Today I broke a promise to the cat.
The promise, which I made about three and a half years ago, went like this: “I vow that unless you get really, really, horribly sick I will never bring you to the vet ever again. You may live out the rest of your life in peace, without a person in a white coat ever approaching you. That is my gift to you.”
That might sounds like irresponsible pet ownership, but give me a second to explain before the finger-wagging begins.
My cat is terrified of the vet. Not scared in the way most animals get when they go to the vet, because I’ve taken other animals to the doctor. My cat is a 12-pound ball of screaming, fighting, clawing, squirming rage. When we were going regularly, they used falconer’s gloves to hold her down. They asked me to drug her before I brought her in.
For a while, because my cat likes to maul her own tail, we were at the vet’s office all the time. The cat spent something like four to six months with her head in and out of a plastic cone. Four months of appointments hadn’t gotten her any more comfortable at the vet’s office, and I hated drugging her. So when we got the tail under control, I decided that I’d give her a break from the vet’s office, a permanent one.
Well. It lasted three years. The cat really needs a check-up and I can’t put it off any longer. This morning I called the vet and made an appointment. I took the guilt trip laid on me by the receptionist and then I looked over at the cat.
I’m out of tranquilizers. I won’t be able to sedate her for them this time. I hope they’re up to it.