And The Vet Said, Perhaps Tiger Would Be Happier With a Different Vet. . .
I loved my cat Tiger desperately—and so did all the lady cats in our neighborhood, right under the bushes in the front of our house. By the time he was two, there were many little yellow tiger cats running around our neighborhood. We don’t know that they were all from Tiger, but we had our suspicions.
Mom decided one day that it was time to take Tiger to the vet to have his romancing capabilities curtailed. I didn’t really understand what that meant, but mom explained and I wanted to hide Tiger away so they couldn’t do anything like that to him. I was 12 by then and understood the facts of life, but still it seemed awful!
The day came for Tiger’s trip to the vet. He didn’t handle riding in a car well at all. Those were before the days of carrying cages and stuff. If he got loose, he would run frantically back and forth in the Plymouth station wagon, peeing from one end to the other. Naturally, this was not popular with my mom. So we would wrap him up in heavy quilts, mostly to avoid the frantic claws trying to get loose.
We got him there without too many problems, but as soon as we got him into the vet’s office he let up a yowl. He knew this was the place where they poked you and stuck things up your rear end and he sure didn’t like that. Of course, had he known what was coming, he might have been glad to offer the vet his rear end.
They took him away and told us we could pick him up the next afternoon. I watched him go away peacefully in the assistants’ arms and a tear rolled down my face. My mom took me out for ice cream and explained yet again that this really was the best thing for Tiger, how his life would be better, etc. I wanted to believe her, I did, but it just didn’t seem right.
The next afternoon we went back to get Tiger. The vet told us he had done well, and that he would need to come back in 5 days for the stitches to be removed. He was a very subdued cat on the trip home, and we just assumed he wasn’t feeling very frisky.
When we got home, he got out of the car and walked right up to the house, didn’t even pause at the bushes like he would have before. My mom started talking about how much things were better already and what a good thing this was for him.
Inside the house, we all settled down in the living room. Tiger went and ate a little and paid a trip to the litter box. He came into the living room sat on the living room floor and with his paw, he started exploring and it didn’t take my smart kitty anytime at all to realize that something was different!
His paw was frantically patting the area where the stitches were, and he wasn’t finding what he was looking for. He laid his ears back and stared at my mom. It made her a little uncomfortable, I could tell. He KNEW!
He did seem to recover quickly and on the fifth day we took him back to the vet. He was actually pretty docile, which was unusual, but we were thankful that the ride to the vet wasn’t as frantic as it usually was. Inside the office though he started grumbling, that low growl that cat’s sometimes do when they are really unhappy.
We got into the examination room and the assistant looked him over quickly, scratched him behind his ears and said he looked great, but that the vet would be in soon. We waited for him and I was standing by Tiger, who was still upset and sort of shivering, hair standing straight up on his back.
Finally, the vet walked in, and for the next few minutes chaos and destruction reigned. Tiger, spotting him coming into the room leapt from the table and attached himself firmly to the doctor’s leg. He then proceeded to climb the vets’ leg, using all his claws, slowly until he got to the vets crotch.
Both front paws grabbed the vet and his teeth sank in, deeply. I remember the red staining through the vets white slacks, at first just little specks, then bolder spots.
I had the bad behavior to laugh and the vet was screaming “get him off” and my mom was yelling at me “get him off” and I was laughing. Hard, very hard! I can understand it from my mom’s point of view now—was she supposed to try to open that cat’s mouth and get it off the vets business or what? She probably remembered how he had looked at her the first day back and thought she might be next.
I finally went and pried Tiger’s mouth off of the vet’s genitals, still laughing too hard to be embarrassed at the situation of tearing and crushed flesh. But I did get him off, and the doctor backed away cautiously.
“Mrs. K, perhaps Tiger would be happier with another vet. . .”