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."
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."