Mammal Mondays: Leroy Goes to the Vet

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.

He'll forgive me by suppertime, but right now I'm getting the stink eye.

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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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol says:

    Kay, we have two cats and two dogs. The vet is a nightmare for our German Shepherd, but the terrier loves it. However, the terrier HATES the groomer….go figure. The cats don;t care either way, they are both pretty amiable. I get stink eye from the cats when we go away for the weekend. My cat Emmitt won’t speak to me for at least a day…ignores me completely but LOVES Karol…….sigh….. I am usually forgiven by the next morning…..

    1. Kay at Blue Speckled Pup says:

      Leroy forgave me by the time supper rolled around. He’s either that loving or has that short a memory. Like your cats, though, when I leave him alone for a weekend, he loves me a little bit less for a while.

  2. Cinderella says:

    My empathy says that Leroy is just afraid that you’re going to leave him somewhere and go away and he won’t have his beloved mama and safe home, Kay.
    If you took him out regualrly in the car, he’d get used to it, and his worries would fade.
    Think about it from his perspective:)

    Glad Leroy got a good bill of health, and that you have such a sweet Vet for him:)

    1. Kay at Blue Speckled Pup says:

      Thanks, Cinderella. She is a lovely, lovely vet, and we’re going to keep her. I don’t know about Leroy road trips: the poor guy shed so much in my SUV that I’ll be finding cat hair until it’s time to go again next year.

  3. FL Liz says:

    Great names for your cat/dog buddies. I give my dogs names but then I have a dozen or so nicknames for them as well. We once inherited a small dog named Bruno. He was prone to crabby old man syndrome so we knighted him,with a ten foot pole, Brunella DeVille. Your Hairy Squatter reminded me of such names.

    1. Kay at Blue Speckled Pup says:

      Bruno is a great name for a cranky little dog! I love the nickname Brunella DeVille too, how clever. I forget where I read it, but someone somewhere in Blogland has a cat named Ferris Mewler, which cracked me right up.

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