Bulky, heavy, and awkward at best, they were something out of a clown’s suitcase. I am not sure how we handled a single cat with those gloves. Lead-lined and covered in deep, dark emerald green leather, they easily stuck out while laying on the white formica countertops.
My 12 year old hands were engulfed in the obtuse behemoths. They were flat as a plate of pancakes and heavier than a black lab after breaking into a 40 lb bag of dog food. I managed a handful of successful episodes of steadying a frighten feline, but mostly Dad handled all of these situations himself.
There was a gash in the left thumb with duct tape covering the figurative wound. I asked my dad about it recently and he couldn’t remember from where the tear came. “Could have been from any number of encounters”, he said. There were multiple pairs around the office (for whatever reason no one ever called his office the practice). The “good” pair was for holding animals still while taking x-rays (officially they were for this very purpose: gloves to protect your hands from radiation while x-raying an animal) and the other “less than good” pairs were unofficially used for handling unruly felines so as to not make a jigsaw puzzle out of your hands while performing non-x-ray procedures.
I don’t know from where (or what) the tear came. As a kid I imagined dad wrestling with a bear to give it some medicine. Or maybe while examining Bigfoot! (does Bigfoot have claws?) Maybe they were gloves FOR Bigfoot… A veterinarian Bigfoot.