Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

As most of us cat owners know, there are certain things which are always an adventure when it involves or feline friends.  These include baths, administering medicine and vet visits.  Today, I was blessed with the task of taking three of my little darlings for a visit. 

Loki isn’t a big deal, especially with her health issues and addiction to attention of any kind.  Just pick her up and pop her in the carrier and she’s good.  Scooby can be a bit more challenging, as you can pick him up and carry him to the box, but when you get there, he suddenly sprouts eight legs, all going in different directions, and each bearing razor sharp talons, regardless of how many times we clip them!  Add Loki sticking her nose out of the carrier to see what’s going on and it becomes a comedy act worthy of Barnum and Bailey’s circus.  But the real joy is my 15 year old calico, Patches.  I was hoping that she’d follow her recent pattern and just be waiting for me on the sofa in the living room, but my dear, sweet, loveable bear of a cat, Toby, saw differently. 

Around 7 AM I heard Patches’ distinctive growl/hiss combination as she scuttled under my bed and, as Dylan was purring serenely beside me, I knew who the culprit was.  Silently cursing his fluffy hide under my breath, I got up, fed everyone, then prepared a bribery bowl for Ms. Patches.  As soon as I entered the room and locked Mr. Dylan out, she scuttled out from under the bed and headed for the bowl.  I patiently waited for her to finish, only to have her make a beeline for the bed again as soon as she’d eaten her fill,.  Fortunately for me and my bare arms, she stayed near the edge and I was able to gently pull her out, carry her down the hall and put her in her carrier where she immediately set up the most pitiful wail you’ve ever heard!  Hardening my heart, I put the two carriers into my car in the dark garage to await departure about 30 minutes later.

And this is where I made a remarkable discovery!  Putting the cats into the carriers early, then letting them sit in the unmoving car for a little while to settle after being put into the carriers had a calming effect on all of them.  There was no wailing and howling on the 20 minute trip to the vet, and all three were much easier to deal with once there.  That is not to say that Patches didn’t hiss and growl a bit (and pee all over the vet!) after being poked and prodded, but she was far less cranky than she usually is!  Scooby wanted to hide in the corner under the bench, but was his usual, fairly mellow self when it was his turn.  Loki, of course will pretty much let you do anything to her as long as she’s getting attention and melted the heart of one of the techs while giving up some bodily fluids for her lab work.  I do want to add one warning here.  Putting them in the car if the garage is getting warm is not a good idea!  This was fairly early in the morning when it was still in the 50’s outside so they were not in any danger of heat stroke for the half hour or so that they spent in my car.

Speaking of my old girl, Patches, she has gotten into a very bad habit of late.  When I get up in the morning, I find that she’s left a deposit right in front of the sandbox in my front bathroom.  I couldn’t figure out why she was doing this as I know she can get in and out of the litterbox until I happened to watch a show about a cat behavioralist.  In one episode, a couple had a cat who insisted on urinating in the bathroom sink.  As it turned out, the couple only emptied his litter box every two weeks and it did not appear that they scooped it in between!  The cat was offended and refused to do his business there!  Small wonder, if you ask me!  But it made me think.  Perhaps Ms. Patches is on the finicky side and doesn’t  like going in when there are, in her mind, too many previous deposits (which could be one or two for all I know!).  So it occurred to me that since this was happening overnight, perhaps the solution was to make sure that I scooped the litter boxes just before going to bed.  That way, she has a relatively clean facility and might be convinced to make use of it instead of the floor!  I’m giving this a try tonight and will see if it solves the problem!

Today’s vet visit seems to have awakened other undesirable behavior, this time with Mr. Scooby Doo!  I went out to the garage to check stock before going to Costco, and Mr. Escape Artist (who I just discovered was NOT microchipped yet!) slipped out the door and headed for the cat door at the back of the garage.  Fortunately, I found him nibbling grass just outside the cat door, and by walking slowly towards him, caused him to go back into the garage, allowing me to block the cat door temporarily.  Returning to the garage, I found him being herded by one of my garage cats so that all I had to do was open the door to the house and he scurried back inside where he belongs.  Needless to say, I will be opening the doors carefully for awhile, checking to make sure he isn’t lurking, and the microchip situation will be rectified next week when he goes in to have his teeth cleaned!  It may also be a good idea to invest in some cat grass to encourage Scooby to stay inside and Dylan to stop eating the flowers I keep in a vase on my dining room table!

Meanwhile, poor Mr. Toby felt sorely neglected because he wasn’t loaded into a carrier and taken for a ride to the vet and expressed his displeasure by curling up in my lap, demanding some serious consoling and refusing to budge for a couple of hours.  He was finally properly mollified and climbed up to the top perch on the cat tree and proceeded to snooze away the rest of the day, complete with his little snuffly snore. 

Ms. Patches has apparently recovered from the day’s abuse and is, once again, throwing herself against my leg and licking me from time to time.  Either her memory is short or attention far outweighs an hour’s worth of unpleasantness, though she’s still not willing to sit still so I can comb out the knots in her derriere!  She’s a bit remiss in the grooming department, partly due to weight and partly due to age. She just doesn’t bend as easily as she used to, something I can definitely relate to!

At any rate, I get to repeat the process with Scooby later in the week for his dental visit and the other three are probably good for another few months.  Thankfully, they are much easier about loading and riding.  Toby will literally walk into the carrier if it’s on the floor, Dylan will go wherever I want him to and Munchkin is small enough to just corral and load. 

Loki is on new meds to settle her stomach and increase her appetite (with a delightful possible side effect which would make her more demanding of attention, if that is even possible!  But I gave her the 1/4 of a pill about 30 minutes ago and she’s already on my desk insisting that she’s neglected and abused!)   If her current behavior is any indication, my sanity may not survive a lengthy adherence to this particular regimen!  She is currently meowing non-stop like she did when we first got her.  Even tempered Dylan finally had enough and started smacking her around just to shut her up the last time she behaved like this!

And such is the life of a cat owner.  I’m sure most of you recognize at least one or two of these characteristics!  But I also get to snuggle with them and am purred to sleep by them every night, snuggled when I sit down at my desk or on the sofa, and greeted when I walk through the door with little, furry faces with big, adoring eyes focused on me.  Yes, it’s all worth it!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for awesome nights of dancing.
2. I am grateful for an unexpected girls night out.
3. I am grateful for the responsibility and the unconditional love my furry children provide.
4. I am grateful for the continuing good health of my cats and kids.
5. I am grateful for an abundance of energy, health, friendship and love.

Love and light

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