Fair warning: This post has no recipe; it is chock-full of Crouton’s antics.
If you’ve ever met Crouton, you know she’s a mean cat. Our friends and family are generally afraid of her, though she has her moments of showing David and me her appreciation for continually filling her food bowl.
But nothing compares to how mean she is when she’s due for a vet visit. The first time we took her as an adult cat (these problems didn’t exist when she was a kitten), the vet made the decision to put her under general anesthesia once she bit through the gloves the vet tech wore to protect herself. Needless to say, we kind of slacked off on her vet visits in couple of years following. But when we were putting in an application for Fleetwood, our new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the dog rescue required updated vaccines for Crouton.
Sigh. To the vet she goes.
But we could have predicted how this visit would go. She hissed, she clawed, she bit. To make matters worse, we weren’t seeing our typical vet, and this new one…well, she couldn’t quite handle the experience that is Crouton.
It might look like Crouton is smiling or laughing in that picture, but that’s a full-fledged hiss. Oh, and she’s a whopping 14 pounds. What, you’d thought it would be more? That fur is deceptively fluffy — though she could stand to monitor her calorie consumption, that’s for sure.
That’s a death stare. That look means either David or I — or both — am getting sideswipped by a paw in the middle of the night. The vet and her tech pulled out all the trick, including the heavy-duty gloves (that we warned them she was able to conquer) and a towel over her head (David swears that made it worse). They managed to jab a rabies vaccine in her leg and called it a day.
The nice lady at the front sent us home with some sedation pills and a new appointment in two weeks for a doctor to do an actual exam on her when Crouton would theoretically too out of it to know what was going on.
Guys, I canceled that vet visit twice. I did not want to deal with this again, pills or no pills.
But finally, I had to just get it over with. Crouton’s appointment was scheduled for 9:40 a.m., and the little pill bottle said to give her one pill one to two hours beforehand. Any bright ideas how I’m going to stuff this pill down this cat’s throat?
I started with basic trickery. Hide it in her food, I thought! It’s brilliant, I thought! She’ll never know, I thought!
Oh, she knew.
Kelsey: 0; Crouton: 1
At the end of breakfast, there was one nice pink pill remaining in her bowl, the food neatly cleaned from around it. Next idea: Swiftly stuff it down her throat. It will be fast, I thought! She’s adequately fed, I thought! She’ll never know, I thought!
Yeah, she knew that trick, too.
So there I am, wrestling with this fluffy orange feline on the kitchen floor, trying to hold her two paws bound together in one hand, keep her mouth open — i.e. NOT chomped down on my fingers — with the other hand, with no hand left to actually get the pill her mouth. Right before she’s about to actually tear me apart, I let her go, and she runs upstairs. We repeat this charade in the second-floor hallway. She scampers downstairs, and there we are in the kitchen again.
Kelsey: 0; Crouton: 2
Throughout this little tete-a-tete, it seems like she’s gotten just enough of the pill dissolved in her saliva that she’s slowing down a bit. I see the opportunity, and I grab it! I fish a new pill out of the bottle, take advantage of her weakened state, and get that pill down the throat.
Kelsey: 1; Crouton: 2. The score isn’t quite what I’d like it to be, but when you’re wrestling with a Crouton, you take any victory you can get.
The pill seems to kick in pretty quickly, and within minutes, Crouton is seriously stoned. There’s no other way to phrase it.
Can’t you just hear her imaginary voice now? She turned into one of those LOLZ cats within seconds. And then, I turn around to see this.
That, my friends, is a cat with the munchies, trying to break into her bag of kitty kibble.
And then she realizes she has a bowl of food right in front of her. But, now, standing or sitting up to eat is too much work. So she lies down to pick up food with her mouth, drop it on the table in front of her, bat it around, and then lose it to the floor below her. At one point, she knocked her whole bowl off the table, much to the happiness of Porter and Fleetwood. I honestly expected the picture to be of her sleeping with her head in the bowl. But she managed to turn around before she nodded off into sweet sedation-land.
Now, in most cases, this would be the end of the story. I’d take Crouton to the vet, she’d get examined, and we’d have a healthy cat for another year (or three) before she needs to go back to the vet.
But this is Crouton, and you people know that things with her NEVER go as planned.
I gave her that pill around 8 a.m. for an appointment at 9:40. Around 9 a.m., Crouton wakes up. She starts to get feisty. She lays a few slaps on the ever-terrified Fleetwood. She may or may not have even attacked my leg in the hallway. Now I have to call the vet and ask what to do — can I give her another pill without causing an overdose? I don’t think she’ll be calm enough for the vet. The receptionist says she needs to check with the vet, and she assures me she call me back.
YES, the vet says. Give that damn cat another pill. (OK, our vet is much too poised to use that kind of language, but I know what she was thinking.)
So, there am I again, stuffing another pill down the cat’s throat, and she calms down again. Enough that I think we might get through this vet visit unscathed. Why am I always so wrong?
I get her into the cat carrier, no problem. We take a car ride with minimal squawks of disapproval coming from the backseat. We even get to the waiting room with just a few low-toned growls. But once she’s on the examination table, all bets are off. The vet managed to once again stab a vaccine in her leg before saying there’s no way they can examine Crouton, even in her stoned state.
2 vets, 2 vet techs, weeks of missed appointments, 2 sedation pills, and what’s the final score?
Kelsey: 1; Crouton: 3.
And, in some ways, I now fully understand the argument behind declawing a cat.*