Today was the day all cat owners dread - the annual trip to the vet. My cat, Ernie is a shy guy. He doesn't like people very much, and I suspect he only tolerates me because I am the purveyor of kibble. And I'm who he meowls at when something isn't being held to his usual standards. He also continuously vacillates between two modes. The first is what I have dubbed the "I love you" phase. He wants to cuddle, follows me everywhere, purrs, head-boops, and lays on my feet. The second is what I affectionately refer to as the "F-You" phase. He won't look at me, touch me, or otherwise acknowledge my presence. Very much like the last guy I dated. They got along really well, actually. It should have tipped me off. Anyway, whenever I have to crate him up we play the how-many-times-can-I-make-her-chase-me-around-the-couch-before-I-run-into-the-only-room-left-open-and-pee-myself-after-she-picks-me-up-so-she-has-to-change-her-shirt game. It's great fun. He was then settled into the back of my car where he starts making sounds that are reminiscent of the soundtrack from Poltergeist. He's available for hire, if anyone from Hollywood is interested. We finally get to the vet and the FedEx guy starts giving me crap about the Philadelphia Eagles t-shirt I grabbed to throw on after the unfortunate crating incident. I held up the crate with my yowling cat and said, "Bring it on, dude. Bring it on."
Even my cat is a clearance aisle item. My friend and former roommate, Vanessa found Ernie in a dumpster when he was a teeny-tiny kitten. His eyes weren't even open yet. She had worked in a vet clinic, and knew how to raise him and his siblings. She called me one day, begging me to take one. He melted my heart when they came to visit, so I agreed to keep him. Vanessa has had lots of animals over the years, which is where I learned about fainter goats. Apparently there are goats that fall over with their legs all stiff when they are frightened, so they are referred to as fainters. Ernie is a fainter cat. Every time we go to the vet his one-and-only defense is to play dead. One time, he spread all four legs apart and tried to flatten himself out as if he was trying to sink into the table. It's quite brilliant, actually. He got his check-up, shots, and a few chin-scratches from the vet. He also tubbed up to a full 15.4 pounds, so the aforementioned kibble is going to have to be scaled-back.
At the reception desk, the office assistant asked me if there was anyone else I wanted on his medical release form. I'm sure that I made my incredulous face as I asked, "Excuse me?" She informed me that they had medical release forms for every animal at the clinic, and wanted to know if there was anyone else that I wanted to grant access to his medical information. Several questions popped into my mind immediately. Have we as a society come to the point where we have to have a HIPPA agreement for our pets? Exactly how are people abusing pet medical information? Are people using their pet records in hostile divorce proceedings? Are judges deciding pet custody cases? Who would I give Ernie to in an emergency? Should I get him some godparents? Update my will? Power of attorney? I quickly snapped out of it and stated, "Nope. It's just me and Ernie." I didn't mean for it to sound as sad as it did. She gave me the sympathy face and said, "That's ok, it's just me and my dog." I told her I was going to race home and sign us both up for Match.com. I called my mom to relate the events of the morning, when she came up with an idea that is nothing short of brilliant. There are all of those specialty, niche-market dating sites for every faith, shape, size, and inclination. There's even one especially for farmers. That's not a joke. My mother had the amazing idea to start one for crazy cat ladies. So, look for a crazy-cat-lady dating site to be the hottest thing on the interwebs. You heard it here first, folks.
Ernie likes to "help" while I'm writing.
This is definitely during an "I love you" phase.