My Sweet, Loving Kitty From Hell

Cora is normally the darlingest cat in the world.  When strangers come over, she approaches them openly and without malice, sniffs their pant legs to see if they have any friends in common, and then goes about her business.  If the stranger is one of the various and sundry plumbers or electricians that a 60 year old house attracts like flies to dung, she hangs around to lend a paw.

Cora004

With the master and mistress of the house, she tolerates our human ways with a generous spirit and permits us to worship her as is her due.

But once or twice a year she has to go to the vet.  Once or twice a year we take the cat carrier up from the basement.  She approaches it, sniffs it (even though she knows it as well as she knows any of the objects she encounters every day of her life), and crawls inside for a nap as if it were the greatest cat bed she’d ever seen.  She is calm as she is carried to the car.  She is undaunted by the ride.  The moment I set her carrier on the bench in the vet’s waiting room, the growling starts.  It doesn’t stop unless it is interrupted by hissing and yowling.  Removed from her carrier, she fights, bites, and pees on the vet.  She is the worst patient you could imagine.

Today was vet day.  The previous visit, the vet sent me home without her examination or shots, but with tranquilizers.  I doped her to the gills and brought her back.  Insensible, she was able to endure the affront to her dignity that medical care involves.  Today I doped her before we went.  Her eyes were glazed and half closed.  She wobbled as she walked.  She was unable to jump even onto a chair.  She was, for all intents and purposes, a docile little vegetable.  Sort of a limp piece of celery with undertones of parboiled cabbage.  I took her to the vet.  Then I set her carrier on the bench in the waiting room.  She growled.  She kept growling.  We put her in a room, still in the carrier.  She growled.  The vet came in.  She hissed and growled.  I gave the vet instructions and told him to remove the top of the carrier to get her out, then deal with her as best he could, but mostly I warned him about how she behaves so he and his assistant could take precautions and, hopefully, not get struck with the flow of urine that is Cora’s signature statement and final word on veterinary medicine.

We’re home again.  The drugs are finally wearing off and she is able to jump again, but she was fine, emotionally, the moment the door to the veterinary building closed behind us.  She is affectionate and clearly glad to be back in familiar surroundings.  She came in to the office a few minutes ago to jump onto the desk and tell me I am forgiven and she doesn’t hold a grudge.  She has received her vaccines and tomorrow I will take her cat carrier back to the vet, along with a stool sample, so they can weigh the carrier and, by taking the difference between the empty and full carrier, get her weight.  The stool is just for routine testing.

I’m going to write to that guy from My Cat From Hell on the Animal Planet channel.  There has to be some way to retrain her so that she doesn’t go nuts at the vet.  She’s so nice otherwise.  The vet recommends doing an in-home visit next time, but I just can’t see why it has to be such a problem.  Something gets her going when we go to the vet and I haven’t been able to figure it out, but she is clearly terrified and in FIGHT mode (when it comes to fight or flight, Cora is 100% fighter—when we adopted her, I loved that she had/has so much spunk and tough guy in her—she’s our little Dead End Kid).

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