Thursday, 29 August 2013
Over the years I’ve owned a number of pets. Mainly dogs, but a fair smattering of moggies too. After a feline absence of nearly seventeen years, Dolly came into our lives last Autumn. She’s a black and white long-haired diva. If Dolly were human, she’d probably be something glamorous, like a pop star, or a super model. In short, she’s gorgeous!
Like all pets, at some point a trip to the vet becomes necessary. I’m not talking about neutering or vaccines. I’m talking about when they get poorly. Last week Dolly went off her food. So I went out and spent a small fortune on chicken and turkey breast, and umpteen slices of breaded ham.
‘Do not touch!’ I slapped Mr V’s wrist as he was about to break into the ham.
‘It’s for the cat.’
‘The cat? But she’s a cat! What’s wrong with her eating cat food?’
‘Because she’s not feeling fab.’
‘She told you this, did she?’
‘Now you’re being silly.’
‘Well I’m sure Dolly won’t mind me pinching a bit of ham.’
‘Dolly might not, but I do. Now leave the ham alone.’
The cat was then presented with a small bowl of chopped fresh meat. Naturally she devoured every last morsel.
‘There’s nothing wrong with that cat!’ declared Mr V. ‘She’s faking!’
The following day I kept Dolly in just to monitor her. She seemed fine, other than declining feline food in favour of ham and chicken.
‘That cat’s got you sussed,’ grumbled Mr V.
Dolly used her litter tray and produced so much wee that at one point I thought I was listening to a horse rather than a cat. At least there was nothing wrong with her bladder. But she didn’t produce a Number Two. I decided to keep her in for a second day but, again, no Number Two. Day Three rolled around and still no Number Two. I telephoned the vet.
‘Yes, you’d better bring Dolly in, Mrs Viggiano.’
So there we were – the vet, me, and Dolly. After pressing her tummy, the vet summed up.
‘You have a constipated cat.’
‘Oh dear. What does she need then?’ I had visions of sprinkling laxative over chopped chicken and ham.
‘I’ll give her an enema.’
In the moments that followed, I was glad I wasn’t Dolly.
After much swearing – the cat, not the vet – Dolly went back into her carrier.
‘Don’t take too long to get home, Mrs Viggiano. The enema will start to work in about thirty minutes.’
In fact, we’d only travelled thirty seconds down the road when the car was filled with a suspicious smell. I was transported back in time to when the children were in nappies, and presented a bowel motion while strapped into a car seat. Inevitably a wail would go up until the infant child was home, topped, tailed, and in a fresh nappy. In this case a wail did go up, but regrettably my cat wasn’t in a nappy.
‘Meow,’ said Dolly plaintively, ‘meowwwwwwww.’
‘We’ll soon be home, darling,’ I soothed, as if I was once again talking to a distressed infant instead of a distressed cat.
Once home I put the cat and her carrier into the utility room and made sure the door was firmly shut. I then ran a warm bath. No, not for me. For the cat. Well sorry, but if you’d seen the state of her fur...no, no, let’s not go there.
The cat was then swaddled with an old towel and dumped in the bath. This was followed by more swearing – the cat and me. I had no idea how tiny Dolly was under all that long fluffy hair. A sparrow with baleful eyes emerged a minute or two later, swore some more as I attempted to towel her dry, then stalked off to vent her frustration on poor old pooch.
Which reminds me. What is it called when a cat wins a dog show? A cat-has-trophy...