A housecat, when provoked, can make at least three different liquids, and mine did not want to be confined to a crate and driven in the car from New York City to far Northern Westchester County, so he promptly made all three in that crate. At that point, he panicked, and who wouldn’t? Trapped in a plastic crate with an inch of three nasty cat liquids is horrifying. Schwartz started thrashing and tearing wildly at the metal bars of his crate with his claws. Soon he was bleeding as well.
I was liberally splashed with the nasty cat liquids while I drove, and so was the interior of my (then) brand-new car.
When we arrived at the Big Red Barn, Schwartz got a bath before I unloaded anything else from the car. It was early September, so he dried pretty fast on his own. I was able to clean the dashboard and window and seat and steering wheel of my new car. Schwartz had damaged a nail which ended up taking months to heal, but it did heal after all that, on its own. I unpacked and got busy having this long, bad vacation.
Schwartz was due for shots this week, and even though he is an indoor-only cat, he has a talent for slipping out the door as you bring in the groceries, so I keep him up to date on all his vaccines. Did I know what I was getting myself into yesterday when I headed out to the vet? I certainly had not forgotten the cat panicking in the car in early September, but I must have indulged in some magical thinking: “He’s been good, he’ll be good,” or “He’s forgotten,” or “It’s not that far.”
I was wrong.
This time, I put the crate in the back of the station wagon. This time, I put an old towel in with him. This time, I covered the crate with an old blanket, in case of splashing. This time he behaved in more or less the same way he had behaved on his last trip.
It was raining very hard, and in my distraction with the ruckus going on in the way-back, I drove past the proper exit. I turned to my car’s built-in GPS for help, and it disagreed with what Google Maps on my phone was suggesting. Three miles and fifteen minutes later, I stopped in a park to call the vet. “Oh, you have to tell your GPS it’s Bedford Road, not North Bedford Road.” As I drove out of the park to re-trace my route for the third time, I saw a family of Canada geese enjoying a pond that had jumped its banks in the torrential rain. The adult geese looked like they were having trouble getting the goslings together.
At the vet, it was agreed that they would take Schwartz to the back to do the exam, give him his shots and clean him up. We had brought two stool samples, one planned, and another was Schwartz’s spontaneous contribution in his crate. He had torn out two nails this time, and so along with the planned vaccines, he got a shot of antibiotics and some Buprenex, for pain. We were late picking up The Battlefield from school.
|Wet cat is freaked|
Once home again, I felt that Schwartz needed another bath. I was reacting to the third stool sample he had produced which was stuck to him. I scooped him up, and began the bath routine. By the time I realized that the traumatic vet visit, sandwiched between two terrifying car rides and including several shots and a dose of pain-killer, might induce some unexpected behavior, I was forcibly opening his jaws with one hand in an effort to get his teeth out of my left arm. He scratched my arm and my back, and gave me two cat bites, one of which drew blood, the other just left marks. The frenzy of his panic and the ferocity of his attack were unlike anything I had ever seen him do. I left him alone and wet in the bathroom for a couple of hours.
The scratches hurt more than the bites. My shirt was torn. Poor kitty. Poor me.