Drives Me Up the Caterwaul

September 8, 2008


It’s that time of year again. RABIES SHOTS FOR THE CATS.

[insert Creepy Organ Music]

*screams of horror*

more animals

I HATE this time of year. But our cats are outdoors cats and unfortunately so are the rabid foxes, raccoons, bats, and all the other blasted mange-infested critters of New York State. UGH.

It wouldn’t be so bad if my cats behaved themselves, like tame, good little kitties. Not a chance. They have been in that minivan before and they know what being in it entails: the 20-minute, teeth-gnashing, grueling trip down winding country roads to the vet.

FYI: that was ME doing the teeth-gnashing and grueling.

We have to take one cat at a time now. But the first year– I must have been absolutely crazed back then– we took the two cats and the dog together. I had to have all four kids with me just to control the stark-raving mad zoo whirling inside my minivan. I will never do that again. The dog puked, the cats defecated… And we didn’t have sturdy cat carriers back then. The cats were still small enough to fit into those cardboard pet carriers that you get from the pet store. One of the cats got out, but we managed to stuff him back in and clamp it shut.

The second year, I decided to take just the two cats. You’d think I’d have purchased a couple of fancy cat carriers by now, but I’m stupid like that. We had these large plastic bins with lids. I’d drilled a few air holes so the cats could breathe. That was a mistake. I probably should have let them pass out from lack of air, just for the trip, and then had the vet give them mouth-to-mouth at the clinic.

One of our cats, Fuzzy, didn’t like being in the bin, and he made his distaste very clear, all the way. But at least he stayed in the bin. Then again, having a team of two kids clamp firmly and strategically on the lid probably helped somewhat.

Our other cat, Milo, was not content to merely moan away his captivity. He got it into his feline pea-brain that he could squash his head through one of the air holes, and force his way through. Uh, Milo, you couldn’t even get a paw through that little drilled hole. His whiskers stabbed out of the hole and he growled threateningly. Next thing we know, the bin is rocking back and forth. The kids start hollering, “Mom! Mom! He’s moving the lid!” By the way, did I mention that I am barreling down country roads at 55 mph?

Out popped the cat and it was INSANE. The people in the car behind me must have wondered if Cheech and Chong had taken over our van. Cat hair flying, children screaming, and the van wobbling all over the road. Did I mention that Milo, for some odd reason, targeted ME for his plight? He landed on my shoulders (I still have little bitty scars to show for it) and merowled in this gutteral, frenzied scream. For a second, he looked possessed. When I flailed my arms and hollered (I didn’t think I hollered that loudly, but the kids said the cows on the side of the road ran away), the cat leaped onto the steering wheel and onto the dashboard. Like a little orange zephyr, Milo spun ’round and ’round in a circle across the top of the dashboard, as if remote-controlled by aliens circling the van. It was weird. He finally let out an eerie caterwauling, and squished as much of his body as he could into the corner of the windshield where it meets the dashboard.

I couldn’t stop the van, we were late for the vet anyhow, so I let the dang cat sit there for the rest of the ride. God knows how we managed to stuff him back into the bin to whisk him into the vet’s office. Like childbirth, the excruciating pain of the experience has been forgotten.

After enduring two consectutive years of rabies shots, New York State cats don’t need another shot for 3 years. That’s three years I don’t have to take the cats to the vet!!! Woooo! But… that luscious three-year span of euphoria has now passed. And we need to go again.

Uh, I hope my husband and the kids have a grand time. I’m staying home with the dog.

P.S. I’m not that mean. I finally did put a crowbar in my wallet and buy a cat carrier for the big event. Have yet to get the padlock for it, though…

7 Responses to “Drives Me Up the Caterwaul”

  1. vulcanhammer Says:

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  2. Karen C. Says:

    I know your pain! I’ve got 6 cats. They go in groups of two at a time.

  3. Susan Says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures with the cats. I had a good laugh picturing the whole thing. My one cats yowls so loudly you’d think you were killing her. One year the fed ex man showed up just as I was leaving and he looked inside my jeep and I am sure he thought I was torturing the poor thing.

    May the cat gods smile upon you and keep you safe this year!! and buy a BIG lock.

  4. Luxor Says:

    Sending you best wishes on this momentous occasion. šŸ˜‰

  5. Carole Says:

    I am extremely lucky that my two cats are so paralyzed with fear about going to the vet it well…paralyzes them! They just sit there on the vets table, wide-eyed and frozen in place. If the vet wants to move them he has to slide them along the table. They don’t even move when they get they’re temperature taken (which is somewhat amazing if you know where that thermometer goes). I can more relate to your story with my dog and trying to get him to the vet. It got so bad I actually have to drug him before I take him or I physically cannot handle him. Hope your DH and kids survive the trip! šŸ™‚

  6. Reese Says:

    I have dogs now, but as a child we always had cats. The difference with dogs is you open the carrier and they trot in! They are so naive. My dad solved the issue of not being able to get the cat in the carrier: He took a shopping bag and opened it on the floor. As all cats do, ours walked into the bag to explore. My dad closed the bag with clothespins and off to the vet we went. He did poke holes in it so the cat could breathe! The vet thought it was great, the cat was contained and the bag was disposable!

  7. Rebecca Says:

    Hmm. Some good ideas here. Anyone tried knocking the cat out?