One minute, you’re without a care in the world. Then…
Gris Gris and Odin were due for check-ups and rabies shots. It’s always a joy hearing Dr. G. pull up in the driveway in his mobile clinic but this time required some planning. Every time we even mention v-e-t, Gris Gris goes into hiding. Heaven knows what past traumas he’s experienced at another vet’s hands. Gris Gris is slippery as Houdini disguised as an eel. I decided a few minutes before the appointment to place Gris Gris in a carrier and had a pact with hubby not to even think or say anything about v-e-t-s. Odin, of course had to nose about.
Dr. Goldstein allowed Gris Gris to roam and explore for the clinic for a minute. It calmed him down and the rest of the visit was a breeze.
We’d suggested when we first met Dr. G. to use a yoga mat to prevent the usual slipping and sliding on a stainless steel surface. According to noted animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, animals dislike and are stressed by the sensation. I was happy to see Dr. G’s latest mat and Gris Gris stayed put for an easier exam. He wasn’t crazy about the ear exam. A large nodule, I’d never noticed inside the pinna had formed from ear mites long ago. GG easily allowed blood to be drawn and amazingly stayed calm while his nails were trimmed. Always thin, GG has lost weight which concerns us. Dr. G. won’t speculate but said, he seemed very good for his age.
Many vets don’t like pet parents to watch an exam, but I believe we can learn more about our pets by being there observing, asking questions. If we stay calm, our presence is an added comfort.
In fact, GG turned out to be a better patient than Odin. Dr. G is off to a veterinary conference in Las Vegas but suggested GG be the model for the 5 minute exam video for pet parents.
Odin was carried straight from the house and into the clinic but his tail immediately puffed up from fear and excitement. He wanted out. To calm him down, Dr. G. let him roam around. It worked.
He didn’t like the rectal exam but was a trooper for the rest. We’ll know the results of the blood work and fecal sample in a few days.
“You’re a nice v-e-t but good riddance,” Gris Gris said, relieved for the visit to be over. “Enjoy Las Vegas.” He rolled around in a straw patch, licking and rubbing off all remains of “vet-smell”.
If you’ve ever wondered what your cat would really like to do after leaving the vet’s office; it’s to run and remove all traces of the foreign sensory experience. All of a cat’s senses are highly developed. Think how their senses of sight, hearing and smell alone would be impacted in a bright, noisy vet clinic bombarded with scents we can’t even detect, let alone the sharp smell of alcohol.
We’re safely tucked away on private property and let both Gris Gris and Odin do what they wanted after the visit. They bolted, bats out of hell but stayed nearby to keep on eye on the truck until it disappeared. Not only did we have any “vet-smell’ issues with the others, GG and Odin napped together later (a rarity) perhaps their mutual experience added a bond.
Merlin sniffed the balmy 50+ degrees air with pleasure and Domino kept a close eye on the truck. Dr. G. thought he was getting portly. That conversation would have to wait for another day.
I breathed a sigh of relief. No cramming cats into carriers. No carrying carriers into cars. No driving home. No stress. Veterinary care is one thing I don’t want to gamble on.