PHASE 1 The Capture
Frankie ALWAYS knows when the day has arrived to pay his annual visit to his veterinarian, Dr. Becker. I don't really know how he knows, but he knows.
While he was clearly visible all morning, as I was puttering around the house, when the time arrived to put him in his carrier----gone. No Frankie.
After several minutes of tearing the house apart, I found my feline under a bed.
He resisted my attempts at coaxing him out with my normal sweet, "Come on, Frankie, good Frankie." Nope, he just headed further under the bed, knowing I'm old and creaky and not real fond of crawling around the perimeter of the bed trying to pull him out. However, I was determined to take kitty to the vet's TO DAY. So I flattened myself out on the floor and positioned my body as near to him as I could. I quickly rammed my right arm at the cat. Unfortunately, even though kitty is getting along in years, too, he's still pretty danged fast, and he quickly burrowed even further away. HOWEVER, I was lucky enough to have placed a grip on his left hind leg as he was on the move. I started pulling. Frankie started howling and hissing----but he didn't bite!!! Knowing being pulled from beneath the bed by a leg probably did not feel great, I did not let go. Frankie had his chance to come out peacefully and he had chosen to make this a difficult exit!
PHASE 2 The Containment
In seconds, that seemed like hours, the hissing kitty emerged from his hiding place. I placed a wrestling hold on him and quickly dashed to the garage, where I had his carrier in position----ready to receive the furry cargo!
Frankie was still fighting at this phase. As I held him over the open door (I had the cage tipped on end, with the door on top) his hind legs somehow became free of my grip. I was caught off guard by the baring of his teeth and narrowing of his eyes---he was REALLY angry and I thought he was trying to locate my flesh! His freed hind legs were going in opposite directions like a kitty splits with claws!! Oooh-oooh!! This was not good, I thought. Rats. Frankie, who usually fights the vet trip, was operating on a Herculean level this time. I'd never seen him freak out like this.
HOWEVER, after a few attempts at lowering the writhing, sprawling kitty carcass into the carrier---I did it!! We were both shocked! Frankie was in the bottom and glaring. Suddenly he made a final lunge at escaping, but I slammed the little door shut and locked it.
PHASE 3 The Ride
Frankie usually settles down once he's in the car and we're moving. He did today. He also did his typical guttural, howling sound, too.
If you're a cat lover, you know the sound. It's incredible that they save that sound only for car rides to the Vet's, but they do. Every kitty I've ever transported to the Vet's has emitted that pitiful sound. It's innate. It's like they think they're taking their "final ride" (well, it has been known to be the final ride a time or two, but usually that's not the case)--it's like a banshee wail. It's so sad.
Then, you feel "the stare".
Yes, as you're driving along and look over at the neighboring feline, you'll catch a glimpse of kitty eyes glaring in your direction. The look is somewhere between the "evil eye" and the "shame on you for doing this to poor me" eye.
It just doesn't make taking the kitty in for his annual exam a whole lot of fun.
PHASE 4 The Arrival
We were here. It was a miracle. We'd made it.
The howling, which had subsided for a bit, cranked up to a whole new level as we left the car and make our way into THE LOBBY!!!
PHASE 5 The Lobby
Still howling at the top of his lungs, we entered The Lobby of the Vet's office---I plunked Frankie down on the bench and signed us in. When I returned to the seat, Frankie was giving me the So Sad Look. He'd worked himself up into a major Cat Frenzy by that point.
I didn't feel sorry for him. I reminded him how lucky he was to not to be a Street Cat grubbing for mice and a place to sleep and with ear mites and disease. He was a pampered kitty----with lots of food and a clean place to poo and pee and no ear mites or fleas and he had comfy kitty beds and kitty toys!!
I quit looking at The Cat and gazed around at the EMPTY LOBBY!! This was unheard of! In all the years I have been bringing critters to this office, this was the FIRST time I'd found it empty. Woo-Hoo! I was thinking. We'd be "in and out!"
As we waited for our Vet, the place did fill up. Oh, don't you just love the seats they use in this office? They have old church pews all around the walls!! Anyway, the place did fill up really fast. Over on the left pew, a couple came in with two towel wrapped poochies. They were a Min-Pin and Chichuachua mix----so cute and sooooo shaky. That trait came through loud and clear. Then a mom and daughter came in with a year old Cocker Spaniel and positioned themselves on the pew on the right. Then a lady came in to pick up her cat and she sat with us.
Then they called our name and we were off to see Dr. Becker!! Mercifully!
PHASE 6 The Doctor
Dr. Becker is a really great guy. He took care of the kitty we had before Frankie----his name was Buffy. Buffy had to have his tail amputated from an injury---Dr. B. did a wonderful job with that. Then Buffy was diagnosed with Diabetes at the age of 9. Dr. Becker helped us give that kitty another 5 years of life--we gave him insulin shots twice a day for that long. I'm a very big fan of Dr. Becker's.
I honestly think Frankie loves him, too, because he always settles down once we're in the exam room. I just plop his carrier on top of the exam table and Dr. Becker takes him out.
This howling, hissing, clawing cat just melts into this sweet, mellow, perfect patient as soon as Dr. B. gets hold of him!!
Frankie gets his exam and his shots, then- - - - - --
Dr. Becker checks his ears and his TEETH!!! Last year we had to schedule Frankie for a teeth cleaning, but this year, he just had a couple of spots that Dr. Becker was able to remove. Frankie handled this very well.
PHASE 7 Coming Home
Frankie is the SWEETEST kitty on the ride home!! I honestly think I heard him purring during the drive!!!
THE STONE RABBIT was waiting for Frankie when we came inside. He told him he was glad he was back, then he told me he was glad he didn't need to take those kind of trips!!!
Note to self: this carrier belongs to the daughter. It is not the usual carrier I use. I no longer need to flip it on end in order to plunge the kitty inside. NO!! This carrier has a door on TOP!! Duh. Duh. Duh. I did not realize that until Dr. Becker pulled Frankie out that way!!! This carrier will make Phase 2 much easier next time!!