Today was Sophie’s annual vet visit. People often tell me that they don’t take their house-cats cats for regular checkups, nor do they see vaccinations as necessary. They’re probably right, all of them, because unless dust bunnies develop a transferable disease, Sophie’s exposure to rabies is almost non-existent. Cats WILL tell you if something is wrong, you won’t have to guess if they’re not feeling well (never went to bed and found your pillow drenched in urine, have you?).
But Sophie is special, and we have to take her. She has to be up on her vaccinations or pet groomers won’t take her. But more importantly, Sophie needs low-Ph food (see pillow incident), which is available only by prescription. She’s an expensive little beast. Each year, Dr. Vet gives us a prescription for ONE MORE YEAR, a sort of ransom to make us come back (to avoid soggy bed pillows) next year.
Yes, Sophie’s bladder is a constant concern. This cat has the BEST personality, and Nick and I both admit that we would give plenty of paychecks to keep her with us as long as possible. However, Sophie loathes going anywhere. I read about other people taking their cats on car rides and I am jealous. My cat has an anxiety attack so bad that she wets herself, crying helplessly to go back home. (We have asked about kitty Valium, but they said it would just relax her muscles and she’d still wet herself.) I feel terrible about the anxiety it causes her, but she needs both regular professional grooming and veterinary visits.
This morning was no different from any other outing, and I felt the warm liquid soak through my shirt and jeans as I held Sophie while Nick opened the kennel cab. Oh, did I forget to mention that it’s always me that she pees on? Yeah, well…it was NICK’S pillow (it’s always been NICK’S side of the bed when she’s sick), so there. If Sophie does anything well, it’s sharing the wealth. I decided to ask Mr. Vet for suggestions on how to get her to calm the hell down.
His suggestion was was try holding her in my lap on the way to wherever we’re going (provided I’m not driving) with a lightweight harness—thinking that perhaps it’s the carrier that freaks her out since she calmed down enough for her shots with me petting her and talking to her. He gave us a slip leash to borrow for the ride home (slipped over her head and one of her front legs) to try. We live only minutes from the vet clinic, but halfway home, she had climbed halfway up my face. I struggled to restrain her; we have a muscular cat.
Even though she was fidgety, she wasn’t crying.
It was with cat belly all up in my nose and mouth that I asked, muffled and out of breath, “Sophie, is this less stressful for you? Because it’s a lot more stressful for me.”
But I’ll do it to stay dry. Damn cat. Damn lovable cat. Damn smart, entertaining, loyal cat! Damn!