Why is it that I am okay with stuff that comes out of humans but utterly grossed out by stuff that comes out of cats?
I mean, I can almost totally handle human vomit. Granted, I haven’t been sprayed yet, but it’s been over a year since I’ve gagged on a call. I remember the specific call, too. The patient was probably suffering from a gastrointestinal tract bleed; those’ll get anyone. Right?
Last Friday, though, I worked a call for a woman who had some kind of abdominal post-op issue. I was working it with my favorite partner at the paid squad. He has a lot more practical experience than I do but is currently only a basic; it was an ALS call so I was tech-ing in the back while he drove. The patient had said she was feeling sick so I had given her an emesis bag. She started to heave so I picked myself up off the crew bench and moved smartly over to the airway seat to get the suction catheter unfurled and going. I leaned over from the airway seat and she started spewing this stuff worthy of Linda Blair from ‘The Exorcist’. Not into the bag, of course, but all over herself and the cot. I was like, ‘Wow, weird color’. To myself, of course. The patient, between heaves, was three kinds of apologetic. I told her it was no problem, to do what she had to, and we’d deal with it. I got her vacuumed and toweled off and it was no problem for me. No gag, no nothing. Easy.
The house has been vacant since yesterday afternoon; since left for parts south. Last night I went to the paid squad for my usual Friday shift (nothing particularly interesting this week other than the now-usual call-out right after arriving back at the station with just-picked-up warm food; conveniently this week I only had to rewarm everything once rather than last week’s three times), then this morning went right from the station at 0600 to a class in New Hampshire, arriving at 0740 to refresh my Ice Rescue Technician certification.
When I got back home, I went directly to the office for several hours. On arrival, I discovered that while I was gone today there was some huge wind storm that reduced the portable garage that shelters my office pellet supply and recycle staging to a pile of tarps and bent poles. Must deal with that tomorrow. But I digress.
I arrived back at the house to find that the cat had eaten a mouse. The mouse had not agreed with the cat. The mouse had not agreed with the cat in three different locations. Three different puddly-red locations with entrails. Of course, I stepped in one of the locations before I got the lights on.
One nice thing about being an EMT is always knowing where rubber gloves are. Still, cleaning cat vomit gets me… Gets me right here. Not as bad as a GI bleed, but still.
The class was fun; swimming in a lake in January. The weather has been warm so the ice was soft; no one went in unexpectedly, though.
I’ll post pictures when they are available. Of the class, not of the cat vomit.
Here’s my description from the first time I took the course…
And the group picture from 2004…