Its that time of year again: the annual vaccinations are due. A breakfast can of turkey just consumed, and now lounging on the bed and grooming his undercarriage, my cat Calvin suspects nothing. I will give him a few more minutes of this, as I finish my delicious cup of coffee and lightly toasted buttered bread with home-made jam, the sunshine streaming through the kitchen window.
“OK, time to go”, I tell Calvin, as I pick him up and carry him down the stairs on my arm, locking the door behind me. As I open the car door, I get a look of “this can’t be good” from my cat, but he sits silently on my lap, as we drive to the shopping center nearby, where the “mobile veterinarians” set up shop in the pet store on Saturdays.
I’m delighted to find parking in front of the pet store, and we walk in the door as I hold Calvin close to my chest and get in line with all the other pet-owners who are waiting to see the veterinarian with their four-footed friends. There is a couple in front of me with a bashful dog – a reindeer chihuahua I am told – and surprisingly completely quiet. Calvin pays him no heed, but his tail gets bushy as he sees two large dogs come up behind us. I ask the owners to please keep some distance, as I can tell Calvin is stressed. A couple of unruly dogs, so this precaution is well advised. One of the workers comes up to me with a mobile device and tells me I need a cat carrier for my cat. But I have already waited 15 minutes in line and last year I held him in my arm just like this, I protest to no avail. A bureaucrat. I ask the reindeer chihuahua owners to please hold my place in line, and walk to the cashier who I remember from yesterday, when we chatted about Calvin’s extensive “vocabulary”, when I bought a new bag of “crunchies”. She is kind enough to lend me a cardboard carrier that she takes down from a shelf. I thank her and we take our place in line once again. I sure didn’t want to come back next week and put my cat through this again. This time the bureaucrat is satisfied as she takes down Calvin’s information and the coupon for his shots. As is to be expected, the rates have gone up again. I’m also glad Calvin is spared having to look at the brutes around him (excluding the reindeer chihuahua). When our turn in line comes, the box is opened and Calvin gets three vaccinations, while sitting perfectly still as the veterinarian administers them. “You have such a good kitty”, I’m told. “Kitty” – an ignoble remark, I ponder. I’m proud of my “tri-lingual” cat’s demeanor today. I return the cardboard box to the girl in the front and thank her, also purchasing a special pouch of “Cats in the Kitchen” and a new collar. Perhaps a cardboard box is a good idea for next year.
We arrive home, and Calvin gets the pouch of “Cats in the Kitchen” which is devoured instantly to erase the memory of this unsolicited extensive visit. I also set out a small bowl of heavy cream, and mix an egg in another bowl. You deserve this my little companion – you did just great today.
Have a blessed Sunday