|Doesn't he look like a sweet cat?|
It seems that many of you are animal people. That’s at least part of why I like you. I’m hoping (because misery loves company, right?) that at least some of you will tell me I’m not the only person with a cat who carries on like a demon spat straight from the very depths of hell at the vet.
I know cats don’t care for the vet. I get it. Cats tend to be somewhat contrary. They aren’t like dogs. Our praise means little to nothing (sometimes less) to them. If they’re unhappy they want us to know it. I get it.
That being said, I can’t help but think that our cat Milo is an extreme case. We’ve found only one vet (fortunately we like her and she’s a good vet) who will see Milo and actually do anything other than quake in fear before the wrath of Milo.
He’s terrible at the vet; he growls and hisses from the moment we walk in the door until the moment we walk out the door. He bites and scratches. He latches onto fingers/hands/arms with his claws and drags them to his mouth to bite. He clamps down and doesn’t let go. Giving Milo an injection is a four person operation; the vet to administer the injection and three of us to hold him down.
We’ve tried various things to make his vet visits less traumatic for everyone; they plug in a Feliway diffuser hours before we come, we give him treats in the carrier, we put nice soft blankets and/or an article of clothing that I’ve worn (I’m his person) in the carrier, and we all speak in soft, soothing tones. The vet’s office also schedules his appointments so that we spend as little time waiting as possible. I’m not entirely sure if this is just to give Milo less time to get worked up, or if it’s also to keep from frightening other people and animals waiting in the lobby.
Yesterday morning Milo had an appointment for a skin problem. I took him in the nice big carrier, padded with a blanket and the t-shirt I slept in the night before. He rode in the passenger seat with me reaching in to gently pet him on the way. We sat in our little corner of the waiting room and were taken to the Feliway scented exam room almost immediately.
A clear plan of action (there are probably military operations performed with less planning than goes into opening Milo’s carrier) was in place before the door to the carrier was opened because Milo has a history of coming out swinging. Yesterday he outdid himself. He shot out of the carrier and grabbed the nearest vet tech. He left her with a nasty scratch on her hand that bled all over the place. He escaped our grip twice and screamed as though we were skinning him alive when he got his shot. Everyone in the room, except Milo, was bleeding by the time it was over. The furniture was knocked over and there were blood spatters on the floor. All from giving one cat a shot.
I worry about what they think of us there. I can’t help worrying that they think we’re abusive, or at least mean, to Milo at home because he’s so hateful and angry there. I don’t think they believe me when I tell them he’s a sweet kitty at home. It probably helps some that our cat Howard is so good at the vet; he happily bounds out of the carrier purring and rolls over to have his belly rubbed.
I hope Howard earns us some redemption for Milo. I still worry, though, that they suspect us of doing horrible things to cats, or at least to Milo. So please tell me I’m not the only one with a cat like that. Do you have a cat who behaves that way at the vet? Better yet, do you have a solution for dealing with a cat who behaves that way at the vet?