Two of our pets needed to go to the veterinarian for checkups this morning. I have no idea how single people (or families of less than four members, for that matter) manage to get animals to the vet, because in our household, it took all of us to get them on their way. The process reminded me of rodeo calf-roping, or tag-team wrestling, or both.
The players: Lily (dog going to vet); Troy (dog staying home); Myra (cat going to vet); me, husband, daughter, son.
Husband lures Troy inside, so she won’t try to get in the car later. (Dogs love to go to the vet — or anywhere else, as long as they get to go for a ride in the car.)
Husband brings the cat carrier up from the basement. All 3 cats immediately go into a defensive, suspicious posture.
I go and get a towel to wrap Myra in, to help protect us from her claws and slow her down long enough to close the carrier once we get her into it.
Son, who is closest to Myra, picks her up. I put the cat carrier on the kitchen table, and my son brings the cat over, at which point she twists her way out of his arms. Husband grabs the cat’s leg; she pulls away. Daughter grabs the cat’s back; the cat struggles free, leaps from the table, and zooms into the living room.
Husband grabs Myra by the scruff of the neck as she hunkers down by the couch, and hoists her up and into the towel I’m holding out. I swaddle the unhappy, kicking cat like a baby.
I walk back into the kitchen, carrying the cat. Troy, who is now completely caught up in the excitement, walks directly in front of my feet the entire way, doing her best to trip me.
Daughter opens the carrier wide, and I deposit the swaddled cat’s front end. (The carrier is cardboard and opens from the top, as shown in the picture.) Daughter holds down that part of the cat while I push the rear portion into the carrier.
Daughter keeps one hand on the cat (Myra is still wrapped up, but struggling) while both of us push the box’s large flaps together. She then removes her hand, and we swiftly push the locking flaps into place — and just in time, as Myra manages to get part of herself free from the towel and tries to push out through the last small opening. I put up both hands like a successful rodeo roper. Myra begins to yowl angrily.
Husband holds Troy’s collar in preparation for exit. (Troy, a largish black lab, has demonstrated mastery of shoving past multiple people and getting out doors that are open only a couple of inches.)
Son goes out, followed by daughter, who has the cat carrier. I take hold of Troy’s collar, my husband lets go, and he escapes out the door as she pulls me along. Door closed — success!
Outside, Lily happily gets into the car. Such trips would be easy if our pet quota consisted of one dog; but we have a menagerie, so every vet visit is an adventure — and an exercise in family teamwork!