March 5, 2022

Schroeder Update 12

Yesterday, I was to take Schroeder to receive his second FVRCP vaccination and to have a microchip implanted. Of course, I first had to get him into a carrier. Performing this trick with Linus and Charlie has always been difficult, and I had no reason to believe that putting Schroeder into his carrier would be markedly easier.

I was girded for battle. I was wearing my sturdy Carhartt shirt and my leather gloves. Schroeder approached me and let me pet him, but when I tried to grab him with both hands, he slipped away like the proverbial bat out of hell. In the process of retreating to his redoubt between the couch and the plant stand, he overturned his water bowl, spilling its contents into the food bowl. This led to a temporary hiatus from cat catching to clean up the mess. I gathered up the kibble and took the water and food bowl out of the room. I vacuumed up a few errant pieces of kibble.

Cat capture then resumed. I moved the plant stand to gain access to Schroeder, He then ran between the couch and the wall. I used a pole to flush him out. He ran around the other side of the couch, and my attempt to grab him as he emerged was, unsurprisingly, unsuccessful. He retreated to his favorite resting place. I moved the end of the couch against the wall, cutting off that avenue of escape. I also moved the plant stand out of the way. When I tried to grab him, he hissed at me and lunged with claws bared. His outburst was surprisingly violent, given his usual laid-back demeanor. A claw barely reached through my glove.

At this point, I called a friend who had helped me corral Linus and Charlie in the past. She couldn’t come over immediately but agreed to be on call if I needed her later. I thought it likely that her services would be required. (This was to be my sole injury for the day.)

Schroeder was now cornered, but any attempt to grab him was clearly hazardous. Without having a clear strategy for getting the cat into the carrier, I placed the open carrier in front of Schroeder. He was now trapped between the couch, the wall, the carrier, and its wire door. I tried to explain that he needed to enter the carrier, but he seemed indifferent to my explanation. After a minute or two and by means I cannot explain, I got Schroeder into the carrier. I closed the door and sighed in relief. I was exhausted.

I put carrier and cat into the car and headed for the vet appointment. The half-hour drive was peaceful; I heard not a peep from Schroeder. I was apprehensive when the woman who was to give Schroeder his shot and his microchip opened the carrier to extract the cat. She was, however, very good at her job. Sitting on the floor in front of the carrier, she grabbed Schroeder by the scruff of the neck and put him between her legs. The shot and microchip were administered in less than a minute. Not a sound was heard from Schroeder.

The trip home was again quiet and uneventful. (Well, I was listening to NPR.) I left Schroeder in the car while I put the room back together. I filled the water and food bowls, moved the couch, and replaced the plant stand. Finally, I brought Schroeder inside and placed the carrier on the floor.

Schroeder back home
Schroeder back home

I opened the carrier, but Schroeder did not come out, even with cat treats in front of him. He stuck out his head for a moment and then retreated into the safety of the carrier.

Free in principle
Schroeder free to come out

After waiting a few minutes for some movement, I left the room. When I returned a while later, Schroeder was out of his carrier and resting in his favorite spot.

Schroeder at rest
Schroeder at rest

The day’s mission had been accomplished. Schroeder would not need to see a vet for a year. The task now was to improve socialization and to find Schroeder a forever home.


NOTE: Schroeder’s story to date can be followed here.

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