Leroy’s annual veterinary exam was this morning; he’s a funny sort of cat because he actually loves the vet. To be fair, he loves everybody who stops to pet him, speak to him, or breathe in his general direction, and the vet is just another warm lap to him. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that our vet, Dr. Steele, is a real sweetie: she would have been one heck of a kindergarten teacher if animal medicine didn’t work out.
The rides to and from the vet clinic were the only rough parts of the morning. I popped Leroy into Sherman’s kennel in the back of my SUV, thinking he’d appreciate the legroom rather than being crammed in his kitty-sized carrier. I also hoped that Sherman’s familiar smell in the kennel would help to smooth poor Leroy’s nerves. Luckily, it was only a four minute drive to the clinic, because Leroy wailed like he was in wretched pain the entire trip. I felt terrible for my furry cargo, but the only place I didn’t think he would cry was my lap, and that was not a safe travel plan.
As much as I love both cats and dogs, the differences between them really shine on road trips. When I clip Sherman’s Halti on and ask him if he wants to go on a car ride, his ears perk, his eyes sparkle, and his tail thwacks the back door hard enough that I worry about dented doors and/or busted tail bones. He sits at the end of the leash while I open the hatch of the Element, and he makes himself a statue so I can scoop him up and boost him into his kennel. Once he’s secured in the crate, Sherm watches out the window as best he can for a few blocks before settling down for a pup nap. Last night, on the way home from the farm, he snored almost the entire time, waking up once or twice to turn around and vent some toxic gasses, then falling fast asleep again almost immediately.
Poor Leroy fought me as soon as I carried him out the back door this afternoon, probably because he’s not allowed outside and experiencing the great outdoors, even from his spot snuggled up in my arms, is terrifying. I had to really tighten my grip as we passed through the back gate, since he wiggled and tried to escape my arms; loading him into the crate in the truck was a feat of grace and luck. There was no excitement for Leroy in the prospect of a car ride, no peaceful napping to the radio, no knowledge that something fun awaited him at the end of the trip. Poor Leroy paced and howled. He clawed and pouted. It was nothing like taking the speckled pup for a ride at all.
We’re home now, after the exam showed that Leroy, although a little portly, is in excellent health. The ride home was accompanied by another round of wails from my blue-eyed boy, although he seemed to somehow know we were headed home. Funny that he didn’t even notice the (ahem) placement of the vet’s thermometer because he was so busy gazing rapturously at Dr. Steele, and that the rabies vaccine failed to gain his attention while I scratched his chin. All the uncomfortable, painful and rather offensive parts of the physical were nothing to him, but that terrible four minute car ride each way turned the poor guy into a quivering, yowling wreck.
He’s been sleeping on the mat at the back door since we got home, and for once not attempting to crawl into my lap so I can scratch his shoulders while he drools on me. I don’t want to make assumptions without facts, but I get the feeling he’s a little peeved with me since his grand adventure.
Mr. Man doesn’t need to go back to the vet for another year, so I’m glad his annual car ride is out of the way. Sherman goes next Monday, which will be a different kind of adventure but a much quieter drive.
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