Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cars, Cats and Cupcakes

It is with the greatest reluctance that I finally made the annual doctor's appointment for the feistiest of felines, the incomparable Princeton P Kitty. 



Which if you are new to this blog probably makes me sound like a very irresponsible pet owner, like someone who begrudges her poor defenseless kitty his chance at proper medical care. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is I want Princeton P Kitty to live a long healthy life. I want him to keep stealing the blankets, harassing the dogs, and horrifying complete strangers for many years to come.

I just don't want to drive him to the doctor ever again. 
See, this is not his regular doctor whose office is exactly 5 1/2 minutes from our house. This is his Yes-It's-A-Real-Thing-We're-A-Little-Obsessed-With-Our-Pets-Feline-Cardiologist whose office is approximately an hour and a half away. Which, if you figure the round trip, means I have to spend approximately three hours in the car with the angriest cat in the world. Because, make no mistake about it, Princeton P kitty is the worst traveler ever.

Ever. 


Essentially, he screams for the entire car ride.

Why?

Because he hates being confined to his crate.

Why don’t I let him out of his crate? 

Because then he either insists on riding here:
   

Or he spends the entire journey attempting to balance on my head like some sort of crazed kitty gymnast.

Which, as I've mentioned before, is a little distracting on the highway.

So, in his crate he goes. And one of the following things always happens: 

1. He screams in rage until he makes himself sick.
2. He turns around and faces the back of the crate, there by riding backwards, until he makes himself sick.
3. He stomps around the crate in angry circles,  around and around until,  you guessed it, he makes himself sick.

What I'm saying is that he always makes himself sick.

And those of you who have never spent an hour and a half confined in a small space with a howling cat and the lingering scent of cat puke are probably saying things like "Oh that poor kitty."

And, yes, I do have some sympathy for the cat but the thing is he brings the situation entirely upon himself. He's not legitimately carsick, he's just mad that he's not getting his own way. I have explained to him 1,576 times that if we would face front and lie down, he wouldn’t get sick. 

But, honestly, there’s just no reasoning with this cat. 

So you know who I really feel sorry for?

Me, that's who.

Nonetheless, I suspect some of you still have your priorities confused and are now saying, “But he sounds really upset, have you thought about giving him some tranquilizers?”
In a word, yes. It was a nightmare of such epic proportions that I can’t even talk about it again. You can read about it here or you can trust me that, after that whole experience, I needed xanax more than anyone.

In any case, last year's trip was the worst of the worst.

First of all, Prince puked twice on the way there. Which is gross but not unprecedented so I pulled over both times, cleaned him and the crate up as best I could (I learned my lesson after the unfortunate initial visit--during which I’m pretty sure he aimed his vomit at my purse on purpose--and now I always bring a roll of paper towels with me) and we continued on our not so merry way.  

Then he upped the ante with explosive diarrhea.

Which was fabulous because when you're already in a confined space with a howling cat and the lingering odor of cat puke, nothing adds to the atmosphere like the eye-watering stench of cat poop.

So, again, I stopped and cleaned but the problem with all this stopping and cleaning is that A. You can't get everything completely clean. B. The cat, for safety reasons mentioned above, has to go back in the crate when the haphazard cleaning is finished.

This means that, by the time we walked in the clinic, he was about three stages past “insane rage” and was screaming like he'd been set on fire.
Which means that, as soon as we walked in, all the other pet parents in the waiting room started gaping at me, most likely assuming that I had let some horrible tragedy befall my cat and now was trying to rush in and cut the line. 

I'm not going to lie, it was a little embarrassing  

So, I laughed nervously, kind of half-waving to all the other horrified pet owners and shouting “He’s really excited to be here!” 

But those people didn’t think I was funny AT ALL.

Luckily, the receptionist always remembers us (I imagine a hairless cat would be somewhat memorable in most situations but when you add in his constant and impressive vocal range, you have a situation that is irrevocably burned into people's minds) so I didn’t have to wait around checking in. 

“We’re heading to the bathroom so I can clean him up!” I shouted. “Please tell Brandy we’re here.”

Brandy is the technician who always helps us and who I have a tiny bit of a girl crush on—which might be because she’s really good with Prince but is more likely due to the fact that she frequently calms my nerves with cupcakes. 

But I digress...the receptionist gave me a thumbs up so I went to the bathroom and as soon as I verified the room was empty, I opened the crate door and Prince ran out like he’d been shot from a gun. He flew to the other side of the room and then hid behind the toilet, occasionally sticking his head out to glare at me and meow loudly, like I’m some sicko kitty sadist who flings cats into crates and drives them around for the sheer entertainment value of it. 

This is his angry face.
 So, there I was, scrubbing the crate in the sink and explaining to the cat how ridiculously ungrateful he was, when the door opened and another woman walked in. 

Who immediately thought I was a lunatic because, in her view, I was standing there talking to no one. 

A situation not helped by the fact that, when she asked if I was waiting for a stall, I said “No, but my cat’s in that one.” 

No, this isn't from that day but come on, it's clearly relevant.
Anyway, the woman fled into the other stall. Unfortunately, one thing Princeton P Kitty really prides himself on is figuring out how to make any situation more uncomfortable. 

Plus he’s surprisingly fast for a cat with a heart condition. 

Which means that, in the next second, he shot out of his stall and into hers. And a second after that the woman said “Uhhhh, he’s on my lap.” 

Please pause for a moment and picture yourself in a public restroom, doing your best to ignore the crazy lady by the sink, when this cat:



flies inside and flings himself on your lap.

I'm probably lucky I don't have a lawsuit for emotional duress on my hands.

Anyway, I was somewhat stymied. Because I assumed she was using the bathroom as it was intended and this is not, at least not for women, a group activity. 

I very helpfully said “Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” About fifteen times and then said “Tell you what, you probably don’t want me coming in there to get him but if you put him on the floor and sort of, I don’t know, shove him, I’ll reach in and grab him.” 

“No,” she said weakly. “That’s ok.” 

But the thing is, the rotten cat has sneak attacked me in that exact same fashion at home and it is most definitely NEVER ok.  

It’s been almost a year, and I still can’t figure out how she finished her business. 

But she did. And a few minutes later came out with Princeton P Kitty purring contentedly in her arms. 

“He’s got a lot of personality,” she said. 

“That’s one way to describe him,” I agreed. 

Luckily, it was at this moment that Brandy the Vet Tech popped into the bathroom and said “I thought you might need some help….how about a cupcake?” 

I love Brandy a little more every time we go. 

So, in summary, Prince is the worst traveler in the history of travelers, you never know what might happen when you sit down in a public restroom, and cupcakes make everything better. 

And you can probably see why I am NOT looking forward to our next drive to the vet. 




If you'd like to read any or all of the other Princeton P Kitty vet adventures, I linked a couple of them below: