The day started off wrong for Willow.
There is a book case in my room on top of which Willow jumps to receive her medication. It is her private perch. Hers alone.
When I turned back after pulling up my window blind this morning, I perceived a different form.
Tinks has slimmed down a bit since being on thyroid medication, but she is not a great jumper, being rather compact in shape, so I was surprised to see her there. Perhaps she has learned to levitate?
Poor Tinks is endowed with a cranky disposition. Her mission in life is to chase other cats and swipe at me.
Of course I shushed her down, winning myself more black marks in her book of grievance.
She grumbled deeply and shot off to take out her troubles on one of the others. Willow had been observing and leapt up to her place.
Willow is less solid than Tinks, but bigger overall and could easily stand up to her, but she does not choose to.
She’s much more likely to express her disapproval by peeing on something. But this morning had a different plan for her.
The annual vet visits began today.
We have to do them in stages for mental health reasons.
Ours, not theirs.
First comes the matter of loading our victims up into their carriers.
One needs to plan ahead.
Getting the carriers out the day before is a good idea because they get over the fright this causes and forget about it.
We didn’t do that this time but we have another system of sorts. We make sure the cats in question are in a part of the house where they cannot flee in all directions and then get the carriers out.
The man forgot about this part today, fetching out the carriers indiscreetly and sending felines to conceal themselves as only they can.
Willow fled to the “front” room, so I went to shut that door as Grant called me to help him catch Sophia.
“She’s terrified of me!” I protested.
“Well stand by with the carrier!”
Things tend to get a bit fraught…
Poor Sophia had dived into one of her boxes and had to be oozed out.
“Don’t let her escape!”
(Why the hell would I???!!)
But Sophia was safely imprisoned without drama.
The house where we lived previously was large and on three levels.
Vet visits back then were seriously stressful.
Comparatively, this morning went well with only minor injuries. (His)
Toby and Sophia travelled in silence. Willow, sitting in her carrier on my lap sang a high-pitched lament that could make you weep.
Fortunately the drive takes only ten minutes because by the time we got there my mouth was quite dry from uttering words of encouragement to the poor girl.
How did we manage to transport this poor cat all the way from Seattle, I ask myself. She and Muffin flew with us, in the aircraft cabin.
We had no way of knowing that Muffin suffers from motion sickness.
But we soon found out.
At security check, we elected to take the cats out of their carriers and bring them through in our arms. They were wearing harnesses but I was so afraid Willow would freak out and attempt to rush off. I had heard of this happening once and there ensued an airport-wide search for the cat.
The idea of Willow running around the airport terrified was one of my major anxieties when I planned the move. Muffin is much smaller and not a flight risk.
We got safely on board and placed the cats beneath our seats. It was a relief, but not for long!
The aircraft taxied out and began the take-off roll. As it climbed away into the evening sky, we heard the unmistakable sound of Muffin retching.
Mercifully that night there was a strong tail wind which cut a whole hour off the flight but we still faced the transfer at JFK to the rental car lot after which a four hour drive north.
We had tried to clean Muffin’s carrier but the journey must have been awful for her. At the same time, if I had chosen one of the other cats to fly, Muffin would have endured almost two straight days on the road.
Grant says that was the most stressful journey he has ever experienced. It took us a little getting over.
The cats, however, seemed to bounce right back. We then had 13 and they had lived in two separate groups as half were “fosters”. Here, they live all together, so I had worried about how the dynamics would work, but maybe because this was new to all of them, it was never a problem.
Toby also had his annual check up this morning.
We never have a problem loading him into a carrier and he is very laid back about the whole procedure.
Considering how frail Toby has seemed recently, he checked out fairly well and it turns out that the weight loss is likely related to thyroid issues, so we are to increase his medication.
The down side of this is that it can cause kidney problems and his kidneys are already showing signs of trouble.
It’s an all too familiar scenario. Kidney failure has taken other feline friends, Yeti, Panther, Colin.
We can try special diet and will do whatever we can to keep our boy going as he still seems to enjoy life. He is already older than any of the others that left us far too soon.
Willow and Sophia got good reports but may eventually join the thyroid club.
Three down and eight to go. After getting the bill for this morning’s session I had to come home and have a lie down.
When Toby was on the examination table, I mentioned to the doctor his recent habit of wanting to eat my hair.
Funnily enough, she once had an orange tabby that in advancing age also developed this strange habit.
There is no medical explanation. One can only assume that these cats derive some sort of comfort from it.
Who am I to deny Toby comfort?