Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Angus update, and how not to take two cats to the vet's

Well it's been a year since we welcomed Angus inside and out of his life as a wild kitten living by his wits. That tiny, scared, kitten has morphed into a large, skittish cat who loves having his belly rubbed, but only by family. He has learned to trust us. He loves me, tolerates the girls, and disappears if anyone else comes into the house (with the exception of Arlene, whom he lavishes with offers of his belly to rub, and my mum, whom he'll sit on.)

And about that 'large' part -- when you pick him up, he feels like a fur-covered bowling ball. While he was a small kitty a year ago (see below in comparison with Max):

He is now rather more, um, portly:

All in all, he's settled in well, though the Evil Ninja Assassin Cat has had to change his fighting tactics due to Angus's superior weight. The ENAC will now execute several pouncing maneuvers on Angus instead of engaging in a prolonged wrestling bout that he will lose. It's funny to watch. Definitely a case of old age and treachery being better than youth and skill...0r youth and portliness.

A couple of weeks ago the two cats had to go to the vet's for a check up and their vaccinations. I now have two cats. I only have one cat carrier. "No problem," said the receptionist at the vet's office*, "swing by before your appointment and we'll lend you one." And so I did. As I was leaving, the receptionist gave me this piece of advice: "Put the more difficult one in a carrier first."

She was wrong (or maybe not -- I assumed, wrongly, that Angus would be the difficult one). The advice should have been: "Put the smarter cat in a carrier first."

I came home with the vet's carrier and put it down on the floor of the living room. Then I went down in the basement to get my cat carrier. What I didn't do was to close all the bedroom doors. Angus, attracted by the enticing scents of all the other cats who had ridden in the carrier, followed his nose right inside the carrier. Bingo! I closed the carrier.

Max was sitting on the couch, not far away. He looked at Angus in the carrier. He looked at the empty carrier. Then he looked at me. I could see the comprehension blooming in his eyes.

Instantly, he took off at top speed into my bedroom, under my bed and lay down in the exact centre, where he was out of reach. I had to use a broom to get him to come out from under the bed, and then it was pure craziness as I tried to catch him. All that was missing was the Benny Hill theme music. It took me nearly 15 minutes, and a couple of scratches, before I had him safely in the cat carrier.

So here are your public service announcements for putting multiple cats into multiple carriers:

1. Close off all avenues of escape.

2. Put the smart cat in the carrier first.

3. A little vodka wouldn't go amiss. (For you, not the cats.)

Both cats are healthy, and have been vaccinated.

And Angus? Although he's gotten bigger:

He hasn't really changed all that much.


*I can't say enough nice things about the West Carleton Animal Hospital in Carp. The staff and vets are kind and caring, and the cost of veterinary care is more than reasonable. If you're local, please consider going there.


  1. Och, Angus is a Scottish cat!

  2. Aye, lass, he is indeed.

  3. Do your cats do what mine do - grow about 8 extra legs when faced with a cat carrier so you spend all your time peeling a succession of limbs off the door of the box? And then, once they are in, they secrete superglue from some gland or other which they then use to bond themselves to the back of the box so the vet can't get them out without holding the box upside down and SHAKING!!!!

  4. Lynda - YES! Exactly! We had to shake Angus out of the upside-down carrier. But, have you ever noticed that after all the poking and prodding and weighing and vaccinating, the cats are quite eager to go back in the carrier and away from the vet?

  5. On the scant chance that I'll one day own not one, but two cats, I'll keep this advice in mind. :-)

  6. My sister owned a rescue cat that had been badly abused - it was a positive mousetrap game they had to build in order to get that cat into a carrier. I don't think either of them has ever managed to touch the cat.

  7. Well I guess you named Angus, your beefy cat, correctly :) I laughed reading your description of ENAC's face when he figured it out, I can just see it! When our pup, Asha, doesn't get her way she howls--Aooooohhhhhhh.

  8. Laugh out loud funny!
    But poor kitty...don't we all have a little unsupported flab here and there?

  9. Jen - I'm holding out hope that one day you get a cat. E & G would be ecstatic, and you'd get some good blog mileage out of it.

    Allison - That would be a sight to see.

    SaraJ - That sounds loud. Does Asha not get her way often?

    Finola - Yep. Speaking for myself, I have probably more unsupported flab than is good for me.