On the Saturday, a week before Christmas. Mel and I journeyed across the street to the kitty doctor so that her health certificate could be issued for the flight (which by the way, not a soul asked me for during our travels).
Mel, not surprisingly, is a wee bit un-normal in the sense that she generally likes her cat carrier - it's soft and cozy and dark, she can get away from humans and it feels safe to her I think. Sometimes I wish I could crawl into one to get away from her.
So without incident, she crept into her carrier and out the door, down the stairs and into the car we went.
The cat hospital is literally across the street so after a short hip hop and a bump over, we arrived.
I carried her in and sat her down on the floor so that she could see my feet. She was utterly silent, which caused me to say to the receptionist - "You know, she's being so quiet that I'm actually concerned."
I filled out the forms and we sat on the bench with homemade bench cushions in cartoon kitty print. It didn't take long for the growling and hissing to begin.
I looked into her carrier and saw her glaring at the wall. I looked to my right and saw the reason.
There were three hand-painted, very realistic kitties on the wall and Mel had taken an instant dislike to the 2D felines which were clearly a threat to her territory.
We were the only ones in the waiting area (praise be) and so I let her do her thing. Her carrier began violently moving as the tech came in and cheerily said, "Well hhhelllllooooooo!!! Is this Miss Melody?"
We carried the cat in the bag back to the exam room. As the bag bounced up and down and rolled on the table, nearly falling off, the tech took down basic information.
The bag was now spitting and he looked at me, I smiled pleasantly like a mother with a child who won't stop screaming in the middle of a store.
"So, how does this normally go then?"
"Well, she's only been to the vet once since I've had her and this is the normal."
"Is she better with a towel? You holding her?"
I pointed out my big bulky sweater and let him know that it was no accident that I had worn it.
"I'll hold her," I volunteered.
He tried to flick the top zipper open and nearly lost a finger, sputtered a bit, and said he would go get the doc and be back.
Meanwhile, while waiting for the vet and the tech to come back, Mel decided she was going to take on the world and leapt out of the carrier onto the exam counter and into my arms.
With her head buried in my arm she continued hissing, spitting, growling and making a general fool of herself.
Shortly after, the doc came in the room along with the tech.
"HIIIII kitty," she cheerily said, "Merry Christmas!!"
Hiss. Spit. Growl. Spit.
"Oookay. Happy Kwanzaa then!" I liked this veterinarian. Alot.
^ what Mel looked like.
After 20 minutes of getting absolutely no where with this and a scene much like this one, with Mel reigning victorious, the tech left the room.
By now Mel had crawled under the chair where she was still sounding like a dying, sputtering car with all the spitting she was doing.
The tech reemerged from the back...
"Do you think you can get her out of there? Or do you want one of us to do it?"
I chuckled, "I'm used to this abuse. This is her normal. Really, it's okay. It's an abusive relationship to the truest extent."
I reached down and pulled her out by the scruff. "Look at momma go!!" said the vet.
Mel sounded something like this:
(I just played this over 30 times to get her back for Saturday - she is now a hot mess trying to figure out where the heck the other cat in the room is). = )
Anyway, as soon as she was on the counter, they threw a towel over her and after about 15 seconds of realizing that wasn't going to work, the tech pulled out a muzzle and said, "we're going to muzzle her."
A piece of me died.
Muzzle. A dreaded word to any pet owner. Especially a CAT owner.
My little baby...sniff (cue violin music)...my little baby girl was going to have to have a muzzle. But muzzles were for dogs and other vicious creatures.
They put the muzzle over her head. She looked like this:
My little darling was now akin to Hannibal Lecter. Sigh.
I must have had a thoroughly defeated look on my face because at this point the vet told me not to feel bad - this happens all the time.
At this point I asked about sedatives. And I learned that cats have a fight or flight instinct that is so strong that the sedatives can often have the opposite affect. Was I willing to risk that? Absolutely not. The vet recommended throwing a towel over her carrier and including a favorite toy that smelled like home. Mel generally seems to think my appendages are her toys and I wasn't about to include a finger or a toe in her carrier, so I bought her an extra strong catnip toy hoping I could legally drug her.
We made it through the exam with the vet doing the best she could.
"She seems to be in great health. The look I got at her teeth when she hissed in my face seems like she's in good shape there too."
Back out in the waiting room we were the spectacle.
"Oh my!" said an innocent bystander, "your cat is not very happy."
I love during tense moments when strangers state the obvious to you about something which you can do nothing about. IE- Your cat is not happy, your child is crying, your dog just pooped on my lawn, etc. Yes, thank you very much. I'm well aware. I have little to no control over the situation. I am doing the best I can. You can have my cat/child/dog.
"Yes, she's a real peach," I replied. Peach was close to the other five letter word that ended in ch.
The bag spit and hissed at this point and the woman took a step in the opposite direction. I smiled on the inside. Even when I think she's not on my side, she comes through for me.
We paid and left - glorified with a health certificate and the super strong scented special cat nip toy. "I hope she doesn't think I'm rewarding her horrific behavior," I said to the receptionist as she handed over the drugged pillow.