For those of you following along at home, we still have FrodoJoseKitty, the stray cat who showed up at our door a couple of weeks ago. We made the decision that no matter how long he stays with us, he needs to be neutered. Concern about pet overpopulation combined with the overwhelming stink of an intact male tomcat made this an easy decision.
Last Thursday night, we had to take him to the veterinarian’s office for his pre-neuter exam.
Everyone in my family conveniently had something else to do that night. Everyone except my youngest son, Evan, that is.
“So, Evan, are you going to help me take FrodoJoseKitty to the vet tonight?”
“I guess so. What do I have to do?”
“Well, for one thing, I need help getting him into the cat carrier.” This was particularly angst-worthy because the carrier was a cardboard one that opened from the top. It would be exactly like putting a cat in a box because we would be, technically, putting a cat in a box. I was not looking forward to it at all.
I could tell that Evan was already regretting his decision to help me. “How are we going to get him in there? Won’t he scratch us?”
“I think if you open the flaps and I lower him in, it will be OK. “ I tried to sound as convincing as possible. I didn’t want Evan skipping out on me.
When the time came to put the cat in the carrier, I put on my heaviest coat and longest gloves so that I’d be fully covered in case he tried to scratch me. I considered wearing one of my husband Dan’s full-face welding helmets but decided that might be a bit excessive.
Evan and I brought the box into the room where the cat was and put it on the floor. FrodoJoseKitty rubbed against it with his chin and meowed. So far, so good.
“Maybe you should put some treats in there,” suggested Evan.
I tossed a few kitty treats inside the box, figuring it couldn’t hurt. Next thing I knew, FrodoJoseKitty leapt into the box and began eating the kitty treats. Evan and I quickly closed the lid and looked at one another in amazement. Putting this cat in a box couldn’t have gone any easier.
We congratulated ourselves on our cat-handling brilliance all the way to the car. Evan got in first and I put FrodoJoseKitty’s box on the floor between his feet for the trip to the vet. “Just keep an eye on him,” I said. “He should be OK but watch in case he tries to come out the top of the box.”
You know the saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” Well, whoever said that never had to drive an irritated feline in a box to the vet’s office in the dark. If he had, he would realize that an angry cat is much, much worse and way more difficult to contain.
I don’t know if it was the sound of the car engine or the vibration or the dark or what, but FrodoJoseKitty was seriously annoyed. He wanted out of that box and he wanted out now. The top of the box flexed outward at the same time that cat paws were coming out of every air hole opening. How could the cat have a paw out of every hole and his head pushing against the top of the box, all at the same time? Evan struggled to keep the lid securely closed as the cat struggled mightily to escape.
Of course, we were stopped by every single red light on the way to the vet’s in order to enjoy our collective misery for as long as possible.
Just as FrodoJoseKitty was about to burst through the top of the cat carrier, we pulled into a parking space at the vet’s office. Thankfully, he seemed to chill out when I turned the car off.
Once inside the examination room, we were able to let him out of the box. He eagerly explored the room until it came time for his check-up.
The doctor asked us what we knew about his history and began the examination. FrodoJoseKitty became agitated by her poking and prodding so she gave him some kitty treats to snack on while she continued. After estimating his age at one year and pronouncing him healthy, she left the room so that the technician could come in and tell us how much the neuter and vaccinations would cost us. I guess she didn’t want to be implicated in the heart attack they were about to cause me. Cat rescuing is apparently not for financially-challenged folks like me.
As soon as the door closed behind her, FrodoJoseKitty made his move. With a great calculated leap, he jumped up onto the counter where the kitty treats were stored. Evan and I watched in disbelief as he batted the bag out of its storage place, unrolled it with his paw, and stuck his entire face inside, happily munching on his hard-earned prize.
We returned the next day to retrieve the cat after his neutering. The vet, knowing that we were trying to find a home for FrodoJoseKitty, gave us certificates “for his new owner’s records” confirming that he’d been neutered and vaccinated.
Today is day 14 of CATivity. FrodoJoseKitty is healing from his surgery and enjoys lounging on his new catnip-infused scratching pad in the sunshine. He greets me with a sweet meow whenever I enter the room and rewards me with a strong purr whenever I feed or hold him.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say that he’s already found his new home.