My little cat Charlie is a constant source of joy, delight and inspiration to me… however, sometimes, I do wish she’d just … co-operate.
She has a tendancy towards over-grooming, just the one particular patch of fur, right above the base of her tail. I’ve been through all the possible causes of this, from food allergies to stress, and although, by and large, the problem is under control and resolved, there are still certain times of year, like the Spring moult, when a trip to the vet becomes necessary.
For Christmas this year, my mother bought me a new cat carrier… it’s beautiful, like something Little Red Riding Hood would use to pop a few treats in for Granny; and what’s more, it’s a top-opener. I read an article on Katzenworld about how this style of carrier is the way forward, and I would definitely agree.
This carrier is sturdy and spacious, the cat has room to turn around and lie down properly in it, the carrying handle is strong, and best of all, you can just pick the cat up and pop them straight in the carrier through the generous sized gap and close the lid. No more of the somewhat “threading a needle with a sausage” scenarios of trying to push an annoyed cat through a tiny door about the size of a postage stamp. Simply – up and in. I don’t know who was more surprised really, me or the cat.
This vet trip I was on my own… my son had a really important day at college… so he claimed… and I actually had to take Charlie and Lily as they were both due for their boosters. I thought to myself:
“Am I mentally and physically strong enough to face a bus journey with two cats; the howling, the stares, the questions – yes. Yes. I can do this.” (I took a taxi.)
Once at the vets, and Lily dealt with, she’s very good at the vets-
“Oh yes, I remember you, weren’t we introduced at the vicar’s tea party last week…”
then it was time to retrieve Madame La Princesse from her luxury basket. I opened the lid and looked in. She looked back at me… I reached in and lifted her out-love the ease of access with these carriers and plonked her on the table for the vet to look at.
“NO! No! You keep your hands off me… you… you…VET!”
Charlie has surprising strength for a little cat and rolls herself up like a furry hedgehog lined with teeth and claws. However, duly examined with her usual tablets prescribed, I picked her up and popped her back in the basket. She turned around and lay down in it, glaring at me with large greeny-golden eyes.
We left the vets, and I paused a moment outside, to consider the pros and cons of the bus journey home. Surely, after such a stress-free vet visit I could – I took a taxi.
I do love this cat carrier though. Years ago, I bought into the foolish idea that a cardboard cat carrier could convincingly contain a cat against its will… Believing this, I attempted to place my large ginger cat into a cardboard carrier to take him to the vet, Ten minutes later, it was all over… for the carrier. Ginger sat in a heap of shredded cardboard, contemptuously picking the last pieces from between his claws and looking at me as if to say “Really?”
I upgraded to the plastic boxes in two halves, with the tiny doors. My old tabby was far too much of a gentleman to try and escape from it, but he did chew through the locking mechanism, just to prove a point.
My current four girls have all done their time in the plastic boxes, and have discovered, that with enough force, they can pop the door off its hinges… stick claws through the gaps and spike the unwary person carrying them… and I am sure that if I inserted a tiny secret camera I would see the contained cat cat jumping up and down inside mosh-pit style…
However. This new cat carrier-by Curver, actually, who also make useful little boxes to put things in, is both comfortable for the cat and practical for the human. (I have carried guinea pigs in buckets and fish in washing up bowls before…)
When I got home and opened the lid for Charlie, she hopped out gracefully and unruffled, rather than elbowing her way through the tiny door like a commuter on a busy train.
Pausing only to glare at me:
“Aha! I know you have tablets for me. You won’t get off so lightly with those…”
she disappeared upstairs…