Small Win: a single meow

A good diagnosis will lead to successful treatment.

Esti Dhamayanti
4 min readMar 8, 2022
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Sometimes, we forget how to be grateful for something we already have and still with us until now. Such as our health, wealth, pet/s, spouse, kids, parents, and so on. Moreover, we also forget about a thing we should be grateful for, which is a ‘small win’

In my opinion, a ‘win’ or ‘achievement’ does not have to be ‘big’ or ‘massive’. It can start with a small thing. One thing that moves you from tardiness to getting things done. For instance, when you start to build a reading habit again. I think it is okay to read ten or five pages. At least you already push yourself to do it. In addition, it looks like an easy task, yet you successfully counter the idleness that has been holding you back.

A small win for me was when my cat was sick.

It might sound wrong and strange, but allow me to tell you the story.

My cat, which is usually a bit piggy, gradually lost his appetite for about three days. He decided to stop eating and sleep all day on the car roof. I know there is something wrong with him. My mother realized that too, since he always meows three times a day at certain times and follows my mother around.

As a veterinarian, even though I do not work in the animal clinic or farm sector now. I have a responsibility to take care of the healthiness of my cat and animals that happen to feel unwell around. I already took an oath when I graduated from veterinary school. The sacred oath that says ‘To treat the ill to the best of one’s ability…’

At first, I suspected my cat had a digestive problem. I knew it from physical examination and his eating and drinking behavior (he is not an indoor cat). However, another hurdle that I faced to make the diagnosis is that I am not sure which microorganism causes a digestive problem. I also do not have a microscope to examine his stools. In addition, I have not seen his feces (he usually ‘does his thing’ outside).

The main reason why I was cautious to make a diagnosis is, it will have a significant impact on many things. Such as the success of treatment, physiology of the animal body in the long term, and reducing drug resistance to certain microorganisms. Especially antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

I am reluctant to use antibiotics because of AMR issues. That is why I rarely use antibiotics for my cat and try to use some natural substance such as herbal and try holistic and preventive approaches. I do not want to give him a broad-spectrum antibiotic or any chemical substances without knowing ‘the main villain’ that causes the symptom.

Back to my cat story…

Well, since I was a bit frustrated to know which microorganisms promote the disease. Then I dumbly asked my cat about that. Somehow, I think my cat understood what I said. He looked at me deeply at first. After that, he walked away from me. I followed him when he decided to poop under a tree in my garden.

It was funny because waiting for him to do his business, solely to see his dung, makes my confidence level escalate. I was certain about my diagnosis and medication plan for him.

He was getting better quickly after the treatment (supplement, food, and medication) I gave. On the third day of treatment, he started to gain the energy to walk inside my parents’ house. The next day, he was meowing loudly and gaining his appetite again. He was rather ravenous. It seems like he wanted to take revenge because he could not eat that tasty mackerel tuna for about four days due to a stomach upset.

When I heard him meow again that morning, I felt a burden lift from my shoulder. It also brings me joy that I cannot explain. It seems like that also applied to my mother and my brother who loves him dearly.

I am not the one who cured my cat because that is beyond my power. My cat became healthy again because God let it. A few years ago, my best bro said that a veterinarian is just like an ‘extension’ of God’s ‘hand’. Someone destined to become a veterinarian has to do his/her best to treat animals with full responsibility, but God is the one who will decide the destiny of the animal/s.

Well, that was one of my small wins. How about you?