I have two cats – Paddy who is 16 years old and Fluffy who is 4. Paddy has been a very unlucky cat. He was run over when he was one year old. The car hit him on the front part of his body, breaking his front leg and knocking his teeth out. After that it was just downhill. He was attacked by a fox, then magpies (which almost pecked his eye out), involved in four fights, all of them resulting in abscessed bites and one resulting in a bone infection. This was followed by a tumor, a really bad eye infection and then the doozy, being knocked over a second time which smashed his hind legs and caused kidney failure. After this he became an inside cat where he was happy and spoiled and had Fluffy to play with. He has been an inside cat for about five years now. He really wanted to go out in the beginning but now he is used to it and is quite happy to live inside all the time.
However all of this ended up with him having to be carted to the vet almost 30 times and hating the vet to the point that he started to panic if he just saw his cat box or a taxi. When he was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid about four years ago we were told that he would not cope with journeys to the vet anymore. He became so stressed that it was impossible to examine his heart and lungs and he was at risk of a heart attack.
So, we found a vet that did house calls. She is a wonderful woman and he loves her. She comes to see him every six weeks. She has this amazing contraption that she puts him in. It looks just like a handbag but has Velcro-flapped holes for each extremity. There is a hole for the tail and a cutout on the hindquarter area. You just pop the cat in, fasten the collar and voila! You can get at every limb, take temperature, given injections and carry them. They cannot struggle but it is calming because the owner can hold them. She shaves his leg, takes blood and just like that it is done in about two minutes and he is free to go back to what he was doing – usually eating or sleeping!
There are about four weeks to go until his next blood test but, unlike before, I don’t dread it and don’t worry that Pads is going to kick the bucket on the way to the vet. Once it is over he can amble off to the kitchen for a snack and jump onto his bed for a nap instead of having to sit in a car for the 45 minute trip back home.
While she was here the vet also examined Fluffy and said she had never in all her life seen a cat with such a fat tail! I felt strangely proud!