Back in 2017, two of the cats I had raised from kittens had become Guinness World Record Title holders. Arcturus Aldebaran Powers was the tallest cat to ever live and Cygnus Regulus Powers had the longest tail on a cat ever (All my cats are named for stars). I had designed a diet for them that I thought was what would be ideal for a feline species. It was highly synthetic and by no means natural, but I’m all about science and evidence-based things, and I’m fairly sure it turned them both into giants.
Life was pretty great, and we were booking TV shows and charity events, as I was president of the Ferndale Cat Shelter at the time, and the cats’ fame helped us raise money to help Detroit rescue and street cats.
On Nov 12th 2017, my wife (who is also a doctor) left in the morning to go round in the hospital. I woke up about an hour later to smoke alarms and my living room ablaze. I searched for the cats and opened as many escape paths as possible until I finally passed out from smoke. Ultimately, I made it to the basement where I was rescued by first responders. The house burned to the foundation, and we lost everything, including our beloved cats Arcturus, Sirius and Cygnus.
(So this is me here on a random Tuesday with Hyperion, one of the resident therapy cats. Life is good, but it wasn’t always so.)
The tragedy completely devastated me, and it took me over a year to recover mentally and physically from it. When I was cleared to go back to work, I decided I didn’t want to live my life how I did previously. I spent my 20s studying and training to be a doctor, and it was almost all for nothing. I decided that being happy and enjoying my life was worth far more, and so I decided to start my own family practice clinic, Powers Family Medicine.
I decided to theme the practice around me and my interests, which are mostly cats and video games. I told some colleagues that I planned to launch a family practice that would have therapy cats and video game decorations and they told me I was insane and that it would be a complete failure as people want to go to a sterile, simple, professional-looking place for medical care. I decided to proceed anyway, and rented a small office space near the ruins of my old home (which is currently being rebuilt). We have been wildly successful, and are currently the #1 patient-rated family practice in our state.
The therapy cats are all exotic hybrids (early generation Bengals and Savannah cats) who lack the Fel D1 gene in their saliva, and so people with severe cat allergies are unaffected by them. We recently had a patient who is so allergic to cats that she carries an epi-pen for it come to the office. She got to pet Polaris, and broke down into tears because she loves cats but wasn’t able to pet one for almost 30 years. The cats aren’t allowed in sterile zones, but otherwise, have free reign of the office. (They are fully vaccinated and free of zoonotic infections, and so honestly the doorknob to the office is more of a risk to you than they are)
Our clinic is special in that it welcomes truly everyone. We are friendly and cater to the LGBT population, and also have a lot of alt/kink/BDSM, commercial sex workers, polyamorous patients, HIV+ patients (which I treat and prescribe PrEP) and other people who feel like they can’t be open and honest with their doctor. We also have some middle-class families in the mix too, all are welcome and treated with respect! In short, we don’t care what anyone else thinks, just tell us the truth and we will help keep you safe and healthy.
I expected it would take years for me to develop the practice, as 5-7 years is pretty normal. We’ve now been open for 6 months, and as of today, we are completely full. We have over 1000 patients in the practice, and we’ve established a waiting list for people to get on if they want to transfer their care to us. I’m looking into expansion options and hiring some help so that we can continue to accept new patients, but for now, that has to wait.
If you’ve read this far and want to see what we’ve built, let me give you a tour!
Hi! Welcome to the tour! I’m Dr. Powers, and this is my clinic!
In the main lobby, there is a full-size custom arcade machine that pretends to be a yet unreleased title “The Drs. Powers And The Starcats”.
The cats have free rein of the office. Also, every exam room has a SNES classic in it to play while you wait!
Phoenix Arcturus Powers is the resident Savannah cat, and he works on Mondays and Thursdays. He is the half brother of Arcturus Aldebaran Powers, the tallest cat to ever live.
Phoenix basks in the rainbow sunbeams.
Exam room 1, we have special prism film on the windows which produces rainbows when it’s sunny out.
At our clinic, you check in using your initials only. You are then assigned an Amiibo (the name is printed on the bottom if you don’t know the character). Then, when it’s your turn to be called back, my MA will say “Pikachu!” and you come back to the exam room. This way, no matter who is in the lobby at the same time as you, your privacy is maximally preserved.
Phoenix likes to hang out at the nurses’ station and receive pets from patients passing by.