When I meet someone new for the first time, we exchange pleasantries and then they ask “What do you do?” I smile and say “I’m a vet tech, like a nurse for animals”. Then they say “Oh, I could never do that! The blood and surgery and then it’s so sad when they have to be put to sleep”. And I reply, “Yes, it is sad but we make it as comfortable as possible”.
The next question they ask me is “How many pets do you have?” Ah, the loaded question…I don’t like to quantify, mostly ‘cause people stare at me like I’m crazy if I say 11 plus fish… So I begin to rattle off the list and make them do the counting. “I have 7 cats, a dachshund, a pot bellied pig, 2 sugar gliders, a Flemish Giant bunny and a handful of fish”. They still stare at me in disbelief (or horror). I smile and add “One of the cats is a Sphynx, a hairless cat like from the “Austin Powers” movies and my Doxie is paralyzed and uses a cart to get around. Then people usually laugh because they think I’m joking. They stop when they see I’m not. The animal lovers ask about how/where I acquired each one, other people walk to the other end of the room or start talking to the “normal” person beside them.