Saturday, July 2, 2011
You Can Lead the Cat to a Carrier, But You Can't Make Him Get In
There are some things that just shouldn't be attempted by the non-professional, and taking a formerly feral cat to the vet is one of them.
But there is something wrong with the cat. He is losing weight and getting little bald patches on the back of his neck. The skin there is perfectly smooth and white, so I've ruled out fighting with another cat, ringworm, and eczema. Hubby is convinced it is fleas so I bought some over-the-counter flea medication and spent an hour chasing the cat around the garage to get that on the back of his neck. But the bald spots are spreading, the cat is scratching, and the only creatures it is bothering is us.
So I bought a cat carrier and hoped I could convince him to go in of his own free will. He was fine with the carrier when I pulled it out of the car and it looked like a tub, and he even rubbed against it. But when I put the two halves together, he recognized it as a cage and took off like a shot to hide under the pickup outside. Luckily, it was hot outside and I sweet talked him into coming into the shade of the garage. Then I picked him up and carried him over to the waiting cage, Flintstone style, so he couldn't claw me. I shut the garage doors so he couldn't escape again either.
Since he wouldn't go in the carrier on his own, I decided to prop the carrier up on end and just drop him into it. That is, until he sprouted four more legs which were pummeling me, the carrier, and anything within three feet of us. Finally, I managed to get his back legs into the carrier and started lowering his body into it. Then he reached out and grabbed an old bath towel with his front claws. I couldn't shake him loose from the towel so thought I'd just put it in the carrier with him. That's when he turned into supercat and climbed the towel to the top of the box it was on, with me hanging onto his middle section.
By then, he had knocked over the cat carrier, and I thought the easiest thing to do would be to just put him in a big plastic tote so he couldn't grab anything as I put him in. Since I had the cat gripped in both hands, I knocked over a tote with one foot, dumped out the contents, and set up back upright. Then I very gently (yes, really) placed the cat in the middle of the tote. He stood there looking at me wide-eyed but unmoving, until I took a hand off him to pick up the lid. When the lid started coming over his head, he launched out of the tub, over my head, and headed for the safety of the tiny opening under the tool bench.
By then, I was hot, mad, and didn't give a hoot whether the cat scratched himself silly and went completely bald. I may have yelled a thing or two about his lack of gratitude, then helped myself to an ice-cold fudgsicle and spent the afternoon in the air-conditioned coolness of the house. I didn't see him again for the rest of the day, and when he finally showed himself that evening, he followed me around meowing and acting contrite, but I didn't fall for it. I'm on to him now. He knew the vet wouldn't be back in town for another week.