Regular readers might remember my cat Willow, who loves to a) follow a patch of sunshine around the house, b) get a good grooming with her favourite brush, c) snuggle up on my lap when I’m reading in bed, and d) crunch through the most expensive kibble that money can buy. Things that she doesn’t much like include:
a) Being picked up
b) Being put into a cat carrier
c) Being put on the back seat of a taxi and
d) Sitting in the vet’s waiting room with all those horrible dogs
Well, as you might remember, she is 13 going on 14 years old, has high blood pressure and so needs regular monitoring. Over the past few months she has been steadily losing weight in spite of eating like the proverbial equine, so she has to go to the vet for blood pressure checks and a weigh-in, not to mention getting her claws clipped because there is no way I’m doing it and living to tell the tale.
Anyhow, today my husband was off on jury duty so I had to wrangle her into her cat carrier all by myself. It doesn’t matter how nonchalant I try to look, she always knows that something is up, so today I had to almost rugby tackle her to the ground. I landed a bit awkwardly on one foot, so now I’m limping, and the cat is giving me that ‘serves you right’ look.
The taxi driver was wearing a shirt covered in penguins. I liked him immediately, and he didn’t raise an eyebrow at the caterwauling (the cat, not me).
In the vet there was a bit of a crisis because some poor young girl had been looking after someone else’s French bulldog and the animal had collapsed. We’re having what passes for a heatwave here in the UK at the moment, and I am shocked by the number of people who are still walking their dogs in the heat of the day, especially the little short-faced breeds that already have trouble breathing. I suppose while people are unaware of the health problems that these dogs have and are seduced by how cute they look, they will keep buying them, and the animals will keep suffering. Certainly the lass who had been looking after the dog was mortified, all the more so because she’d been entrusted with someone else’s pet.
Anyhow, there’s a new vet ( a very nice chap) and the cat, as usual, loved him – she doesn’t actually hate all the fuss she gets when she’s in the clinic, just all the palaver of getting there. And sadly she’s lost another 100 grams, so she’ll have to go back in a month. The vet and I wrestled her to the ground to clip her claws (just as the toenails of humans get a bit gnarly and hard as we get older, a cat’s claws can actually grow into their pads if their owner doesn’t pay attention). It’s rather nice that she doesn’t clippety-clip around the house anymore, her claws tapping on the wooden floors like a very small circus pony.
And so that was the excitement for the day, and it was back to work. One of the great sadnesses of life is that our animals don’t live as long as we do – I’ve had to say goodbye to many companions, dogs and cats and any number of smaller animals. I hope that all this veterinary care will give Willow a happier, healthier life, and that it’s worth all the personal injury involved. Now I must go, it’s time for the cat’s afternoon tea.