29 June 2007
. . . that it’s almost time to leave. She’s made this trip with me to Bristol for seven years in a row. She’s never known a summer at home. She recognizes the packing dance. And if she wasn’t already completely convinced something was up, she sure knows it after today. Every year before we leave, we visit the doctor and update any vaccinations and all that. Doing renfaire with a pet, it’s not only necessary for following festival rules, it’s safer for the pet. Today was “check-up” day for Artemis.
All things considered, I guess it went okay. She and I (and the doctor) all left the encounter in one piece. Unless you count the thousands of cat hairs. I’m not so sure about the scrawny little newbie guy they had working at the clinic this afternoon, though. Although there was no actual bloodshed, I’m pretty sure he’ll have nightmares about my possessed cat.
Although in the past, I’ve always been allowed to hold my pets’ heads, whisper in their ears, keeping them as quiet and still as possible, while doctors and techs did their stuff with needles and thermometers, today was different. First we had the new kid who let us know right up front that he was uncomfortable with his job, just from his speech and body language. Then, when I indicated I’d rather keep Artemis in her little bed/crate until the doctor came in, and we could do everything at once, he admitted to not being much of a cat person. I tried to make light of the situation, hoping to put him more at ease, but it didn’t work. He did okay with ‘Tia, who was also there for a booster shot, then he suggested that he take the cat in her carrier to the back and let the doctor and he deal with it all back there. I never like it when they take the animal away from you, so I insisted that I wanted everything done right there in the exam room, where I could help. So, by the time it was actually time to deal with her, he was downright afraid. And all I had really said was that she was very “moody.” Good thing I didn’t tell him she was borderline, or he’d have really been a mess. I held her while he got her weight and her temperature, and although she growled to let us know she was not happy, things were on course. It would be over soon, I figured. Then, the doctor came in and things went from bad to worse. The doctor (one I’d never encountered there before) refused to let me help hold the cat. So, now we have a know-it-all doctor and a scared idiot tech kid trying to give two shots to a cat that doesn’t even let my husband pet her without hissing.
I have never heard an animal make the noises my poor bi-polar cat made in that exam room today. And from what Kyle said about the reactions of the people in the lobby, neither had anyone else. By the time the first shot was finally given, Artemis had growled, hissed, spit, and peed a little, which told me she was more scared than mad. She’d been all over two counters, on the floor in the corner, in the sink, wrapped in a towel and I had raised my voice at the doctor. The aforementioned, big, blood-curdling, kitty scream came after that. I think it was that noise that really unnerved the doctor enough to let me help. She made a comment during one brief kitty silence soon thereafter, that she didn’t understand why the cat was so much more angry and wild-sounding when the tech kid reached in to help (doing just what the doctor told him to do). That gave me an opening to quietly say, “Because she can sense his fear. Please let me help.” Obviously rattled, she did. And from that point it all got better. The kid backed away. Once I was right there where she could hear my voice and feel me, the cat started to calm, and the second shot was much easier. There was still hissing and spitting, but then it was over. She went gladly back into her little basket/bed/carrier place. And, she was very glad to get home. But, it was not a good day for Artemis.
As I write this, now, a number of hours later, she is <please read this sitting down> laying curled up between Kyle’s legs as he reads in bed! She seems to be over her mad, and except for having a little less patience for the dogs and their cat-herding games this evening, she is fine.
But, she knows.