respect of pointy

Attempt number one involved scooping Edmund up and trying to pop a pill in his mouth. Attempt number one ended with Jeff bleeding from two long, ugly scratches on his forearm and Edmund sulking in another room.

Call the vet. Lovely, practical, unruffled vet. "We have a problem."

"He's stressed, so don't try to bring them in today. Tomorrow morning, crush the remaining pill and give it to them with a treat or some food, and maybe that will work."

"All right."

Attempt number two began with a trip to Target and the purchase of a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli. No, we can't explain it either; we suspect that Sir Boyardee's company is secretly lacing its tomato sauce with catnip. Nothing else explains our felines' determination to get their dainty little paws on the tomato sauce.

Attempt number two commenced in earnest at seven a.m. this morning, when I crushed the kitty sedative in the mortar and pestle (note to self: wash thoroughly before using it to crush human food) and added it to the tomato sauce.

I set the bowl on the floor.

"Eat the damn tomato sauce, cat."

Attempt number two ended with Edmund taking one delicate sniff of the tomato sauce and jumping back with the oh-so-expressive Kitty Smells Something Nasty face.

"You realize that if you don't eat that, I'm hauling your ass to the vet and you're not going to be sedated when you get your shot."

Silence. (As if the cat was going to answer me.)

I asked, "Would you please eat the stupid tomato sauce?" but by the time I finished the sentence, Edmund had already left the room with a dismissive tailswish.

* * * * *

At nine a.m., the cat carrier opened for business. Luckily, the brothers Fang believe the cat carrier is a safe and sacred place, and do not fuss when they're placed into it. I tossed them in and closed the door, pretending that I did not see their baleful - and untranquilized - stares.

"You are going to the vet. Deal with it."

Silence. (Again - as if I expect the cats to talk back to me.)

Between the living room and the car, Edmund handed the brain back to Tenzing, who used the increased mental capacity to start complaining. Thankfully, the vet's office is about two miles from our house. My tape loop of "Shush, silly kitty, you're going to be okay" would have started sounding more like "Shut up, dumb cat, it's your own damn fault you're not sedated" had I been in the car for much longer.

* * * * *

There are several secrets to a successful vet visit.

#1: Kitty drugs.

Proving that your college roommate might've not been quite so off the mark when he said that drugs make anything better. Drugged kitties are limp, utterly stupid beings, capable of noticing that you just gave them a rabies shot but mysteriously unable to care. It's easy to examine a stoned kitty. Just don't show it any munchies.

#2: Prior appointment with the vet.

Calling five minutes ahead of time and saying, "I'm bringing the demons; got an exam room open?" does wonders. For non-stoned kitties, waiting is nothing but an excuse to get their temper and worry levels ratcheted up to "spastic" levels. To be able to waltz right in, going straight from the car to the exam table, makes for less pointy and more happy. (Actual waltzing is not recommended.)

#3: Respect of pointy.

Occasionally, cats feel the need to remind you that they are not domesticated; their choice to submit was freely made and can be revoked at any time. "Any time," of course, being defined as "during vet visits and any other time deemed necessary." At this time, it is best to remember the wise description one of my friends had of a certain cat: "Pointy on all ends, eh?" (Best illustrated by raising one's arms and forming fingers into exaggerated claw shapes while speaking.)

Respect the pointy parts. Leather gloves are a fine way to show your respect.

#4: Cat carrier with multiple openings.

For cats who believe the cat carrier is a safe and sacred space, whose walls serve to protect them from the joys of the vet, it is unwise to attempt to extricate the cat(s) from the carrier. Do not attempt to bring the cat to the veterinarian; bring the veterinarian to the cat. Lift the top of the carrier slowly and carefully, admiring the pleasant growls of greeting, and administer all medicines and vaccines without attempting to move the cat. (See "Respect of Pointy" for more information on this subject.)

#5: Apology feedings.

After gently replacing and re-locking the top of the cat carrier, quickly pay the vet's bill and have the lovely strapping vet's assistant take the cats to the car. Drive home. Administer apologies in verbal and scritchie form for as long as necessary. Apply kitty treats as necessary until annoyance and noisy complaining cease, and cats rediscover papasan chair and settle in for a nap.

* * * * *

Jeff's evidence of his encounter with the pointier bits of Edmund should heal over by next week. The cats have already forgotten the vet visit. The one brain they share between them has a maximum memory retention of ten minutes.

Peace is restored.

Those of you wondering what cats look like under sedation should check the photos attached to the 27 May 2002 entry, "kitty one-upsmanship."

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ROFLMAO!!!!!! As an animal owner and a former vet tech I can appreciate multiple angles of this story. I bet your two are the subject of much "behind the door" discussion, LOL! Cat react to catnip differently, some get hyper, some get doped. Have you ever tried Valerian root with your two? It sends my kitties into purring bliss even better than the best catnip. Funny, Samantha was a tomato-sauce junkie as well.

Man, this just reminds me of the vet visits from hell that I had to endure with Sam and Kernel. Heather and Jess never believed me when I complained about how horrible they were to take to the vet until they had to do it themselves. I love those two brats, but my god, they were horrible.

I'm laughing hysterically and I shouldn't because my girls are WAY overdue for the vet. Geez - couldn't even answer the phone for a few minutes there! Kara is fine until she's let out and THAT PERSON in the white coat attempts to touch her - then she turns into pissy hissing kitty who has to be placated and "reasoned with". Luckily she can no longer rip holes into him/her with her front paws. Copper is miserable & scared & wails until she smells THAT PERSON in the white coat then shivers uncontrollably until she gets home & can hide under the bed. Hmmm sedation - might be worth a shot!

Dogs rule! As long as there is a new place to mark and sniff and something to eat at the end of it all, Parker will go anywhere. He actually likes trips to the vet, though he could do without the visits to the groomer.

That sounds remarkably similar to checking puppy's hurting tooth.

We got a stray kitty a little while ago and had to take her to the vet to get fixed. That went fine. When we had to take her back she took out to assistants and the vet. They thought that she was always that violent and suggested putting her down for our safety. If it wasn't for the fact that she would sit on my mom's shoulder when the vet wasn't trying to touch her I don't think we would have convinced them this is very unusual behavior. Now Midnight has to be under anesthetic to go to the vet. They won't examine her unless they knock her out first.

that was a good one...we actually find that starving for a day makes for an easier time in giving medicines. the four moggies are going to have to get their shots soon..since two aren't yet tame it should be interesting getting them all doped up. we don't have to sedate willow (our big fat momma), but she's a toughie with the pills too. and what is it about tomato sauce? her favorite flavor of nutro is the shrimp bisque in tomato sauce!!

Gosh, I must be lucky. My cats are so laid back that car trips are nothing and the vet a breeze. They get lots of extra attention in there so it's all fine by them. My boy cat lost his tail a while ago so had lots of vet visits. By the end we weren't even putting his harness on (he walks on a lead) but just carrying him in in our arms (with a firm grip on his collar although it was never necessary). He would sit back and enjoy being patted while we waited, simply turning his nose up and looking the other way when there were dogs sniffing him and was positively happy to see the vet. We use a medium-sized dog carrier when we take more than one (I have three) which they don't mind. They trot in and out and mill about inside happily without trouble. Pills are a little harder since one of them is a master at hiding it in her cheek then spitting it out later, but we always manage in the end. And the boy cat can be pilled one handed in five seconds flat. Hmm, maybe they're really dogs in disguise?