OK, onto the story of the cat. We have a cat named Teddy. Actually, he is Emma's cat, but until she gets a job and pays for his food herself, he's the family cat. Teddy is pretty friendly, especially considering he was born a feral barn cat who was too cute to be left in the barn.
Teddy comes in our house in the afternoons and evenings. He knows when it's nap time and will come visit then, and will also make an appearance right after the boys go to bed but before Emma goes down. He loves Emma and follows her around. He's really more dog than cat, but only to her.
A couple weeks ago, I noticed a lump on the side of Teddy's neck. After a few days it had grown to about the size of a golf ball, but it was soft and squishy instead of hard and lumpy so I decided to let it go till Monday. I have a huge aversion to taking cats to the vet, especially on the weekends and paying massive amounts of money to have them say, "just wait and see what happens!" So I decided to wait.
The next morning, the thing had burst. His neck was covered in blood and puss, and I could not find where in the house this explosion had occurred so that I could
Anywhoo, Marty and I cleaned him up and surveyed the damage. He had a gaping hole in the side of his neck, and you could see tissue and stuff underneath it. Totally gross. I decided to do what any smart, resourceful mom would do and put some Neosporin on a gauze wrap and wrapped him up good.
No emergency vet bills for me, thankyouverymuch.
The next week, it seemed to be getting better, but a scab would grow over the area and he would scratch it off. I couldn't keep a bandage on it, and when it started to show signs of infection, I knew it was time to bring him to the vet.
Here's where it gets interesting.
I borrowed a cat carrier from my sister-in-law, Holly. Now, the last time her husband brought their cat Hobbs to the same vet, the cat got loose and went up a tree and went missing for two months. They finally got him back, but I didn't want to go through the same ordeal.
So I borrowed a cat carrier. I used to work at a pet store, and we never sold cardboard cat carriers. My boss said it was because he had heard of too many cats breaking through the sides of them and escaping, but I honestly didn't see how that was likely on one little trip to the vet.
Ok, Larry, I admit it. I was wrong.
Teddy the cat got into the carrier just fine. We got the boys, the cat, and all of our stuff loaded into the van without a hitch. Then, the van started moving. The cat was not happy.
In about three seconds flat, he stuck his nose through one of the air holes and hooked his teeth around the edge and pulled. Once the hole was started, our own little Psycho Ninja Cat broke through the side in no time. I was able to catch him as he exited and bring him up onto my lap. Forcing this way through the little hole had broken open his wound again, which led to me driving 50 mph down our road, holding a bleeding, freaked out, shedding cat just as I entered a construction zone.
Good thing I can tune out the kids' screams, or that would have put me right over the edge and possibly into a ditch.
I drove, one hand on the steering wheel, one hand holding the cat as his claws dug into me for dear life and thought, "well, what in the world do I do now?!?"
The carrier was shot. There was no way to keep the cat in there anymore. I didn't have another cat carrier at home, and I needed to get him to the vet.
So I simply let go of the cat.
He ran out of my lap, frantically sized up the two back rows of giggling, screaming boys and shot over the back bench seat to the rear storage area. And there he rode till we got to the vet, me having visuals of getting rear ended, either killing or mortally wounding the already wounded cat, and having him shoot out of the back of the busted up van only to be hit by a passing semi.
Yes, I have a crazy imagination.
I headed to the vet's office, where I double checked that the cat was still in the back before threatening the boys within an inch of their lives that they needed to stay buckled and in their seats and I went inside. I had more vivid images of telling Emma that we lost her cat the same way her poor cousin lost hers, and having her believe for the rest of her life that vets were evil and could not be trusted. I went inside, where the nice, not-at-all-evil front desk gal (who is also a relative) gave me a real, plastic, sturdy carrier and I went out to put the cat in.
Here's the thing. I couldn't just open the back hatch, or the cat would run. So I had to lean over the backseat into the back area and get him that way. Which would have been fine, except for the fact that that is where we keep the monstrous double stroller, and the poor, freaked out, shedding, bleeding cat had taken refuge deep inside the folded-up storage area of the stroller, and would not come out.
Even when I held the stroller upside down and shook it.
So there I was. Hanging over the backseat of the van, being repeatedly poked in the ribs by a giggling two year old, trying to unhinge a giant stroller to open it up and remove a cat who did not want to be removed, but unable to see where exactly the hingey-thing was located. I finally figured out how to unhook the stroller, and opened it up inside the van. I extracted the cat and shoved him in the carrier, and finally exited the van; sweating, hair a wreck from my morning cat-rescue while hanging upside down, and covered in cat hair.
I looked super hot.
The visit itself was uneventful. The poor cat's neck was shaved and he was injected with Penicillin and I was sent home with a bottle of Amoxicillin with instructions to give it to hm twice a day till it was gone. From there, he needed to heal on his own, but he needed to be kept inside to make sure he didn't roll in anything and make his infection worse.
Not too bad.
We borrowed the vet's carrier and made it home without incident. Giving the cat medicine twice a day has been interesting, and the scratches on my hands are there to prove it. Keeping a mostly outdoor cat indoors with four small children around to open the doors and then stand there, looking dumbfounded while the cat runs out and makes a bee-line for the underside of the holly tree has been a challenge as well. Realizing that our late spring has also led to a late shedding season, meaning that the cat's entire winter coat has been strewn about my couches, bed, floors, and clean laundry pile has been enough for this gal-who-is-allergic-to-cats to finish off several night this week with a nice glass of wine. Cleaning up cat poop off of every floor in the house, as well and trying to find the source of the smell of cat pee because apparently Teddy was protesting the idea of the litter box has been enough for me to want to wring his little bleeding neck. But I haven't.
I'll keep you posted.