March 19, 2021

Taking the Cats to the Vet (Day 2)

 See “Taking the Cats to the Vet (Day 1)” about my aborted veterinary appointment for cats Linus and Charlie.

March 14, 2021

Cat Carriers
Cat carriers on the floor. I saw
Charlie in the carrier at the

7:30 p.m. For about a week, I have had two cat carriers on the floor in plain sight. Initially, I had the front flaps open and new catnip toys inside. When getting ready for our vet visit last week, I closed the front flaps and opened the top flaps of the carriers to make it easier to put the cats inside. I am surprised to see Charlie inside one of the carriers and enjoying the cat toy. I hope this is a good sign for our appointment this Thursday, March 18.

March 18, 2021

9:17 a.m. The cats are making themselves quite conspicuous. They cannot get into my bedroom (and, therefore, under my bed) or go upstairs. They have, no doubt, recognized that this is abnormal.

9:30 a.m. Lauren, the student housekeeper, arrives at her usual time. I confirm with her the schedule for capturing the cats.

9:54 a.m. I return downstairs and see no cats. A quick look around finds Linus behind the Clavinova. Charlie is in a dark corner next to a bookcase, an unusual place for him to be. So far, so good; they are limited to a confined area and I know where they are.

1015 a.m. I go briefly into my bedroom. Charlie is lying near the door when I come out. After sitting down, Charlie climbs onto my lap. I pet him for a long time. He seems unusually alert. I do not see Linus, who probably is still behind the Clavinova.

11:02 a.m. I eat a quick lunch, expecting to begin corraling the cats not later than noon and leaving for the Cat Clinic by 12:30 p.m.

11:20 a.m. I turn on the television and sit in my recliner, watching a program I recorded the day before.

11:22 a.m. Charlie jumps up on my lap. This is what I was hoping for, though having Linus on my lap would have been a happier circumstance. I watch television and pet Charlie for a long time.

11:58 a.m. It’s time to move. I put on my gloves—mostly in anticipation of dealing with Linus—grab hold of Charlie, walk over to his carrier, deposit him inside from above, and close the top flap. I then take the carrier upstairs. I fetch Lauren, my assistant cat catcher, and we proceed downstairs, closing the door at the top of the stairs behind us.

As I expected, Linus has remained behind the Clavinova. I suggest that we pull one side of the instrument away from the wall, allowing me to go behind it and grab Linus. Before I can step behind the Clavinova, however, Linus runs out at full speed and sprints up the stairs—big mistake on the part of the cat. He is now cornered on the top step. I pick up Linus with a vice-like, glove-protected grip, and Lauren helps me secure him in his carrier.

12:19 p.m. I back the car out of the garage. Lauren and her sister, who has joined the project, each take a cat carrier to the car. Once the cats are in the back seat and belted in, I leave for the trip to the vet.

1:50 p.m. I arrive at the Cat Clinic. The ride has been uneventful. I heard a few whines from Linus early on, but the cats were quiet for most of the trip. Alas, it rained the whole way. The trip is a long one. I became a client of the Cat Clinic when I lived in Mt. Lebanon, and I continue to be one because I like Dr. Bebko and the fact that only cats are treated at the clinic. Cats can be frightened in a waiting room with large dogs.

The pandemic has changed the mechanics of my annual visit. I pull into the driveway and call the clinic. I am told to bring the carriers into to the foyer. I do that and proceed to the parking area in back. I catch up with my reading while waiting for a phone call.

2:34 p.m. I get the call telling me that my cats are ready to be picked up. I supply my credit card number for payment and have a brief conversation with Dr. Bebko. I drive forward on the driveway and go inside to retrieve the cats and their paperwork. After buckling the cats into the back seat, I set off for home. It rains all the way, hard.

4:04 p.m. I arrive back home, take the carriers inside, and open the front flaps. After a moment’s hesitation, the cats scatter. I hope that I can go a full year without having to put the cats into their carriers again. My anxiety about having to do this begins about January.

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