This morning I had to take Derek for her date with destiny. We went to the V.E.T. for her yearly jabs and MOT.
We have a new vet, as Derek is a nervous driver and the thought of lugging her back to our old vet every time we needed something, lovely though they are, filled me with horror. My friend Kim recommended a local vet she uses, and we booked in with them.
Derek used to get in the cat basket with no trouble, but since she had all her lady parts removed, and then had to wear the cone of shame, which she ripped off twice – and that time I only had pirate plasters to stick her dressings on with – she’s gone off the cat basket rather.
It has grim associations for her.
I got her into the basket first go, until she was about half way down, whereupon she turned herself neatly inside out, clawed a small but deep hole in my little finger and leapt into the ether.
The second time I got her in and shut the basket lid, only to find that one of the ribbons we use to tie the door shut had fallen out.
While I was attempting to poke it back through the wicker with a fork, Derek was not taking things lying down, and was trying to eject herself arm first out of the most vulnerable part of the lid.
I made the stupid mistake of trying to cram her paw back into the basket without donning elbow length gauntlets, whereupon she lacerated my wrist.
By this time we were both rather sweaty, and I was gaining fur at the rapid rate at which she was losing hers.
Eventually I got the door closed and we set off with me resembling a wounded yeti and Derek still shedding fur at a vast rate of knots.
My dad came along as my wing man and getaway driver. I was concerned about parking and didn’t want to end up parking half a mile from the vet’s only to have to walk there with a threshing feline in a picnic hamper.
The vet was rather lovely and extremely enamoured of Derek. Sadly the same cannot be said of Derek, who when greeted with the words: ‘What a tremendous example of a tortoiseshell you are my lovely’ skidded sweatily off the top of the examining table and attempted to release herself into the wild.
Eventually we sorted things out satisfactorily – i.e. Derek got the jabs/worming tablet and not me, and all three of us exited with all our limbs intact.
The vet said that Derek is in such fantastic health that barring accidents and acts of God we won’t have to see her again for another year.
I would like to think this is possible, but Derek has now moved on from licking mice to riding squirrels like a bucking bronco and had to be rescued in a dramatic squirrel/cat washing machine like manoeuvre yesterday tea time, so I feel we might be seeing the vet again much sooner than any of us would like.