Vet Adventures

I type this with a large gash in my left palm and a smaller one on my wrist. Today was the day for the Goddess to have her annual physical – or as my former boss used to say of his cat, her lube, oil and filter.

Isis is not a large cat – fighting weight – and I do mean fighting – of 10 pounds during the winter 9 or so during hot weather, though Dr. Larry called today and said she’d lost a pound.

Most days she has a typical cat’s life. Nap, get up, rest from the nap, check that all furniture and people are where they’re supposed to be, nap, roam around a few minutes, beg for treats, eat, sleep for several hours, lie in the sun (maybe take another nap), see if dinner might arrive early, take a nap in preparation for roaming around all night. I think she wrote “Cat’s Basic Rules for Running A Household.”

On a serious note, the first nine or ten months of the Goddess’s life were spent in the wild. I got her from a woman who found her in the woods and couldn’t keep her because there were already six cats in the house. Isis had had a litter of kittens, one of which they found impacted when she went for spaying. She arrived at her new home severely undernourished, with huge staples across her abdomen. It was years before she would let anyone touch her belly.

She didn’t come near me at all for our first month together. But she ate well and stretched out on the bed when I wasn’t in it. I finally got her to jump on my lap with the aid of a string that I dragged across the couch. Now she is a heat seeker par excellence. We have steam radiators that get far too hot to touch, but she lies next to the one in the living room with her paws tucked under it. Larry says he expects that she’ll self-combust one day. When the radiator cools slightly, she heads for her heated bed or for a human lap, preferably with an electric blanket on it. She spends the hottest days of summer baking on the sun porch.

She’s fairly mellow most of the time now, but every once in a while she’ll turn on Larry or me for no apparent reason. She has little tufts on her ears, a very square backside, and a tail that’s much too short in proportion to the rest of her. There are times when her fur has a reddish tinge. On one of her trips to the vet, I asked if she could have bob cat in her lineage. Dr. Larry said it’s possible and that hybrids like that live forever. At this point she’s at least 14 years old and still going strong. Here’s a picture of the Goddess, “helping” me write the memoir. (That sign was my mother’s. It says, “A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.”)


And here’s a picture of what very well may be Isis’s cousin.

One other oddity: I’ve heard her meow maybe five times in the 13 years I’ve owned her. She’ll scream if someone steps on her tail. Once in a while she’ll answer the mating yowls of the neighborhood cats, but she never carries on a normal cat conversation. But she can hiss and spit.

Anyway, her behavior is just bad enough that her chart at the vet has big warnings all over it. Two years ago she tried to bite and scratch Dr. Larry and his tech, so now they knock her out to do the exam. That means taking away food and water the night before, so I was awake this morning at 3:30, 4, 5, and 6 because she didn’t have her usual late-night snack.

When we were finally ready to roll just before 8, I picked her up to put her in the cat carrier and she nailed me, twice. But she was so freaked out that she stayed in the crate even though the latch came undone. The 20-minute ride produced far less dry heaving than it usually does. She wasn’t foaming at the mouth when we got there, either. Since her stomach was empty, she didn’t actually throw up, which had been her habit in years past.

The worst is over because she’ll be too drugged when she comes home to do anything except eat and stagger off to bed. My hands and arms are safe until next year. Thank God she doesn’t have to go more often!


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