Ralph Nester: A Dad, A Medicine Man, A Miracle Worker!

Dr. Wright talked Mr. Sasso into building a laboratory on the farm so we could be more efficient.   We had an office/ lab combination built.   We had lots of medications and plenty of Dr. Wright’s liniments and sweats and homemade formulas.   One of them was this green internal formula we gave to the foals; I don’t remember its name, but it was a high-dose vitamin formula.   I would take a few drops during foaling season myself to keep me going (so I wouldn’t miss a foaling).  It was just a wonderful, fresh vitamin mixture and tasty.  I was (and am) very skeptical on all meds.  I don’t take meds for pain or anything, but I trusted Doc’s mixtures.  He had the best arthritis meds; he used all fresh mixed ingredients.

I was in the office one day running about 50 fecal samples to check for parasite counts.   Doc had a wonderful parasite control program, a low-level program that controlled the cycle of parasites. We once sent 100 samples to New Bolton Center and they didn’t find one parasite egg in the whole sample of 100 horses.  Lord, I hope I remember all the details… I was in my 20’s and I’m now 72!

Anyway, I was running a test and about 10 a.m., I heard a small knock on lab door. I opened the door to the sight of my twin daughters and the Sasso children:  Michael, Jody, Alfred and Anthony, all wide-eyed and sad.  My daughter Janet had this kitten, held in both hands and holding it up to hand to me… so many sad eyes.  Janet had a begging, hope-filled look on her face.  She said, “Dad, we told them you could fix their cat.”   The cat’s head was hanging off one hand and its tail was hanging off the other.  I thought it was dead.  I took the cat and sent them to play.



I put the kitten on the lab counter and prayed.  I said, “Lord, I have to save this kitten.”  I had never treated a cat before.  My first thoughts were: what do I do?  I could see that it was barely breathing so I gave it some of Doc’s green vitamin formula, then followed with a shot of something.  (I don’t remember what that was.)  I figured he was already dead, I can’t hurt him, so I gave him everything I could pick my brain with.  I gave him milk and honey and the kitchen sink; I did all this with a 10 cc syringe with no needle.


I covered him with a saddle cloth and put him in a straw-filled feed tub. When I left for the night at about 9 p.m., I was figuring out a way to tell those wide-eyed little children the next morning the sad news about the kitty.  The girls asked me about him at dinner, I told them,  “He’s o.k. for now.”

The next morning I went to the lab as usual, first thing, at about 5 a.m.  I opened the door, this kitten was romping and playing with a bug on the floor like a baby foal on its first day turned out in pasture.  I looked up and said,  “Thank you.”

When they all marched to the lab at about 9 a.m., I handed them the kitten, six of the happiest, smiling kids in the world.   After that, they brought me every bug, butterfly, bird…whatever they found.  A very gratifying save…


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