On my weekly to do list for the past 6 months, has been “take cats to the vet for shots and checkups.” This week I made that dream a reality.
Typical Pet Ride
It sounds easy enough, like you just “pop” them into the car and they cooperatively buckle up in the backseat and purr, whilst appreciating the drive and pointing out things to each other that have changed since their last car trip; and then on arrival, file into the vets office holding onto a rope in an orderly fashion, but surprisingly … it’s nothing like that. It’s akin to … well…. herding cats. It’s a covert operation that takes at a minimum of two people about 20 hours of preparation and planning.
11:00 pm. Gather all 3 cats into house for easy access tomorrow. Everybody is acting antsy. It’s like they know. It’s quiet. Almost too quiet. Their already shifty eyes have a more pronounced “shift”.
9:00 a.m. Thankfully, all cats present and accounted for. Nobody is allowed outside. I announce firmly to hubby and daughter than even though it’s a lovely day, under no circumstances is any of the cat population of our house allowed outside, even though our appointment isn’t until 4:30. I want everyone easily accessible.
9:01. Crazed group meowing ensues. I ignore, while conscientiously working in my office, (also known as the kitchen table). Cats alternate between meowing and sulky, stink-eye glaring at me.
9:02 Meowing louder now. Cats commence hurling selves at door. I can’t even hear Regis and Kelly.
9:06 I fling door open to outside world, but not without a few profanities and a scathing comment about ingrates and the rare privilege of healthcare. The cats race out past me into the yard, with the sting of my reprimands ringing in their pointed ears.
9:07 I become absorbed in my work, conveniently forgetting about anything else.
3:00. Begin to wonder … where is the pet carrier thing we have that will hold two cats? I will have to MacGyver something for the other odd man out, or risk driving down the highway with a feline either wound up in the steering wheel or hiding underneath the brake pedal … but in the meantime, got to find that pet carrier.
3:10 Check the shed. WOW there’s a lot of stuff in there. But apparently no cat carrier.
3:15 Check the other shed. Nope
3:30 Check the other, other shed. No sign of it. And I have to leave in half an hour.
3:40 Check the barn. No, but there are some grocery bins that might work, if we lash them together with string. (Why AM I always buying grocery bags?)
3:45. Plus, where are the cats?
3:50 All cats now retrieved, once again locked in the house. Used the age-old “shake the cat treat bag at the door” trick. (I thought cats were supposed to be smart.)
3:55 Check the first shed again for the cat carrier. Found it in a corner covered in mud and some strange sticky orange oily liquid. It’s way smaller than I thought. Will only carry one cat.
4:00 Wash cat carrier and also grocery bins, just for good measure.
4:05 Grocery bins not workable as pet carrier. Find 2 large laundry baskets. Think carefully about what two cats will tolerate riding together, and then place them into laundry basket with other laundry basket firmly attached by way of locking twist tie, very secure and requiring scissors to remove. Place scissors in purse for use at vet clinic.
4:12 Put other single cat into actual cat carrier, which is free from mud but still somewhat sticky.
4:15 Full-blown UFC style cage fight breaks out in laundry basket. Fur is flying through small slats. Can’t remember where I put scissors. Daughter finally finds them, removing the technical knock-out loser of that round. All possible pairing variations are considered, and we finally decide that they each must have their own ride, so we’re finally ready to go with a total of 3 laundry baskets and one actual (albeit sticky) cat carrier. Numerous attempts are required to get single cat inserted into her into pet carrier, as she demonstrates her best starfish impression.
4:20 Finally everyone under secure twist tie lockdown. Deafening 20 minute car ride follows. (We’re going to a new clinic this time, because the old one was getting too pricey.)
4:40 Arrive at clinic. I meet the young lady doctor, and by young I mean that when my oldest cat was born, she would have been about 10 years old. She graduated approximately yesterday. Checkups get underway. Cats behave perfectly. Everybody gets vaccinated, toenails clipped. Our oldest cat gets skin scraped to see why it’s so itchy. We’re sent to the waiting room to get the bill. It takes forever. Daughter and I amuse each other by guessing how much it’s going to be. She guesses $200. I guess $250. Finally the bill is ready – $386. I feel faint and a little nauseous, and can hardly hear the child-vet telling me that she read the skin scraping thing and to combat the itching our old cat will require numerous visits and treatments. She can barely contain her excitement. They just don’t see this every day. She will email me a “schedule” of treatments and “special order” in the medicine.
5:45 Cats are quiet and smug as we place them back in the car. I can read their cat thoughts. .. “Happy now?”
6:15 Ears may be playing tricks on me, but return trip meowing sounds a bit like evil “Muwhahaha” laughter.
6:30 Arrive home. Initiate plans to fake someone’s death to avoid the upcoming treatments. Can’t decide if it will be mine or the cat’s.
Unpimped pet rides