Our kitties are having a very unpleasant day. It began when we stuffed them into cat carriers and loaded them into the car at almost the crack of dawn, headed for a 9:00 am appointment at the vet's. Well, it was 8:30 am, so almost the crack of dawn, as far as I'm concerned.
Hobbes the baby cat, who is now nine months old and has developed an extremely pungent and musky tom-cat smell, had never been in a carrier and was curious and happy to explore the inside of the one we'd bought for him a few weeks back. But they'd been out of larger carriers, and we had borrowed a neighbour's carrier for Smokey.
Smokey the claustrophobe, was not as appreciative as he could have been. He wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with this "borrowed" (or any) carrier. Getting him inside it was like trying to wrestle a grizzly through a key hole. His intentions to remain *uncarrriered* were very clear. It took one of us to shove him bodily in, while the other peeled his claws off the edges of the door one at the time, then slammed and locked the door.
We put the carriers on the trolley, after all, five pounds of carrier plus 29 pounds of cat is a load too far for either of us. Tony is broken on the right side, his broken collarbone never did fuse back together. It healed in two disconnected pieces, which hampers his ability to pick up any amount of weight, or lift his arm above shoulder height.
The cats sang protest songs worthy of any Civil Rights march as we wheeled out of the parking lot. We were about halfway to the vet's office when Smokey gave a blood-curdling yell of indignation and burst through the door of the carrier. Cat 1 Carrier 0. He sat in the back seat and glared while Tony tried to coax him into his lap. When Tony tried to reach for him he climbed into the hatch.
We reached the clinic and now what are we to do? It is on a very heavily travelled street. Trucks and cars whip past at an alarming speed. If we open a door and he makes a break and runs into traffic we are down a cat.
With his carrier between me and the door I reached in and grabbed Hobbes in his carrier, and shut the door. Tony stayed in the car with Smokey. I took Hobbes in and explained my situation. Loose cat, carrier door broken, ai yi yi.
The receptionist went to the back and brought out a large carrier of the same type we'd bought for Hobbes. Metal door and latch, not plastic. By the time I got back to the car Tony had lured Smokey into his lap, and by some miracle we managed to get him into the carrier and latch the door. Carrier on trolley, and in we go.
Once out of his carrier and on the exam table Hobbes has to inspect the computer wiring, but then that's his job/hobby at home too. Chief wire inspector/taster. He's too ADHD to sit still for much petting and is not interested in being examined thanks. He wanted *down* so he could explore. As soon as the exam was finished he was whisked away for his surgical prep.
The first thing Smokey did when I let him out of the carrier was look for Hobbes. But he was easily distracted. As long as the vet and her two interns were feeling him up he was in Heaven. He didn't even appear to notice the needles though he yelped when he was micro-chipped, and he managed to spit one of the worm pills out the first time. The monster weighs 19 pounds. We were told he needs to lose four pounds to be at his ideal weight. So there's the goal.
We loaded him up and brought him home in the vet's carrier, where he flopped down on the floor and panted like a dog. He was so stressed out. But a little bit of tuna calmed him down and now he's sleeping off his "nightmare".
The vet's office just called (11:10) to say Hobbes is awake and doing fine, and I can pick him up at 3:00. I'm wondering how long it takes for the musk to resolve? I hope it's quick. It's pretty eye-watering in here.
I'm sure if you asked either of them today I'd get a pretty dismal score on the "On a 1 to 10 scale how does your Mama score?" test, but overall they've got a pretty good set of parents.
4:00 pm Addition
I know I will be useless tomorrow, and the day after, and food stores are running low, so we decided we'd make a quick grocery trip, then stop at Taco Bell and pick up comfort/junk food for dinner and be at the vet's to pick up Hobbes at 3:00. It was sweater weather when we went in at 8:30, what we didn't count on was that the temperature had climbed to 30 C (86 F) in the hours between 9:00-1:45. The store was almost deserted and my shopping went very quickly. It was only 2:15 when I finished. Uncomfortable about leaving meat, dairy and produce in a boiling hot car for that length of time I suggested I simply drop Tony home, he could put away the food and I'd get Hobbes alone. After all there was only the one cat to deal with this time.
Fine idea, except Tony had not brought his keys with him. I wound my car key off my ring and gave him my security door key and unit key. Off he went. I went to Taco Bell and arrived at the vet 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
I paid the (substantial) bill and the Tech sat down and talked me through a long list of do-nots. As in: Do not put the cat on the bed where he might fall off. Do allow him to drink a little water but do not feed him for 12 hours as he may be nauseated. Do not let him lick the incision. (Oh, I do hope the vet told him that, kids never listen to their mothers!) Do not be alarmed that he has a shaved patch on his leg, that is where the IV went in. Finally, she goes back and brings him out.
He sees me and screams like he's having his left leg removed with a rusty hacksaw. "Mama, you'll never GUESS what they DID TO ME!!!" The Tech says the bottom of the carrier fell out and he got away from them, they had to catch him, so you have to wrap your arms around the carrier and hold it together. I can't do it. The Tech carries him to the car for me.
But when I get home I can't get in, because I have no key, and I couldn't carry the flipping carrier if I had the key. I drag out my cell and call my husband, who is sound asleep upstairs. It rings about 10 times before he answers. He brings keys and the trolley for the carrier.
Once Hobbes is inside he's like a wind-up toy that will not wind down. He jumps on *everything*, table, stove, cabinets, chairs, over and over again. You can't catch him. He won't be held. He's hyper-doodle-dandied up on drugs and apparently enjoying the trip. He's running and jumping and panting and occasionally throwing a leg in the air and licking where his little boy balls used to be. The bitter orange flavour they put on the incision to make him not lick it is apparently his favorite sauce.
Smokey is irritated by all this running and jumping and panting and decides he's going to beat the crap out of this perpetual motion cat-thing which smells of antiseptic, so I have to hover like a police helicopter to keep the peace. After an hour Hobbes goes to his dish, eats a full meal, climbs into the carrier and goes to sleep. Smokey crawls into Tony's chair and goes to sleep. Tony's been asleep for an hour already. I fall half-dead in my chair.
Do not call. We may not get up until next Tuesday.