“Ma’am, we’re looking for a runaway.”
Dr. Milwaí sighed, “All you will find here are staff and patients.”
“We have a picture here for you to show your staff.” The man handed her a page from a stack. “There’s a number for you to call if you see her.”
Anjela looked at the vixen on the page, “I haven’t seen her.”
“Just show this to your staff, ma’am, and call when you see her.” The man handed her another copy of the picture then turned and headed out the door.
Dr. Milwaí turned and stormed down the hall to her office to yell at the wall.
She spun around, “If one more person calls me ma’am, I’m gonna…” she grunted her frustration then took a breath, “I’m sorry. What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing bad. Nilla just wants to talk to you before she leaves.”
Anjela chuckled, “Well, I guess that’s one normal thing in this day. Tell her I’ll be right there.” She rubbed her face and put on a smile, then headed back up the hall.
“Excuse me. Is this the morph clinic?”
Dr. Milwaí stopped at the exam room door and looked past the counter to see a man leading a mouse morph in the door holding a bloody rag on her arm. “Tandy, get exam four ready. Come on in. We can take care of you.” She stepped out to usher the man and mouse past the counter and down the hall. “Hop up on the table and let’s get you cleaned up.”
The man stopped in the door, “If you’re going to be a while, my wife will come back later to pick her up.”
Tandy hurried to the door, “Sir, we need you to fill out some paperwork.”
“My wife will take care of that. I need to go.” He turned and left with no more consideration.
“Don’t worry about him, Tandy. Grab some more gauze while I start stitching this up.” Dr. Milwaí cleaned the mouse girl’s arm and noticed her shivering. “Hey, just breathe. You’re going to be just fine. What’s your name?”
The mouse watched the doctor washing her arm and swallowed, “K-Kamie.”
“Nice to meet you, Kamie. How did this happen?”
Kamie looked away.
“Okay. Just relax. This is going to sting. Try to hold still.” Dr. Milwaí carefully put four stitches to close the gash. “There. We’ll wrap it up, and you’ll be just fine. Thanks, Tandy.” She took some gauze to cover the stitches, then wrapped the young mouse’s arm. “Now, since that man didn’t stay, why don’t you help Tandy fill out your paperwork. Just tell her everything you can remember and relax. You’re safe here.” She smiled and rubbed the mouse’s back, then nodded to Tandy as she left and closed the door.
“Dr. M, the new door is here.”
“Finally, some good news.”
“He said it should take less than an hour to get it installed, swap the locks, and make sure it works with the security system.”
“That’s great. It looks like we’re getting backed up with all these urgents this morning. Have you heard from Dr. Kansas?”
“He’s grabbing his coat from the office.”
“Wonderful. Hey, Phila, check to see if we have a mouse named Kamie in our system.” She noticed a police car pull up out front and the officers got out. “Oh great, what now?” She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned.
Dr. Kansas smiled as he walked past her, “I’ll take care of this. You work on getting us back on schedule.”
Anjela smiled and sighed in relief, “Thanks, Ray.” She watched him head around the counter to meet the police and the dog morph they were pulling out of their car then headed for exam one.
She took a breath, “Yes, Tandy?”
“Um, Kamie said her owners’ daughter stabbed her.”
“Really?” Angela groaned, “Alright, well, we can’t let her go back until we can be sure that won’t happen again. Keep her in the room and let me know when someone comes for her.”
“Of course, Dr. M.” Tandy went back to exam four.
Angela turned as Dr. Kansas led the police with the dog morph by to exam three, “Yes, Tracy?”
“Garin would like to talk to you.”
“Oh? Glad he’s feeling better. I’ll be right there.” She walked up to the counter, “Hey, Phila. What’s happening with Dr. Kansas?”
“The police brought a dog morph that was in a car accident. His owner is in critical condition at the hospital and he’s not speaking. The police want us to get him to tell them what happened.”
Anjela sighed, “I hope his owner pulls through. Let me know how it goes.” Dr. Milwaí took another calming breath and stepped up to the counter to address the growing crowd in the waiting room, “I’m sorry for the delays, everyone. We’ve had a few urgent cases that are pushing things back. Just be patient and we’ll be with you as soon as we can.”
A grey tabby cat morph laughed, “That’s why we’re called patients.”
“Yes, Gary,” Anjela smirked and patted Phila’s shoulder as she headed back down the hall to exam six. She opened the door to find Tracy talking with a bright orange tiger morph. “Wow! When you came in, you were such a mess, I couldn’t even tell what species you were.”
Tracy chuckled, “Yeah, I took a muddy morph back to the shower and brought back this bright cat.”
“Thank you, Tracy. Could you go out and help with the waiting room?”
“Sure.” She gave the tiger a shy smile as she left.
“Are you feeling better?”
Garin nodded, “Thank you.”
“You had quite a night. What happened?”
The tiger looked away for a moment, “I just got tired of it. I couldn’t fight when they took me, so I did what I was told, hoping they would let me go home, but they never did. I stopped asking after a while, but I asked again yesterday, and they laughed at me and told me I had no other home to go back to. I didn’t believe them. I had to make sure my family was okay. I covered myself in mud to hide while I ran. I thought I had gone far enough, then they drove up and spotted me. It was hard to stay hidden and I think one spotted me, but he didn’t do anything. I was heading home, but then I recognized the clinic’s sign and saw the broken door. Honestly, I was more worried that something had happened here than thinking about getting help.”
Dr. Milwaí patted his arm, “They came looking for you before you got here.”
“I’m sorry about all this.”
“It’s fine. It’s why we have insurance. I’m just glad they didn’t find you.”
Garin sighed, “Do you know if my moms’ okay?”
Anjela smiled, “We left a message for the Karabiners. They should be fine. I’ll let you know when we hear back from them. You’re welcome to wait here until then. You’re safe here.”
“Thank you again. I remembered you being nice, but… Really, thank you.” The tiger smiled.
Anjela smiled back, “You just rest in here. Let us know if you need anything.”
As she stepped back into the hall, Phila caught her, “Dr. M, you need to come up front.”
“What’s wrong?” She followed Phila to the counter and found a well-dressed raccoon waiting with a scared looking deer holding a bloody rag to her nose.
“Are you the doctor? I believe Ms. Cape called ahead.”
“Oh, no. Not today.” Angela groaned. “Well, come on back and let’s get that nose taken care of. Phila, put them in exam five, please. I’ll be right there.” She watched them go down the hall and turned toward exam one when her phone rang. She checked first and saw her husband, so she answered, “Hey, we’re having a busy day today.”
“Yeah, I’m calling about one of your patients. We got a car crash victim that was in bad shape. He was conscious for a moment and was asking about a dog morph that was in the back seat. I’m hoping he made it to you.”
“Yeah, Dr. Kansas is with him and a couple officers.”
“Unfortunately, the man didn’t make it.”
“Yeah. I’m hoping your dog morph doesn’t get blamed for it.”
“Why would he?”
“I don’t know, but the police sounded suspicious of him. Be careful.”
“I’ll check with Ray.”
“Well, don’t go jumping in front of a bullet. A lot of people still need you.”
“If he’s innocent, then I shouldn’t have to, right?”
“I know. I’ll be careful.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.” She hung up and looked at the door to exam three, then turned back to exam one.