Once a year my cat, cleverly named Kitty, has to go to the vet. It’s a yearly ritual that husband avoids. I’m the one who shoves her in the cage. I’m the one who makes her sit in a room full of dogs. I’m the one who holds her while the vet jams needles in her leg. He’s the one who’s there to open the cage once we’re back home…the one who carries her back into the house and consoles her. Last Saturday was no different.
(I have to make a confession here. I really don’t like dogs very much. They bark at you and jump on you and smell. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that I don’t like dog owners very much. Those same people who laugh while their dog jumps on you. They always say the same thing.
“Oh, he won’t bite.”
You know, I don’t care. Keep your dog off me. With that being said, I’m not a total dog disser. I do like Bugs who is the beloved companion of Sally. Bugs is calm. And if he snatches the occasional cake from the table, well, it probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place.)
Off to the vet we go. Kitty is probably a little embarrassed by her cat cage. It truly is an antique. A relic from a relative’s days spent working in a lab at the local university. It’s metal on all sides except the door which is a wire mesh. It weighs about 20 pounds and is a far cry from the pet carriers all the rich pets have.
As I’m signing in at the vet, a woman comes in with her dog. Dog immediately jumps on me. She laughs. I recoil. The dog to cat ratio is 8 to 1. And then the nurse calls a name and a man who didn’t have a pet motioned to his family outside to come in. At last, another cat. A Siamese wrapped in a blanket with only the top portion of her body showing. Her ears were pointed and she was alert–watching everything around her.
Finally, they call my name. Thank goodness because the only reading material was a book of children’s Bible stories. I know how that one ends.
We get in the exam room and Kitty refused to come out of the cage. Her claws were wrapped around that wire mesh and she was determined not to leave the space that she had been forced into only a little while earlier. Finally the vet assistant and I get her out and the first order of business is weighing her. 10 pounds, on the nose. The exact same weight she has been for five years. Stupid cat.
The vet comes in and starts the exam. And Kitty starts acting like she’s possessed. She hisses. She foams at the mouth. She bares her teeth. I fully expect to see her levitate at any moment. The doctor forces a pill down her throat and then stupidly turn his back. Cat spits pill across the room.
Score: Cat one. Vet zero.
But in the end, of course, he won the day and three shots later we were done. As I stood in line waiting to pay my bill, the family with the Siamese cat came down the hall. Each of them…mother, father and daughter…were red-eyed and sniffling. And they were leaving without their cat.
“That’ll be $100” the receptionist said.
“No problem,” I replied.