Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kodak Moment

No, this is not my cats' idea of dressing up as illegal immigrants in a car trunk for Halloween. Nor is it a nostalgic attempt to relive their pre-birth experience. You see, this morning was the annual "bring Willie and Lilly to the vet" ordeal.

It's amazing how two college educated adults can spend days planning to out-think two animals with brains the size of a walnut, and only partially succeed. Regardless of what other steps we take, and regardless of the fact that they only see the carriers once a year, at first glimpse of them the cats go into evasive maneuvers that would make a fighter jet pilot envious. (Contrast this to their daddy, who has people in his office that he's seen daily for years and whose names he still can't remember.)

We know to close off all the best escape routes upstairs. (If they get under a bed you might as well cancel the vet appointment.) I thought I'd be cool and leave only the bathroom door open, since it's a dead end and if they ran there their furry little butts would be mine.) Unfortunately, they figured that out a lot faster than I did. Consistent with their personalities, Willie tried to muscle his way out of the problem, and it didn't take very long at all before he was in his carrier. Lilly may be smaller than Willie, but it seems that the human world is not the only one in which girls are smarter than boys.

Lilly didn't outrun me. She out-thought me. After nearly an hour of searching there was no sign of her. I was actually getting worried; we'll never know for sure, but I strongly suspect it was trying to shimmy out of a too-tight spot that led to Skids' life-ending injury a little over two years ago. Then I thought of one more place to look. We have a large sideboard cabinet that comes all the way down to the floor in the front, but that has a small opening in the back; sure enough, I turned the flashlight there and a little pink
nose was staring back at me. It meant moving the side-board and several other pieces of furniture, but after a sword dance that included chasing, hissing (by both of us) and other elements of a good western's barroom brawl, eventually she was cornered on the stairs and tried to run past me. Game over.

Frustrated and sweaty, I told my wife I'd caught them both, and cautioned her that if ever I was looking for her, she was never to hide under the furniture. Having put up with this kind of thing nearly every day for the past 27 years, she agreed and went back to watching the weekend edition of the Today Show.

Back to the photo. We finally got to the vet and I pried Willie from his carrier - first you can't get them in, then you can't get them out.
I opened the door of Lilly's to get her and before I could stop him Willie scooted past me and into it. There were now two cats - one a little over 13 pounds, the other a little over nine pounds - packed into a carrier that was originally purchased for my previous 5 and a half pound cat. I think I saw this in a Marx Brothers movie once.

I Like Left-Overs But...
It's after 6:00 pm and I've had exactly three trick-or-treaters. (Based on previous years' turnouts, I'm prepared for 200.) If things don't pick up, this week at work I'll be brown bagging Sugar Daddy sandwiches with a side of Swedish Fish.


oldhousegal said...

Ben, Ben, Ben... you should have called me. Here's the deal: everything must be AS NORMAL AS POSSIBLE the morning of the vet visit. Then, nonchalantly, you put the cats in a small room where there is no hiding place. Close the door so they can't escape and THEN get the carrier out. It's all a matter of timing.

Tawnya said...

Oh my... Sounds like a tiring morning! I will take some Swedish Fish!!!!

Amy said...

We had a crazy amount of trick or treaters here this year. They truck 'em in. (I wish I was kidding. We went through a CASE of Twix bars and two huge cauldrons of other candy/gum.

Lisa said...

LOL, I have experienced the same thing while trying to get my sneaky felines into the carrier to see the doctor. Not anymore...I leave the carriers out all the time with the door open. They often go in & nap so now they have no fear of the dreaded carrier!

Sugar Daddy sandwhich with a side of swedish fish....ROFL...that's great!!!! (and sounds good too!)

Lori said...

Try wrangling a pet flying squirrel out of his cage and into a carrier! And it doesn't matter that their brains may only be as large as a walnut -- cats will always out-think and outsmart us.