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.
It is good to see Willow again – she has you where she wants you. I hope she keeps you company for a while yet.
Thanks Anne! Yes, she’s got us pretty much under control….
I also have an elderly rescue cat, so I know what you mean, been there done that, but would I be without her ,no way ,hope all goes well with willow
Thank you Evadne! She is the best cat in the world (well, to me anyway). I’m sure many owners have the best cat in the world, and they’re all correct!
I empathize. Two of my cats have been having ongoing health problems this year, so much so that I am now on a first name basis with the vet, who actually came to my house this week to drop off the newest, outrageously expensive prescription food that we hope will make a difference. It’s so difficult to see our animals grow old and experience all the aches and pains that go with that. Mine are 10, 12, and 15. Probably my last set of cats, as I don’t want to be going through this with another set of elderly cats in another 20 years, in my 70s!
Oh, it’s really hard. Mine was (and still is) very agile, but I can see her thinking about it before she jumps off the bed now, and taking her timing about it…
They truly are one of the best companions, throughout my illness there are days when i have to spend days in bed, he will not leave my side and lies on the bed with me even on lovely sunny days when i know he’d much rather be outside.
I’m sure with all the love and attention you give you’ll have Willow for some time yet.
We know what you mean about the cat carriers! It doesn’t matter how nonchalant you are they always know. x
I think it’s because I’m also stressed about having to do something to her that she doesn’t like. Being an adult is a right pain sometimes! And you’re right, cats are much more companionable and empathic than they’re given credit for. Willow always knows when I’m upset and comes to give me a talking to 🙂
I, too, have had to deal with wrangling my poor cat into a carrier, until one day, after pruning
my roses – suitably armed with some very thick gardening gloves – a eureka moment
struck. The next time I had to catch and stuff my little girl into her carrier, I wore those gloves, suffering no scratches, no indignant looks and a very good day at the vet’s. Thick garden gloves
are true multitaskers!
Now, there’s a brillliant idea…
Best wishes to Willow, who looks delightful. Our cat, though (of course) the best cat in the world in every way, is stupid enough to run into her carrier if we throw a treat into it. The problem is getting her out once we’re at the vet’s!
Ah, my cat comes out happily at the vet because she knows she’s going to be made a fuss of. They really are the most idiosyncratic animals….