A member vet of the ER used to do the local Zoo, and heavy exotics. Had a client in about an hour out of town with a dehydrated panther. I tried to get out of it, but no go. So in it came. All I had to do was place a catheter and run IV's overnight. I asked the RDVM how I'd know if it was improving. "Easy", he said. "When it wants to kill you." Fucking swell. The panther was calm when we placed the cath. I rigged the IV lines so they could be disconnected with just a tug. If the panther pulled them out, too bad. We put the panther back into it's own crate, since I didn't want to handle it any more than necessary.
Unfortunately that night we had also hospitalized a very young pup, first time away from mom. The pup was feeling better, and developed a bad case of the lonely's. And cried. and cried. And cried.
My tech, trying to convince the pup to sleep, turned out the lights in the ward. And the light switch was on the tech's side of the room, not the side of the Dr.'s room. And by now the panther was feeling better.
A brief time later I came out check on the patients. Now an irritated panther has a growl that will make your blood run backward and make you want to shit food you haven't even eaten yet. And it was growling. I had to cross a dark room with an agitated 90 lb. predator that had been in a flimsy airline crate. Was it still there?
I claim courage for very few incidents in my life. This is one of them. The walk across the room was one of the longest walks of my life.
Fortunately, all was well. But I never, ever wanted to do anything with a big cat again. And now you know why there's grey hair in my beard.