Today was the day our cats Jackson and Pepper hate...their annual trip to the vet.
It's a stressful day for them. The trip starts with a revolting car ride, and ends up at a place where there's strange smells, sounds, and people that poke them and stick needles in their haunches. I've learned that if I'm not careful, the cats they tend to disappear right before it's time to leave for this trip, so I had to plan my maneuver carefully so I could get them in their carriers and out the door on time.
The operation started yesterday morning, when I got out the cat carriers that had been stored in the basement since last year. I wiped each out with a wet rag, removing dust, cat hair, and (hopefully) any smells from the doctor's office. I put a dish towel in each, and set them on the kitchen floor next to the island. Nothing out of the ordinary here!
After dinner last night I closed the doors to two of the upstairs spare bedrooms (he was sleeping on the bed, so I left "Pepper's room" open) so there'd be fewer rooms for them to run into and hide. On my way to bed I closed the doors to the downstairs office and the last extra bedroom. Each time I drew the cats' attention. Jackson looked, shrugged his shoulders, and walked away. Pepper, who's more in tune with these types of things, was instantly on guard and ready to run. Once again, though, there was nothing to get excited about.
This morning on my way out of my bedroom I checked to make sure there were no cats under the bed, then closed that door, too. Again, Pepper looked like he was ready to flee. After I went downstairs he followed me into the kitchen and sat at the entrance to the room to see what I was up to. However, v-e-t time wasn't for a couple of hours so there was nothing to see. He left; when I went out to dump the coffee grounds in the compost pile I found him laying on top of the couch in the sun.
After breakfast I tried to act as if nothing was up, but made sure I knew where the cats were. If it was just me leaving the house, I'd walk out the door in just enough time to get there promptly. However, not knowing how long it would take to get the cats ready to go I started ten minutes early. I didn't want to be late for our appointment and risk having to wait in the waiting room because they'd given our appointment slot to another animal!
I started with Pepper, who was now laying under the coffee table next to the couch. When he saw me coming he tried to disappear behind the couch; however, I grabbed him and pulled him out (nails dragging all the way), then cradled him against my chest while I walked to the kitchen and deposited him in his carrier. As soon as I started latching it he started howling, which alerted Jackson; when I found him upstairs he tried to run, but all the bedroom doors were closed so he just hissed at me as I picked him up. Again, I cradled him against my chest while I carried him downstairs. I did NOT want him to escape!
Once both cats were secured I took the carriers out to the car, where put them in the back seat and buckled them in for the five-minute drive to the vet. The cats started wailing the minute I pulled out of the garage, and kept it up the rest of the trip. I tried talking to them in a soothing voice, but they ignored me.
As anticipated, the vet poked, prodded, and stuck needles. She announced all was good, but Jackson had gained a bit of weight. I guess we need to be more diligent about his diet and exercise program, or look into giving him a different type of food. The cats also left with a recommendation to come back and have "senior" blood work done, which would mean another trip to the vet. Neither the cats of I are looking forward to that.