If you have a cat (or, in our case, five cats), you know how psychic they can be. If you have to take your cat to the vet, you can be just as quiet as can be; you can oil the hinges of their carrier and not even breathe the word “vet” in any part of the house. You can casually shut the doors to the porch and basement (where the cat likes to hide and knows damn well that you can’t reach him); you can even tell the cat what a sweet baby he/she is and give them a treat (actually several treats).
But they know what you’re up to. You can’t fool them; I swear they can read minds. Personally I think that they pick up on our body language when we are trying so hard not to freak them out because it’s time to take them to the vet. Usually it’s for their shots, nail clipping, blood work, etc. and there isn’t one thing about all that that they like.
Our four boys are of course not fond of going to the vet, but we usually can get them in their carriers and on to the vet. But the hardest one to work with is our one female; Nala. She is nervous by nature, and needs a lot of attention and affection. Generally the Crankee Yankee is her comforter, and she feels safe with him. Every night she sleeps on half of his pillow, and every night she hogs the lion’s share of it.
The night before the vet visit, I sprinkle catnip on the blanket in her carrier. In the morning, I spray it with Felaway, which is a calming mist that reduces anxiety (or so they say). Once we get her in the carrier and into the car, she lets us know that she is not pleased. She also emits pitiful little meows, and she does her best to bury herself in her blanket.
Of course, once she’s actually at the vet’s and we take her out of the carrier to put her on the table, she’s pretty resigned to it. She still however emits little meeps of displeasure. She absolutely hates having her nails clipped, and to hear her, you would think that the vet was clipping off her actual toes. Even if all the vet ever did was to pat her, she would still be pissed off.
However, once she’s home, she gets “sympathy treats,” and lets the other cats and us know that she is not pleased. Frankly, it’s worth a few treats and some sympathy cuddles to soothe her feelings. To be honest, it’s harder on me than it is on her; I come out of there sweating and feeling like an axe murderer. Let’s face it, there really is no way to make a cat understand that the vet visit is for their own good.
For the record, we have the best vet ever. He has been kind, gentle and knowledgeable; he has found naturopathic remedies that have had a wonderful effect on our cats. Because of him, our cats lead long and healthy lives.
But just try telling that to a cat.