Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Herding Cats

This morning we rounded up our four cats, loaded them into cat carriers, and drove the meowing, howling, hissing, and mewing lot to the vet for ID chips for all and shots and exams for some. I actually had to plot our course of attack this morning. Wake up at 5:30 am, enjoy shower, breakfast and newspaper before starting. Dress in cathair-resistant clothing (read: jeans and sweatshirt), check that all cats are in living/dining room, close the bedroom door to seal off the escape route under the bed. Order and plan of cat-catching: 1) Abby - she's formerly feral so she'll run from me. She has to share the largest carrier with Ella because they're the only ones who'd be compatible together. 2) Felix - the newest but also human-friendly and the smallest. Expect him to be fairly easy to get into the smallest carrier. 3) Ella - easiest to catch because she's the oldest and friendliest with humans. Has to share the carrier with Abby so putting her in and not letting Abby out could be a problem; therefore, this must be done in the bathroom with the door closed. 4) Sergei - he's also formerly feral and difficult to catch. He gets the medium size carrier due to his...ahem...sizeable girth. Despite his polarbear physique, he's fast and can squish himself under the hide-a-bed couch (how?????). Once captured, the transfer to carrier must be done in the bathroom to prevent escape.

The cacatphony of cries on the way to the vet made me laugh. Sure I know they were scared and stressed, but I couldn't help it when I looked at the back seat with three carriers strapped in, all emanating different ranges and pitches of kitty cries. They didn't stop at the vet's either. I was glad we had the first appointment of the day (7 am) so that other pet owners didn't either glower at us - what are you doing to those cats? - or smirk at us in appreciation of the experience.

One by one each cat was poked, prodded, and stuck with a needle for the ID chip, vaccine or both. All were declared healthy (except for some gingivitis) and of acceptable weight (even the polarbear). The trip home was not as noisy but the car still stank of cat mouth. As soon as the door to their carriers were opened, the former ferals scattered for safe havens. Ella and Felix more gingerly surveyed their surroundings and once content that they were home, proceeded to fill their bellies. The vet said the shots might make them sleepier today. As if we'd notice. Oh what a life. The horror of the vet is hopefully over for another year and so is the annual kitty roundup.

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