Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 73 - Spring (Sep-Nov) 2022 > Misunderstandings (by Erica Green)


by Erica Green

It has been a long time since we have had a pet in our house, bit this year has seen a change in that.  Recently my mum got to the stage where she needed more assistance than she was able to get living alone at home and so we have been going through the transition of moving her to Sydney.  Of course, that meant that we also bought up her precious cat (Ginger Meggs or Meggsy for short) to live with us.  Meggsy was very special because he was a stray that turned up on mum's doorstep in need of a home and immediately proceeded to adopted mum and dad.  He soon became part of the house as if he had always been there, spending large portions of the day sleeping on dad's knee.  Likewise, he very quickly became part of our household.   This is a picture of him, on my desk, "helping" me work during Covid lockdown.  It is a hard life.

A few weeks ago, it came time for a Meggsy to visit the vet for a check-up.  Like many animals, he does not like the carry cage, the car, or the vet. He spent the entire journey in the car yowling in his cage like the world was coming to an end.  He clawed at the cage, started to shiver, and even had a little bladder related accident because he was so scared.  Luckily, I had allowed for this and had placed a towel in the cage for exactly this eventuation.

Now, because of Covid, there was a whole new process to be undertaken in visiting the vet.  Firstly, you wait in the car, and then an assistant comes out and takes your particulars and carries the pet in to see the vet, while you wait in the car.  The vet then examines the pet and rings you on your mobile phone to discuss the issues.  The assistant then returns the pet to your car, hands out the eftpos machine to be tapped and then you are on your way.   All this of course whilst wearing masks.

Meggsy was collected and a little while later we got the call. The vet talked through the general check-up and then she said, "Now about Meggsy's respiratory issues".  I was a little shocked by this statement. I had not noticed any breathing difficulties apart from the occasional cute snore when he slept. There was no passive smoking issue that I was aware of or exposure to fumes that would be of concern.  I started to imagine the worse.  How can I go back and tell mum that her precious cat has a lung disease? "Sorry", I replied "I don't know anything about any respiratory issues."   After a little bit of back and forth with her assistant, she came back and said, "well the notes here say that Meggsy has been experiencing an anxious wheeze, but I couldn't find any evidence of a lung condition, so that is all good then, unless you have any other concerns."

It took a few seconds before I realised what had happened. Amongst other things, when I had handed the cat cage over to the vet assistant, I had apologized for Meggsy's "anxious wee" as the cage was a bit smelly from his accident.   This must have been turned into instructions for the vet to investigate Meggsy's "anxious wheeze".  It was a bit like Chinese whispers.  Image how this message might have ended up if there had been even more than that one extra person in the communication line.  We all had a little laugh at poor Meggsy's expense.

This story was more amusing than anything else, with no real harm done. However, I am sure that all of us have experienced the pain and frustrations of both misunderstanding other and being misunderstood ourselves.  Given the common nature of these occurrences, is it any wonder that the Bible has a few pieces of advice about dealing with misunderstandings between people. 

Potentially misunderstanding others :-

Being misunderstood


If you are potentially misunderstanding others :-

If you are being misunderstood by others :-

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 73 - Spring (Sep-Nov) 2022 > Misunderstandings (by Erica Green)