My pets hate me, and now they’re asleep

Today was the lovely annual visit to the vet! Three cats and one dog. The drama started last night, when I began following my dog around the yard with a plastic baggie. The idea was to collect a stool sample so the vet could check for worms. But as so often happens, the dog refused to produce the sample, so the baggie kept coming back into the house, empty.

The drama continued today, when I could not find the second cat carrier. I know I have two, but could only find one. Of course the garage is still full of boxes that haven’t been unpacked from our move last year, and it might have been buried in there. But I finally found it outside, under an overgrown bush where I’d stashed it last year after using it to carry some rabbits. And now it is full of spiders – uck! A good wipe down and putting a dry towel on the floor of it made it habitable.

And then getting the cats INTO the carriers! The first cat was easy. I’m not sure he’d ever been in a carrier before, so I picked him up, turned his backside to the carrier, and popped him in. No problem. The next two cats were more interesting. Neither cares much for the carrier, and both remember having to sit for three long days in it on the move from Colorado to Oregon last year. If you have ever had to put cats into a carrier when the cats didn’t want to go into the carrier, you know know this next part goes: pick one up, turn his back to the carrier, pick up his back feet and put them in the carrier, and push. Then observe said cat fold himself in half so his back legs were out of the carrier, in front of his front legs while his ribcage was still halfway in the carrier. Pushing at this point is useless, because the cat is now mysteriously too large for the opening. Then use my feet to hold the carrier still while trying to unfold the cat. apparently I need three hands to do that, because I was unsuccessful. Eventually said cat just falls over on his side, solid dead weight. Have you ever tried to pick up a cat that is acting like a sack of slippery potatoes? ***Sigh***

Eventually the second cat is in the carrier and the door is closed. Here comes the fun one, because the third cat needs to share the carrier that the second cat is already in!  So, prepare the third cat by turning his back end toward the carrier. Open the door with the left hand, put the back feet in, and push the cat with the right hand. Use left hand to push second cat’s head back in so he doesn’t escape. Use feet to keep the carrier from sliding backwards. Use right hand to push cat harder. Use left hand to disentangle cat’s claws from the carrier’s door. Switch left hand to push second cat’s head back in again. And again. And again. Eventually second cat must have swatted third cat’s tail in his annoyance, because third cat squawks, turns around, and lunges into the carrier, beginning a yelling fest inside it. Well. At least they’re both in the carrier. I shut the door. And eventually they both calm down.

I get the dog into her seatbelt harness without too much drama, and we proceed to the car. One cat crate in the backseat behind the driver, seatbelt run through the handle and fastened. The other crate in the backseat behind the passenger seat, seatbelt run through the handle and fastened. Dog in the front seat with me, seatbelt run through the loop in her harness and fastened. She promptly turns in a full circle and tangles herself in the belt.

Where is my husband during all this? In the living room “studying” – which really means watching the proceedings with large eyes, and laughing. This is the first full menagerie visit to the vet that he’s observed since we’ve been married. He’s getting quite the education!

Finally we arrive at the vet’s building , and now I have to get all the animals into the lobby at the same time. So I un-seatbelt one cat carrier, and put it on the sidewalk. Then the second. Then the dog. And I proceed into the office with one cat crate and a dog leash in my left hand, and the cat crate carrying two cats in my right hand. I am so grateful for the stranger who saw us coming and opened the door for us!

Once in the vet’s office, its time for exams and shots. Third cat was first. He purrs so loudly it’s hard for the vet to hear his heartbeat! But he’s perfectly healthy, and even tolerates the shots acceptably. Second cat was next, and it was amusing to watch the vet tech struggle to put third cat back in the carrier. Second cat is equally healthy, and refused to allow his temperature to be taken. The vet decided that a cat as adept as he is at turning himself inside out to avoid the thermometer must not be feeling bad, so it was OK to skip the thermometer. After all, have YOU ever seen a cat being held by all four legs and his scruff still turn himself inside out? I have now! His skin is so tough it took two jabs to get each needle through it for the shots.

The vet found first cat’s records from his previous owner, and I learned that he’s not due for any vaccinations. So apparently I just brought him along for the fun of it. (Seriously?)

The dog got her vaccinations, and had to have blood drawn for some testing, which is no way to endear yourself to a dog. Afterwards I had to actually pick up the waiting room chair to get her out from underneath it. Poor thing!

So. Four pets. Nine needle jabs. A car ride. The indignity of the cat carriers. The excitement. The effects of vaccines. And all of it rolled up into a volume of dislike for me – the one who subjected them to it!

They’re all asleep as I write this. Hopefully they have short memories, and let me feed and pet them after they wake up. Oh, who am I kidding? When food is in the offing, they’ll pretend to forget anything! Hopefully we don’t have a repeat of today for another year. Glad I have healthy pets!

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