Thursday, March 12, 2015
Have you ever lived with a cat in heat? I've lived with a relentlessly squawking Senegal parrot. I've lived with neurotic dogs and psychotic lovers. Nothing is worse than a cat in heat.
My cat Scruffy will be a year old in less than two weeks. I should have had her spayed long ago. I'm paying dearly for my procrastination. She'd only been in heat for a week and I was already reduced to tears from her annoying antics. Meee-owing. Whining. Howling. Rolling around on the floor. It was like watching Eleonora Duse doing the death scene from Cleopatra.
I considered hiring a feline hit man, but I don't yet have very many underground connections in Tennessee.
On Monday morning I made an appointment with the vet. Not for me. For Scruffy. I had to drive her to town yesterday afternoon. It was misty with rain and the fog was so heavy that it looked like the Hebrides. As I maneuvered the twisting, narrow mountain roads Scruffy howled at the top of her lungs. To say that my nerves were shattered is an understatement. I did everything to restrain myself from doing a swan dive over a cliff - - a Thelma and Louise.
Fast forward. In the vet's office.
I knew I was in trouble when I saw the woman at the desk. She was utterly humorless. With a face like Marie Dressler and glasses around her neck on a chain.
"Name, sex, and birth date," she demanded.
Did she mean me or the cat?
I'll give her my name. She can probably guess my sex. But in order to get my age, she'll have to fight me at Madison Square Garden.
She meant the cat, Jon.
"What is the color?" she wants to know.
Color?? Scruffy's color is hard to describe. Sort of like a cross between a dirty dishrag and the bottom of a 100-year-old terra cotta planter.
While I'm stammering for an answer, somebody in the waiting room shouts "Calico!"
"Well, her mother was a calico," I admit.
"Did you have your rabies shot?" the woman at the desk asked.
I swear I'm not making this up. They were her exact words.
Rabies?!? To my knowledge, I've never had rabies. Or a shot. I go through a quick mental rundown of all my previous maladies.
Let's see, I've had: chicken pox, German measles, scarlet fever, the croup, pneumonia, pericarditis, sinusitis, the clap. I've had chiggers, strep throats that rendered me speechless, and anxiety attacks that would have baffled Freud.
She means the cat, Jon. Rabies shots for the cat.
"Oh, yea. All my cats had rabies shots," I tell her.
"Well, bring all the documentation with you next time you come in. I need to see written proof."
Holy shit. I'm here to get a cat spayed. I'm not here to sign the Treaty of Versailles.
It's presently Thursday morning as I write this. I have to drive into town to pick Scruffy up at 2:00 pm. I'm armed with the rabies documents. And reinforced with several cans of beer.
I'm praying that the woman behind the desk with the glasses on a chain will be out to lunch when I get there. She scares me. I have a feeling she'd neuter me if she had half the chance.
I picked Scruffy up this afternoon. The Marie Dressler lady wasn't there so I didn't need to show the rabies documents (but I brought them nevertheless). Scruffy is now home resting comfortably. She's not allowed to eat until tomorrow.
I'm resting comfortably, too. And I'm going to eat dinner in a few minutes.