What was I thinking? Bringing two cats to the veterinarian at the same ...
Don't answer that. There was no time for that question …
I was late and there was a problem.
No sooner had I stuffed the winter-widened mound of aged feline into one soft-sided carrier, than the wiry, wiggling strand of kitten flesh had nudged her way out of another.
I followed the scamper of little feet down the hall and under the corner cabinet.
Darn it all to heck!
Of course, I didn't mince words.
I didn't have time. I had to haul a caterwauling kitten out from under a china cabinet, stuff her into a make-shift cat carrier and schlep her into the car. Careful to place her far away from the growling cat who has, thus far, been her nemesis.
But I was getting ahead of myself. First things first.
I patted the floor underneath the cabinet, and, to my surprise, out she came, covered in fluff and dust bunnies.
A five-minute car ride later – a ride filled with the howls and growls of my two, non-traveling companions – we arrived at the veterinarian's office.
I struggle up the stairs with my lopsided luggage. Ariel, the canned ham of a cat, weighing down one bag, while Mittens, superfly kitten, floated around in another.
They were all waiting for me ...
The vet. The technicians. Even the office pet, a paraplegic cat that goes by the name of “Hope.”
“Go right into Exam Room One,” said the smiling woman, flapping the wings of a crisp, new manilla folder. “Mittens is the new one, right?” she asked as she stole a peek into the bag hoping to catch some of the magic that we believe encircles all baby animals.
“What a sweetie,” she exclaimed.
“Oh … you just wait. …” I sneered under my breath. “She had us fooled, too.”
Hope had heard me. As she quickly dragged herself in the other direction, I could tell she knew what mayhem I carried under each arm.
It wouldn't be long before the tiny terror was unleashed.
“I'll take Mittens,” said the nice lady, grasping the handles of the bag and whisking the kitten away to the lab located just behind a Levolor door. I put Ariel's bag on the stainless exam table, unzipped it, and waited.
A long hiss came from behind the door, followed by a deep, wet roar that went on for longer than a natural breath. And again. And again. Ariel and I both stiffened at the sound of it.
I couldn't picture our tiny cat making a noise that big.
There was scuffling and the low murmur of voices. I held my breath. Ariel's ears pricked forward. I could hear the team regrouping.
Even bigger cat noises followed.
The door opened and our tiny kitten was marched in at arm's length by the scruff of her neck.
“She's a firecracker this one,” said the woman at the end of the cat, miraculously still smiling. “Though, I think you might consider changing kitten's name from Mittens to Boxing Glove.”
“She is a firecracker,” echoed the vet, stepping into the room, bearing good news. “Everything's negative.”
The doctor even downplayed the attempted disembowelment we had overheard from the other side of the door.
“There is an age where young cats can be feisty,” he explained with patented calm. “We might have just gotten her right at that age,” he adds with a shrug.
Ariel started to growl as the woman approached the table with the kitten, who was wide-eyed but now purring.
“Don't worry, Ariel. It's all over. Your friend is fine,” said the woman soothingly.
“I'm not sure she was worried about the kitten ... My guess is Ariel was rooting for the Vet.”