"Gladys! You get to go see Dr. Charlie soon!" we say in our sing-song voice.
Gladys usually blinks her disdain and ignores us. As if ignoring us will make it not happen. Cats are like that.
Here is the usual silliness we are forced to put up with.
On the big day, or sometimes the night before if I'm really on my A-game, I drag the cat carrier up from the basement and wipe the cobwebs and coal dust off of it. Then it sits on the kitchen floor. Gladys senses that it is there and avoids it. She is still in denial that this IS going to happen.
When it's time to depart, I go looking for Gladys. This is her red flag that something big is going down because we usually just leave the house without searching for her first. I sometimes try to bait her into entering the kitchen on her own but it just feels wrong since I know that she is going to see the cat carrier and run the other way. So this year I picked her up and immediately wished I had gotten her back claws removed also.
Cats have a way of growing seven more arms and legs when you are trying to stuff them into a cat carrier. She pretty much spreads all of her limbs out, her back claws grow an extra three inches and you begin to re-evaluate the physics of jamming such a large cat into such a small hole.
Perhaps it can't be done, I say to myself. Then I remember that just last week she wiggled under the dresser in the quilting room which only has about a 6 inch clearance. I jokingly asked her if I was going to have to employ the jaws of life to get her fat body out from underneath it when she deftly swooped back out at me in a failed ambush attempt.
This year my husband was on hand to witness the circus that is Vet Day. He thinks I make it up how dramatic she is about the whole affair. Now he has seen the light. He picked up Gladys and tried getting her in the cat carrier. With the two of us working together, we managed to get her pushed in. We examined each other's wounds and tried to find that one finger of his that she sliced off. Yowling and crying poured forth from the carrier. And continued for the whole 20 minute car ride to the vet.
At first she tried the distressed yowl. I turned the car radio on. Then she started peppering the yowls with growls. I turned the radio up louder. She added hissing to the repertoire. I started to sing along with the radio. That was when she gave up and switched tactics to the Poor Pitiful Me meow. If you've ever watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation you may remember the part where Aunt Brittany accidently wraps the cat up in a box. The box is making terrible noises and thrashing about wildly. That's what Gladys does inside her cat carrier between the house & the car, the car & the vet's.
At Dr. Charlie's, we went into the exam room. (Lights please.) We waited a moment or two. (Camera....Gladys Goes to the Vet Take One....Action!) The nurse came in and opened her carrier and instead of springing out like a crazy baboon, she walked out calm, collected and graceful. Like a movie star on the red carpet. There was no sign of the poofy tail or the big yellow saucer eyes. She walked that counter like she owned it.
Dr. Charlie came in and said hello to her. She curtsied. He checked her ears with q-tips to make sure they were clean. She sat perfectly still, as if we spend every day sticking q-tips in her ears. He pulled her lips back to check her teeth. She smiled and batted her eyes. When it was time for her shot, she acted bored. Needles, shmeedles.
And then for the grand finale (I love this part and I swear some year I will take a video camera) Dr. Charlie opens up the cat carrier door and says "Would you like to go home now Gladys?" And the cat who butchered and maimed us just a half hour before for even SUGGESTING such a thing, put her tail in the air in a delicate curve, and walked into her cat carrier as if she were the queen. (Cut! That's a wrap, folks.)
The queen setting majestically on her Victorian couch.