Sunday, July 02, 2006

Do I Really Want to Move?

On Friday I had fun playing with friend L. We went to see "The Inside Man" directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington. Excellent movie. I love heist movies and this was a good one. It wasn't very violent (hardly any blood - a pleasant change) and showcased some gorgeous art deco(?) architecture. Excellent acting, thumbs up.

Yesterday tho was a misery. Part 1 of what will surely be the ongoing series "Do I Really Want to Move?" Not that I actually have a choice - we ARE moving. But I gotta whine about it. If you're not interested in cat going to the vet stories, feel free to skip.

We borrowed even more cages so my hubby and I could get the cats to the vet. Can I just say, haven't ever taken all four cats to the vet at the same time before and Howler and Bibi haven't been in cages since they were younger and slimmer and easier to bribe with food.

Knowing Howler was going to be difficult, I gave him a sedative in some canned food. He wandered off to sleep under our bed. Figured he'd be last since he was now going to be so controllable. HA! Rookie mistake.

The next problem child was Lily. She's just so quick and loves to play games like chase and hide and seek. Nabbed her all unsuspecting while sweetie got sweet, innocent all-unknowing Pokey. Next we went for Bibi. Big, sweet, loveable lug Habibi who was now warned that something was up. He was not going willingly. Scrambling, hissing, dodging... Awful. Twenty-something pounds of mad cat. Never seen him hiss or be mad before.

Okay, leave him in the study hiding behind the tangle of computer wiring and we'll go get Howler. Another big problem. He's woken up and is very unhappy. Poking him with the broomstick to get him out from under the bed, not working.

Back to Bibi. Managed to get a backbone and just grab at the ruff of his neck (in my well-gloved hands) and march him on his hind legs over to that cage. Between hubby and I we manage to shove him in and get the door locked before he can make it back out (like he'd done previously). Back to Howler. Finally realize the only way to do it is to take the bed apart: mattress and box springs leaned against the bureau. Eventually manage to corner him and get him caged as well.

Get to the vets office later than planned and there are a few other pets ahead of ours. I sat next to a woman who has rescued six siamese cats, three of whom she had with her. The controllable ones. She wasn't quite sure how she was going to manage the other three. Oye.

I go in with the cats. Hubby has done his job getting us all there; he's such a softie, he gets to wait outside. First problem, vet only has two microchips, so only two cats can be done. Vet says bring the two easier ones back tonight. Fine, just fine.

First Bibi, who's held down by three guys, but isn't kicking up a fuss. Two shots, he's fine. Phone rings loudly and he loses it, gets away. Tries to scramble his huge bulk behind the doctor's bookshelves. A bit of fussing, but get him back up on the table. This time I go over and help hold and pet and soothe at the same time. Get that nasty huge microchipping needle in and done. Whew.

Next Howler. I make the mistake of telling the vet that Howler has been sedated and is declawed in the front (don't hate me - it had to be done. Howler has the world's longest claws and they don't retract all the way in. His hind nails still click as he walks down the hallway.) So vets think this one'll be easy. Ha! Howler gets away from them pretty damn fast and starts trying to force himself under the gap of the refridgerator. I have to admit I was laughing my ass off. He was just too fat and the doc managed to get three shots (one a sedative) into Howler's hindquarters that were still sticking out.

Well he showed us. Managed somehow to get all the way under the fridge. What a fiasco. In the end they got him out, another sedative shot into him, and were able to chip him. Since Howler was so drowsy, asked the vet to take a look at the cat's teeth. He has one fang that sticks way out - our snaggle-toothed boy. It has apparently "dropped" whatever that means.

Vet discovered that Howls has gingivitis and a nasty abcess. Poor kitty is prob always in pain, not that it has slowed his eating down any. The only thing the doc says can be down is for us to apply dressings to Howler's mouth. That is impossible. We'll take him to a vet in the states and see what can be done about it there.

So we get all the cats home and that would all have been over, except the girls have to be taken back in the evening. (Hubby realizes later that we should have had their shots down and then they could have been chipped when we go back for the big blood draw- d'oh) Don't know if they pick it up from us, but the girls remain tense, staying away from us.

Amazingly Bibi is loving and sweet. Don't know if he was showing us how sorry he was for hissing and kicking up a fuss, but he kept rubbing against our legs and head bumping us. Howler wobbles around the house, only settling for short periods, but seems surprisingly friendly as well. Esp for Howler. He doesn't object to being petted, which rather shocks me after the events of the day.

I drink three Diet Dr Peppers during the course of the afternoon, even tho this is the first time in months that the drink has been available and I should be limiting my intake to make them last. I shouldn't drink it at all because diet soda just chews holes through my stomach.

At 7:00pm, take the girls back to the vet. They are so much more controlleable because of their small size, although Pokey does manage to gash my chin with a toe claw as she flails to get away from me. In the waiting room this time I talk to a woman who has rescued 27 stray dogs. And a water buffalo. She's lived here for four years but is now moving to asia. With all 27 dogs. And worrying her water buffalo.

The girls were very well-behaved getting their shots and chips, even with three adorable bichon frisees barking their heads off in the waiting room. The girls seem to hold more of a grudge and keep away from us the rest of the night.

I have never seen Bibi so affectionate, I swear. He rarely sleeps with us, and it's always after we return from a long trip. He'll appear during the night for awhile. Last night he wanted to sleep ON me. I had to keep tossing him off, just like I usually do with Lily. But this time it was the heavy guy. Big sweetie.

I can't believe how well Howler came through this. Let us sleep all the way through the night, although I swear he jumped up on the bed at one point. Or was that a dream? Lily forgave us by bedtime. Pokey had a bright red nose last night - Rudolph red - and she wanted nothing to do with being held. She stayed hidden for quite awhile this morning, but has since since been her noisy, bread crumb-eating self.

Don't know why I felt compelled to write about this ordeal in such detail. As ordeals go, it wasn't that big of a deal. I guess it's the knowing that we have many more vet visits to go that makes me so shaky.


anne bebbington said...

Tonya - a trouble shared is a trouble halved - it's always good to be able to offload - so glad your babies came through pretty much unscathed - shame the same can't be said of your poor chin - it'll be worth it once you're settled in Paris :o)

Finn said...

I'm in total agreement with Anne, a burden shared...we've all done it Ton. If a person loves and cares for any other creature, human or otherwise, from mice to elephants,there isn't any way not to traumatized while taking care of necessities.
We have chosen to be their guardians, their advocates...we speak for them, act on their behalf. I believe our trauma lies in the fact that they don't understand the necessity of our intentions.Words just don't explain our actions. You are an incredible loving and caring guardian...I hope you found some of what you were offering your babies last night...*VBS* Leaving a hug and a pat on the back, Hugs, Finn

Judy said...

I apologize to Howler but I was laughing so hard at picturing his fat behind sticking out from the frdige wriggling while a smart vets is giving him shots! Poor baby! I'm sure his dignity is bruised. I like to hear all sorts of tales and cat owners know how tough it can be to take them to the vets. I'm lucky mine get so scared that they burrow into ym arms and hide their faces rather than run.

Poor kitties, but at least that part is over and one for now. Of course, sadly, the jig is up and they will scatter when they see those carriers now...but the aprtment is only so big and there's two of you. Good helper husband!

The boys were probably so happy to be home and out of the cages that they were grateful and reayd to kiss over you in thanks/ Girls always hold longer grudges!

Give them all a kiss from us here!

Andi said...

I am glad you shared all the details for us cat lovers. The image of Howler under the fridge, getting shots in the behind. Oh my, I'll be laughing at that for days!

Anonymous said...

It's L... and I HAD to laugh, I admit it - especially after dragging my three to the vet's for shots and chips last week, and I have to drag all three back again this week. Perhaps I am not so much of the "worry shared is a worry halved" as a "misery loves company" school of thought... but I know you still like me anyway, in spite of my lack of sympathy. You can laugh at me later this week, when I tell you of my latest visit to the vet. At least I learn from my mistakes - do NOT wear black when bringing light-colored cats to the vet!

Katie said...

Love hearing about the cats. Did the vet change extra for hazard pay? BS Sounds like you and your hubby both deserve a case of your favorite drink and a big hug to boot. Animals make our lives comlete.

Katie said...

whoops. Maybe the vet did "change" rather than "charge"?

Ann said...

Your cat tale made me laugh so hard! It also made me want to go out and get another cat. We only have a dog now as our precious kitties have passed away.
We love our pup, but cats always liven up life!

ForestJane said...

Are you going to keep the carriers out so they're still knowing something's up?

I'll bet the affection is pure relief - I'm back, I'm home, she's still feeding us, whew!

Ann said...

Tonya, what a wonderfully delightful story! I, too, was laughing my butt off at the thought of a kitty butt sticking out from under the fridge and a vet bent over there giving that butt a shot! You felt compelled to share this story in such detail because that's what friends do! And judging by the comments, there are several of us who really enjoyed reading about it!

Sharon said...

Besides laughing at the story, I was almost crying at the frustration of it all. And I can just see Howler's butt sticking out of whatever space he could find - just like my Clyde. They figure if they can't see you, then they're totally hidden. Poor babies - and poor Tonya, too. You say you are going to take care of the abcess in the states? Are you coming here before France? And how do they handle the cats as far as quarantine?

cher said...

loved the story, sorry it is only the beginning of yours and theirs vet ordeal..hopefully their memories will be short term!

Holly said...

I'm sorry you had quite a time. Good you saw humor while you were there and I sure got a laugh reading about it :)

Lily said...

Oh my goodness Tonya. I am soooo glad I did not skip this post! I was laughing out loud at your description of Howler getting under the fridge (but the vet managing to jab him while he squeeeezed his way under)!!!

Poor kitties. It's so traumatising for them. And us. You cannot reason with a cat, so you've just got to do it. But boy what a relief when it's over.

I hope you felt better after typing up that post!

Laura said...

Oh Tonya I am so sorry, I was laughing out loud at your story. I was going to say been there done that but the farther I got into the story, no! never that bad. Poor babies!