Yesterday morning I took my tabby cat, Friday, to the vet. As usual, catching her was a delicate operation. It involved tiptoeing up the basement stairs to make sure the carrier didn't rattle, silently setting down and opening the carrier, grabbing the cat from the nest of coats in which she was resting, and stuffing her in the carrier as swiftly as possible.
Friday is the most vocal of my three cats about being taken for a car ride. I discovered that she'd stay quiet if I stuck my fingers through the mesh of the carrier door and scratched her chin, but she leaned on my fingers so hard I was afraid I was going to pull them back bruised.
The vet's office seemed to contain a hundred barking, whining dogs. Friday yowled her displeasure from the carrier in the waiting room. When we got to the exam room, it took a great deal of effort to pry her out of the carrier and she kept wanting to find a way back in.
The vet had no trouble with the exam, shots and claw clipping. However, during the exam she thought she detected a heart murmur. It was hard to tell whether it was a symptom of vet's office stress or a legitimate health issue, but she recommended some blood tests to rule out thyroid problems, etc. Since Friday is almost sixteen-and-a-half years old, I agreed that it sounded like a good idea.
That's where the problems started. Friday weighs less than seven pounds, but she's from scrappy, alley cat stock. She was not at all on board with the idea of having another needle stuck in her for any reason, so even with me and a veterinary assistant holding her, she managed to jerk away before the vet could draw any blood.
The vet tried for neck veins twice, front leg veins twice and a back leg vein once, but Friday just twisted away and got more and more agitated. At some point, she managed to gouge two scratches into the top of my left hand with her back feet. She was stressing out, I was stressing out and the vet finally had to give up.
Once I got her back home, she seemed fine. Unfortunately, we're scheduled to try again next Saturday.