Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Off To The Vet!


The 'kittens', now nearly a year and half old were due for their first year booster shot(s). Technically I could give them their combination shot here at home, but not their rabies. Well, I could also give the rabies shot, but you have no 'official' documentation from a vet in the event they bite someone. I plan to put them on a three year cycle of vaccinations after this booster. I haven't decided on rabies shots, since they are 100 percent house cats. Yearly vaccination of my pets concerns me, and I have done it both ways over the years (yearly and every three years). In any event 'we' needed to get our shots.

In all my brilliance, I decided that it would be 'easier' to take them all at once. In my defense, it is a 72 mile round trip and it's rather difficult to schedule in multiple appointments around work.

Otherwise, what was I thinking.

My 'main concern' was Noah. I was sure he would freak out completely and shred the carrier in his efforts to get out. He does has some issues with being confined (and as all good pet parents, I blame it on his 'seizure disabilities', instead of thinking he might just be a brat). In light of this I found my biggest carrier and designated it for him and Gabe. The medium size carrier would hold Chaco and Verity, and the soft sided stylish carrier would be crammed with Tempe and Trinity. Newspapers and towels went down in the bottoms, and I packed a roll of paper towels, more newspapers, little plastic bags, trash bags,the cats in carriers and myself in the truck. I also had their record book, that while for the cats says 'sales--sheep/wool' on the side.

The kitties were very unsuspecting. They haven't learned about the equation "cat carrier = trip to vet" yet, so they were easy to stuff in the crates.

Once on the road all went well--at first. Gabe took it the hardest, he wailed and yelled and cried and sobbed (okay maybe not sobbed, but it was close). Pleasepleaseplease don't take me away from my home again...... Between his wailing and someone yelling in the back the noise level was high and consistent. But hey, 'we' can cope with that. Noah and Gabe were on the front seat so I could try and intervene if Noah went crazy. Noah didn't go crazy. He laid very quietly....and then very neatly threw up.

Great. I stopped, scooped out the worst and bagged it, put some paper towels over the spot and went on.

Okay. 'We' can cope with that.

A few more miles down the road, and an 'odor' started to permeate the truck. Oh please, please let that just be some one's sewer gas, or perhaps a kitten's gas. By this point I was running very close to being late. There was no way to safely get to the kittens in the carriers in the back floorboard of the I just kept driving, and gagging. By this time Gabe was catatonic (sorry, couldn't resist)--and lay as he had fallen. Head extended, eyes wide and desperate.

Meshach, Sage & Gabe-the old boys don't have clue either as they usually go to the vet in the soft sided carrier.

When I got to the vet, I carried the three loads in, and was able to pinpoint where the stink was coming from....Chaco and Verity's crate.

Luckily I was the only one in the office, so was able to at least pull out stinky and smeared papers so they sat on a 'clean layer'.

In the exam room, we started with Trinity and Tempe. My good girls--no throw up, no poop, no urine. Then it was Verity and Chaco. Poor little poop smeared kitties. I especially felt sorry for Verity, because she is such a little priss. As I pulled them out, I wiped them down with one of the towels I brought. It helped, but not much.

Lastly were Gabe and Noah, and Gabe's nice little surprise. Seems he had pooped too, but he was so overcome with the futility of it all that he just pooped and lay there so it wasn't smeared anywhere. Thankfully I had brought my roll of paper towels and extra newspapers!

The kitties all seemed to check out fine--their weights still range from 13 lbs (Noah) down through Tempe at an even 7 lbs. This vet doesn't usually talk allot, but he asked more questions than he ever had. Were they all out of the same litter? Yes, even though there is a such a difference in size, shape and color. He asked if they all had different personalities. (Yes!) If they all got along (Most of the time). If they were indoor cats. (Yes) Were they all spayed and neutered. (Most definitely--I may be a CCL--but I'm not that crazy!) Then we discussed how many litter boxes I had and what type of litter I used. I was beginning to think he was trying to see if I was indeed a crazy cat lady....

I refused to bring up that I also have two other cats in the house...although, I'm afraid they made the connection themselves....

Then came the moment of truth--paying the bill. That was a big chunk, but we've been putting by for it for awhile. The receptionist (who also happens to be the vet's wife) told me I kept better records of my cats than she had of her kids. I told her I had to, with so many it would be easy to forget or not notice something vital.

So. That was done and the trip home was a little tense (on my part) but uneventful. As each kitty came out of their carrier in the house they were checked over to see if they needed to be de-toxed. Verity and Chaco both got a scrubbing over with a warm washcloth. Fortunately cats are very quick to clean up and by later in the evening, little sewer cat (Verity) was back to her normal squeaky clean self.

Everyone was very glad to be home. I was drained. Gabe was like a big sack of happy glue all night. Wherever I was there he was. Every time I woke up in the night he was plastered to my side, and would squinch his eyes and grin (I swear it looked like a grin to me) at me and purr so loud I couldn't hear anything else. He was home and he was happy.

Next time, I'm taking them in shifts.

Gabe's Promises of Desperation

I won't beat up my sisfurs very much
I won't beat up by brofurs unless they make me
I won't follow Sage and look at him much
I won't jump out at Sage --only a little
I will love my brofur Noah and not steal his treats (unless I have to)
I won't unmake the bed by:
tunneling under the covers and jumping straight up in the air...
repeatedly...until the bed is a Big Mess
I won't get trappeds behind the china cabinet no more
I won't scream sixty zillion times a day every time my 'bean goes near
the treat cabinet
I won't hog the bed at night or bite my 'bean if she tries to move her legs
I will be good even if it kills me.
I will be the bestest cat EVFUR!
The end.

(For those of you who don't remember, Gabe and Noah were given away for a brief six weeks, before their 'new' owner decided she couldn't handle them. I brought them back home then. The adjustment at both places was very hard for Gabe, and I think he was truly happy to be back in his own little world that evening!)


Louise said...

Oh poor Gabe! Those are good promises. Though, I suspect that they will last only until the first time the opportunity comes to break them.

Glad that everybody checked out in good health.

Star said...

I'm glad for you that you've got that all done. My little Patch often poops in the carrier when she goes to the vet. She went in December and she didn't poop this time. That was such a bonus. Now she's good for another year, barring accidents.
I've just back in Tennessee and my American cat was so pleased to see me, it brought the tears to my eyes.

Donna said...

Very funny story. I love Gabe's promises!

Vicki Lane said...

What an ordeal for everyone, not least the CCL!

Vicki Lane said...

What an ordeal for everyone, not least the CCL!

Kathy said...

You deserve a medal, my dear friend! I so remember how it was with Daisy May and her brood and was right there with you as I read the story.
Well done you!
Now, I have a vet who comes to the house, which is so less stressful than taking everyone for a "ride".
We just had a scare with Pixel - she had an extremely high temperature, so "Dr. Bill" put her on antibiotics, only to have her develop an abscessed anal glad two days later! Have you ever tried putting a warm compress on a cat's butt after surgery?
I hope that picture give YOU a chuckle!
Many hugs, Kathy & the Sheep Thrills Mob
and the LeFevre Home for Wayward Cats
in Airy Zona

Nancy K. said...

You have the luckiest cats in the world!

Like Kathy, I have my vet come to the house. I just have him do the cats (and dogs) when he comes out to do something with the sheep! It's cheaper that way too because I don't have to pay for an office visit and am only charged one time for the farm call.

The Frugal Shepherd strikes again!


kristi said...

So much trauma for their 9 lives! I have lots of issues with over vaccations and I worked in a clinic. I have not vaccinated my cats in years. They don't go anywhere even though some of them go outside. I am so glad to know another "cat lady";)

Karen Anne said...

Has the text background changed? I am seeing (well, not seeing :-) black type on a dark green background.

Verde Farm said...

Poor little Gabe-I am sure that was hard on him. I have to say-you are an adventurous woman. I took 3 of my dogs to the vet together once and swore never to do it again. If I lived that far away though--I would have tried it too. Glad all is well :)

Tammy said...

Louise--oh you know cats! The promises didn't last a minute, but his place is secure here anyway.
Star--Poor Patch--they do take it hard when they have to go out into the world. I find it fascinating you also have an 'American' cat. Your life must be very busy.
Thanks Donna!
Vicki--I think the CCL had the most lingering effects from it.
Kathy, good to hear from you! I was thinking about you the other day. I'm very glad that Pixel is okay. Although it sounds like it was a rather messy event...the things we do..
Nancy--good idea with the farm call. Haven't figured out how to work that yet, as the vet I use for the cats is different than my farm vet.
Glad to hear your thoughts on the vaccinations. I've done quite a bit of reading about it and personally have become alarmed at seeing several of my cats (and family cats) die young from cancer and things of that nature. If they live a somewhat isolated life I think the option to vaccinate less is probably wiser in my situation.
Hi Karen Anne,
Yes, I had changed it for a Christmas effect. I've just updated it for winter, so hopefully you'll find it easier to read.
Amy--I took my two dogs a few weeks ago, and it was stressful, but not nearly as hard as the cat drama! I'm like you though---never again!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Like the others suggested, Why not use the Farm Vet for the cats? Or you have faith in your Cat Vet? I actually take my goats in a trailer to the Farm Vet, and he's inexpensive.

The Frugal Shrink said...

Well, well, well!!! I seem to remember a certain auntie chuckling at my poopy-cat-in-a-carrier misery...guess who's chucking now?? ;)