Wednesday, 19 March 2008
We took all six cats to the vet - albeit in two shifts - last week for their annual jabs. This is a full-scale operation that takes up most of the day, nearly always proves eventful and gives us the chance to meet geographically diverse animal lovers (do all vets have strong regional accents, or is it just mine?). Shift one featured "the difficult cats" - Shipley, The Bear and the newly demoted Janet, who isn't quite as unfeasibly easygoing as he once was, now he suffers from a heart-murmur and has reached eccentric middle-age - and passed without incident, if you ignore the bit where the the Dutch morning vet bonded with me over having clicky knees (and I do strongly advise you to). The so-called "easy shift" was a little more eventful. The main cause of this was Ralph, who, we explained to the very Irish afternoon vet, had a bit of a worrying scab on his chin, which had been there for three weeks. "It's all right," she said, nonchalantly picking it off. "It was just stuck to his hair." The scab landed on the table in front of Ralph, who, already clearly missing its sweet embrace, leaned over and gobbled it up, then turned to me with a satisfied "Are you proud of me?" smile on his face.
In many ways, Ralph is our most beautiful cat, but he is simultaneously our most fetid. I like to think this makes him a bit rock star-ish - it's unlikely that, even at their prettiest, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones smelled too good - but in truth it just makes him a bit embarrassing to have around other people. I think, in terms of "I can't take you anywhere" humiliation, this latest incident has to be ranked alongside the time he suffered an attack of bumpoo disease in front of the removal men during our last house move and the time he came into the house demanding to have an enormous green leechslug removed from his posterior during a national newspaper photo shoot in my living room.
Anyone else have stories of cats who have disgraced themselves in front of members of the medical profession?