Poor Toby, this morning dawned like any other day ("God, when will they get up and get me my tuna???"). He had no idea that this day would bring his worst nightmare to reality: his annual trip to the vet. There is so much to hate about that annual half-hour of his life that Toby hardly knows where to begin.
First there was the indignity of the cat carrier. Toby had never actually been in a cat carrier before, every other vet trip had involved an unwilling child to accompany us, but this time I had been able to acquire a carrier for the express purpose of managing by myself. Toby was deeply suspicious of the cat carrier, (with good cause, as it turned out) and would have preferred a long, slow, thorough examination before getting in, but I had other ideas, and Toby was deposited rather unceremoniously. His look of deep disappointment spoke volumes of his knowledge that he always knew I would turn on him eventually.
Then we had to get in the car. Toby hates the car. Loathes the car. Is repulsed by the car. Except when it is coming in the driveway, and he runs up to greet it and has to be physically removed from harm's way. But getting in the car? Not to be borne. Toby views the car the same way he does the vacuum cleaner: it is large and noisy and mobile, and it is very likely to dismember you in the blink of an eye; run away. In the car, Toby let out a series of very loud, desperate and altogether bone-chilling meows that were equally pitiful and hilarious. I tried talking to him to calm him down, I even sang a few verses of "Sexy Cat", but he would not be comforted, and nearly herniated himself vocalizing his intense desire to get. out. of. this. damn. car.
When we got to the vet, he decided that the cat carrier was not such a bad place after all, and refused to get out. After a bit of gentle persuasion (involving the vet's assistant and a steely grip on his legs. The cat's, not the assistant's) Toby came out onto the examination table, whereby he proceeded to make himself as teeny-tiny as felinely possible. Honestly, he was so compact you could have put all 12.5 pounds of him in your pocket.
I'll skip over the humiliation of the vet's exam, but Toby occasionally sent me such malevolent looks that I was glad he couldn't reach the big knives, and didn't have opposible thumbs.
After the exam, which went pretty well, all things considered, he resumed his hatred of the cat carrier (probably because the last time he got in that thing, it took him right into the car.) and I had to pretty much had to don oven mitts and a haz-mat suit to get him in. But I am more stubborn than he is, (and I outweigh him by 130 pounds) and so, in he went.
The car ride home was just as fraught with yowls and squawks of protest, and I was very happy that the vet is only a two minute drive from our house. When we got home, I opened the cat carrier and Toby leaped out, only to pause to look at me over his shoulder with the deepest loathing before sitting down to lick all the vet stink off his fur. I reminded him that, not only did I do this for his own good, I paid a hundred bucks for the privilege, and perhaps he could dial down the hatred a mite. But then I remembered that he had a thermometer stuck up his bum, so maybe a little animosity wasn't completely out of the question. (I did remind him that is was not me who stuck the thermometer up his bum, but he didn't seem to think that relevant. I was in the room, wasn't I?)
And then I gave him tuna for being such a good boy, and he loved me all over again. Just 364 more days until we do it again.