. He figured out our champion mouser had run into a bunch of weeds with hollow stems (doubtless while after a mouse), and a piece of one had broken off and lodged in her eye. Dr. Crews not only removed the bit of stem, but saved her eyesight in that eye.
He sewed Uno’s nose back in place when the cat had apparently fallen out of a tree and face-planted himself. After examination, Dr. Crews said there weren’t any bones broken and when the swelling went down, Uno should be as good as new. He was – almost. Once the swelling was gone, Uno had a nose which was off-kilter. The good doctor carefully put in three very tiny stitches and anchored Uno’s nose back where it belonged.
Our rescued strays and farm cats received the same empathetic and very skilled care our handpicked cats did. Dr. Crews diagnosed and successfully treated a very bad case of flea bite dermatitis for Seis, a black and white ‘cow cat.’ (Readers have seen Seis’ photos in these blogs too.)
When our tiny five-pound gray kitten got body-slammed on the sidewalk by her much bigger brother, she got up with a crick in her neck – and a tic. We rushed her to Dr. Crews, who did his usual careful examination and surmised neither condition was permanent. He was right, and now Gabby (Gabriella) is full-grown at eight pounds and terrorizes her bigger siblings – pay back.
He sewed Grayson’s toes back on his hind foot after a stray cat passing through the neighborhood had nearly bitten them off. Seventeen years later, he still walks without a limp.
Dr. Crews was also very sympathetic and helped several of our favorite cats across the Rainbow Bridge, using the latest and most humane two-injection procedure so it was nearly painless. What we appreciated most was that he allowed us to stay with our dearly-loved felines as the drugs worked, so we could say goodbye.
Now we have to say goodbye to a veterinarian who was so kind, so caring and down-to-earth, with the best bedside manner towards his patients and their owners. It’s a very hard parting, and way too soon.
Readers, if you have dedicated, gifted veterinarians who’ve gone ‘above and beyond’ for your fur kids, please – tell that doctor how much you appreciate the skill, the caring and the patience. Tell your vet frequently and often. They need to hear just how special they are.