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Our shy and retiring cat, Rosa, had her teeth cleaned recently, a procedure that requires anesthesia. It went well, but as she was waking up, a vet tech put food and water in her cage.

Rosa, not yet in her right mind, jumped and bit the tech, who had to go to convenient care for antibiotics. Our vet said that everyone in their office has been bitten at least once, and it’s covered by workmen’s compensation.

Doctors have to report any adverse human-animal interaction to animal control. As a result, I was notified that Rosa had to be quarantined for 10 days. Because her rabies vaccine was current, she was under house arrest rather than subjected to germs, stress and expense in animal control lock-up. As a strictly indoor cat, she noticed no change.

After the quarantine, we had six days in which to take her back for yet another full exam (at no charge) to confirm she didn’t have rabies and send a form to animal control.

This exam had nothing to do with medicine, since her vaccine was up to date, but everything to do with liability. The entire protocol is specified by the state, not the county.

The one useful thing that came out of this ordeal was a note put in Rosa’s vet file suggesting she be housed in a bigger cage.

I’m sharing this saga so other pet owners are aware of the process and can take preventive action. It’s most important to vaccinate regularly.