A veterinary appointment…
An absconder (What a great word!)…
A reluctant carrier inmate…
Once a year…
How tough could it be?
I am absolutely sure “we” (the cats and I) make it much harder than it needs to be.
Pashka and Katya are 3-year-old Russian Siberian cats. They are sisters from the same litter. Like most siblings their personalities are dissimilar.
The hubs had suggested making the appointment for his day off, well because… cats and carriers!!! It was a kindness toward me because honestly, he is just not their favorite person.
I had a plan.
-Shut all the closet doors and room doors that we don’t absolutely need to use, and thereby limiting their hiding territory.
-Don’t let the cats see the crates until we are ready to put them in them.
-Snag Pashka first because she will be the hardest one to grab. I had seen Katya go into my room, so I had my eye on her.
Pashka, surprisingly, was easily duped this time and gently nudged backward into the carrier. Not exactly thrilled, but contained and ready to go.
Now to get Katya from our bedroom. For her, I chose the crate with the pop-off lid to more easily maneuver her in and then put the top back on. Except Katya was not to be found. There were just not that many places she could go, so where in the world?
My husband and I began to look in every tight space that she might have access to and were turning up nothing. Even this treat-obsessed cat wasn’t falling for “the usual shake of the bag and she’ll come running” trick.
We were 10 minutes from appointment time now.
Fortunately, the vet is 2 minutes from our home. We ran right up to the time and still, a truant Katya! I was so irritated and the hot flashes that also decided to join the fun were not helping my disposition in the least!
I called the vet and told them that we were planning to come, but one of the cats went into hiding. She asks if I would like to reschedule. “NO! I don’t want to reschedule! I don’t want to do this all over again!” I wanted to add (but didn’t), “I actually want you to magically tell me where my cat is hiding!”
Frustration was dripping off of me!
She asked if I would like to bring the one cat in and I said, “Yes, Pashka would be coming.” I sent my husband out the door with his little ward and the hunt continued for “Thing 2”.
I tried the treat bag again. I put out her favorite food and even set it in a couple of areas I thought she might be. I went outside and walked the perimeter of the house shaking the treat bag and calling her name. (I hope the neighbors had fun with that one!) Let me note, that these cats are NOT outdoor cats, but they do love to sneak, or rather bolt out, when they see an opportunity. It WAS possible that she slipped out when my husband did. She didn’t.
I came back in and put the food dishes in their usual places on the mat in the laundry room, and who do you think came chasséing into the kitchen, tail swooshing back and forth like a big beautiful plum of victory?
Not so fast kitty!
I snatched her up and quickly took her back to the bedroom and the waiting crate, which by now was on my very tall bed completely apart, door included. I used the old momma cat trick and held her by the scruff of the neck and tried to manipulate the top of the carrier back on with one hand. The metal door fell on the floor…of course! Now I needed 2 hands to hold her and the carrier and another very long arm to reach the floor. Somehow, I managed to get her in and secured. I was a sweaty mess by this time. (Can I count all this as a workout?)
Being a very vocal cat, she also told me a thing or two about how she was feeling…over and over again.
I didn’t care!
I texted my husband that I had her and was on my way. I figured they were probably finishing up with “Thing 1” and I could bring this feisty feline in for the second half of the appointment time.
He called when I was half-way there (remember it is only 2 minutes from my home) and said they didn’t have time to see her now, but they did have another appointment in 45 minutes.
I drove back home, took the cat in the house and set her carrier just inside the open screened door so she could look outside and wait. (Fortunately, we had a very nice day drop in on us in the middle of January.)
At the end of the delayed appointment I made an apology to the person I had talked to earlier for being so crabby on the phone. I said, “I realize this is only once a year, but when you are in the middle of the ordeal, it feels like it happens weekly.” She was gracious.
The rest of the story is that once home, Pashka (Thing 1), blames Katya (Thing 2), for the whole circumstance and hisses at her whenever she is near for 2 or 3 days. Katya is disconcerted and goes into hiding again until big sis chills and we all settle in again.
Yes! I am absolutely sure “we” (the cats and I) make it much harder than it needs to be.
But, they are after all…cats…I have no excuse. I had already decided that it was going to be a difficult endeavor and it was. I have a year to change my thinking for a more peaceful outcome. Cats don’t want to go to the vet, and that circumstance is just what it is. I don’t have to allow it to get my tail all in a puff!