I had to take Dixon to the vet today.
Here's the thing about Dixon. Long time readers will remember how the poor cat decided not to poo a few years ago. After multiple vet visits and several thousand dollars, super expensive specialty food was purchased and a medicine was prescribed to alleviate any future non-pooing problems. The only complication is that the above-mentioned food and pills, while doing a fabulous job of making poos, have a nasty side effect of causing urinary tract infections. So every four months, the vet likes to see Dixon in for a "urinary and sediment check" just to make sure that everything is still working okay.
Needless to say, Dixon is not a fan.
So when the vet called the other day to remind me of Dixon's upcoming appointment (translation: "The doctor would like a new tennis court for the summer cottage...please let us charge you $75 for just walking in the door"), I knew things were going to be interesting.
Whenever we go to the vet, I have to be very very careful not to do or say or think anything that will arouse suspicion. Dixon is hyper-aware of things like that, and even thinking the "v-word" will have him shooting under the bed in nothing flat. So I got up, and got ready, and pretended that there was absolutely nothing special about today, and especially no reason to escape to the very center of the space under the bed where no one over 18" tall could possibly follow. Luckily for me, Dixon was in the middle of a nap and therefore completely unaware of the upcoming ambush. With the stealth of a panther, I snuck over to the unsuspecting kitty, swooped him up and hustled him into the office where there is no large furniture under which to hide. Then I slammed the door, trapping us both inside.
Dixon: Wait a second! What are we doing in the office? Is it food time? Are you here to feed me?
I walk over to the closet where we keep the carriers. He knows exactly what this means.
Dixon: Carrier! (Throws himself at the closed door) HELP! HELP! SHE HAS THE CARRIER!
Me: Calm down, Dixon! We're just going for a teeny little ride.
Dixon: Anything you want! You want my kibble? Or Mr. Squeakers? How about a half eaten moth that I've been saving? It's all yours if you don't put me in that carrier!
Me: You know that we have to do this. Please don't make it any harder on either of us.
I lunge, he evades. I feint to the right, he counters to the left. Much chasing ensues. Eventually, I get a good grip on him and start stuffing him into the carrier. (Anyone who has ever tried to put a cat in a carrier knows that cats can magically grow 15 extra legs at will. 12 of these legs will be braced against the door of the carrier, fighting with every ounce of kitty strength to avoid going inside. The remaining three legs will be busy sinking claws into your arm). I'm holding the carrier in one hand, blocking Dixon's escape with one knee, and using my new bloody stump to remove all the extra cat legs wedged against the opening. Dixon's yowling loud enough to wake the dead. Meanwhile, drawn by the noise of the tussle, the other cats have raised a supportive chorus of wailing outside the door. I'm not sure who they're rooting for, me or Dixon. Finally, I'm able to wrestle him in and lug the carrier out to the car.
Dixon: HELP! SHE'S KILLING ME! ANIMAL ABUSE! ANIMAL ABUSE! HELP!
Me: (hissing) Will you quit it? You'll wake the entire neighborhood.
Neighbors are slowing down on their way to work to see what all the fuss is about.
Neighbor: Is your cat okay? (Translation: I have the ASPCA on speed dial and my finger is hovering over the connect button).
Me: Sure, sure! He's just going to vet for a routine checkup, that's all.
Dixon: HELP! HELP! MURDER!
Neighbor lady looks suspicious. The thrashing and screaming coming from the carrier certainly don't sound like a normal cat going to the vet. It sounds like 10,000 tornado sirens. I manage to shuffle the carrier into the car. Dixon enjoys how the added acoustics of a small enclosed space allows him to really project.
Dixon: I'M BEING TORTURED!
Me: You are not. They're not even going to touch you. They're just going to look at your urine under a microscope and give us some more pills.
Dixon: CALL 911! CALL ANIMAL CONTROL! CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN!
Me: This is a complete overreaction, you know.
Dixon: (yelling at passing cars through the closed window) SHE'S A MADWOMAN! SOMEBODY SAVE ME!
Finally, after a 15 minute car ride at roughly 160 decibels, we get to the vet. The carrier is bouncing around like it contains 7 angry wolverines. I have to grab it in both arms to carry it inside.
Me: Hi, I'm here for Dixon's appoint-
Dixon: SHE BEATS ME!
Me: His appoint-
Dixon: SHE'S AN ALIEN!
Me: (sighing) Anyway, he's here.
The other animals in the waiting room are alarmed. Dixon takes the opportunity to do his impression of a cat being fed through a wood chipper. A golden lab gives me a dirty look.
Lab: Fight the oppression of the ones with opposable thumbs!
Floppy-eared rabbit: (in an alarming good Braveheart impression) You can take away his life, but you will never take away...his FREEDOM!
Not surprisingly, the doctor's assistant senses the threatening riot and rushes over to get Dixon's carrier. When in doubt, take out the instigator.
Assistant: Why hello there, sweet kitty! Are you ready to see the doctor?
Dixon: LET ME GO, YOU DEMON SPAWN!
We leave the animals in the waiting room behind, holding paws and singing We Shall Overcome in honor of their soon-to-be martyred brethren. But a strange thing happens when the exam room door closes. Dixon goes completely silent. Not a word. I'm not sure if this is a ploy so that the doctor won't know he's there, or if he's making the point that he won't betray feline secrets no matter how much we torture him. Maybe he's just hoarse now. I don't know.
To make a long story short, the humans ended up winning the battle. The doctor checked Dixon out, gave us a clean bill of health, and sent us on our way, $75 poorer. Dixon reacted to his loss by giving me the silent treatment the entire way home.
Me: See? That wasn't so bad now, was it?
Me: All that fussing over nothing.
Me: Oh c'mon! You're not still mad, are you? You know we wouldn't do that if we didn't have to.
I let Dixon out of the carrier the minute we stepped through the front door. The other cats gathered around to listen to Dixon's traumatic tale of woe and whisper secret plans. Then they all glowered up at me until I got a serious case of the heebie jeebies.
I tried bribing everyone with cat treats, but I'm still a little bit nervous about going to bed. I'm afraid that I've inadvertently triggered the beginning of the revolution, and that I'll be the first casualty, smothered in my sleep under suspicious circumstances. (The only thing that will come back on the autopsy report will be an unusual amount of cat hair). One thing's for sure, even if I survive the night, it's Tony's turn to do the next vet run.