Last week we took the kittyboys to the vet for the first time. Well, it was our first time of taking them. Obviously, they had both seen a vet before at least twice. Once when they were scooped up in the feral kitty neutering round up (and then set free again) and the second time when they were captured once more and taken to the shelter. So it's not like the concept was entirely unfamiliar to them.
But since Tim and I had never experienced a vet visit with these two particular cats before, we just weren't sure how it was going to go.
Shortly after we brought the boys home to live with us, we hunted around to find a local vet for them, the same way when Tim and I moved some place new we would find doctors for us. We did some online research and asked around too. We ended up choosing a vet whose office is right here, on island who had great reviews. When I called to ask them if they were taking new patients, they suggested a "well patient" visit which is also how it usually works with people.
Since both Brysco and Wyatt were a little traumatized by their early lives, we wanted to take particular care to make the experience as easy as possible for all of us! So we really thought this through. Joy made the excellent suggestion that perhaps a few days prior to the appointment we get out the carriers and leave them open for the kitties to check out. Tim took it a step further and decided to bring out the carriers at the same time as the Christmas decorations, so it was not a whole separate new thing. We left the carriers on the floor, near the tree, wide open for inspection.
To our great surprise, we often found them napping or just resting in their little "houses". Awesome! These carriers are obviously kitty approved.
As the day of the appointment drew near, I think our biggest concern was Wyatt. Of the two he would certainly be voted, most spicey kitty. Even now, two months after adoption, he still does not like to be picked up and definitely still has "no touchy!" moments. I kept thinking, what happens if he behaves so badly that the vet cannot deal with him. Would we get fired as patients? Would the staff have to don protective garments to care for him? Should I sign us all up now for post-appointment transfusions?
Friday arrived and I played with the boys extra hard trying to wear them out. We got smart and closed as many doors in the house as possible, thus limiting the number of possible hiding places. When it was time to start loading us all up, to my surprise, Wyatt was already napping in the carrier so it was just a matter of zipping the door closed. Whew! That was a bit of luck.
Brysco on the other hand, who witnessed the zipping, had to be captured and stuffed into the carrier whereupon he freaked out! That was a surprise. Really didn't expect it of sweet, easy going Brysco! First it was just crying. The most plaintive, tragic, dramatic kitty cries you ever heard. I picked up both carriers, softly talking, reassuringly (I hoped) to them both and walked toward the front door. I had to set the carriers down a moment while Tim put on his shoes and grab his keys and wallet. Meanwhile Wyatt quietly watched out the mesh sides on the carrier. Brysco tossed and turned and thumped around so hard that he knocked the carrier (and therefore himself) on it's side. Oh dear. I righted him and we all headed outside.
We buckled them into the backseat and ourselves into the front seat and set off. It was a blessedly short drive as we were serenaded the entire drive. Tim drove, I tried to comfort and Brysco attempted to dig his way out of his carrier while Wyatt watched with great interest. (most likely in case Brysco was successful at breaking out). Oh my! Where did our gentle Bryso disappear to? Geez Brysco!
Luckily, we were whisked into the exam room straight away and told to let the boys out. All we had to do was unzip and Brysco was off like a shot. He prowled around the room like a crime scene detective. Wyatt, meanwhile, had to be physically removed from the carrier and set on the exam table.
The vet tech, wisely, allowed them a few moments to re-orient themselves to a new environment. While Tim filled out some paperwork, Brysco showed off his athleticism by jumping back and forth repeatedly from the exam table to the countertop. Calm down buddy! Wyatt, on the other hand, found and opened the door to what turned out to be the towel cabinet and climbed inside to hide.
The vet tech did the rudimentary exam on Brysco first. He didn't actually enjoy it of course, but he tolerated it better than expected. Wyatt had to be fished out of the cabinet for his exam and once released went right back to nesting in the towels.
Once the doctor came in, things progressed quickly. He handled them both easily and comfortably, professionally and kindly. All the things that you want of a veterinarian. He proclaimed them both very healthy and told us that we were doing everything right. He also trimmed their nails so quickly and efficiently that they boys barely knew it happened. Goals.
Once it was all over, we loaded those kittyboys back into their carriers Very easily. Once again, Brysco was the opera singer on the way back and, like before, he thrashed around inside his carrier like a fish on a line. Once we opened the carriers to let them out, silence reigned again. They looked around, in surprise. They were back home! We gave them treats and pets and they took reallllly long naps.
By evening, they were back to playing under the Christmas tree so I suppose any residual vet visit trauma was negligible. Brysco was back to being his sweetiepie self and Wyatt was a little more trusting, a little warmer than before. Hmmm interesting.
Maybe all the drama was because they thought they were leaving us and didn't want to go? That's flattering :) At any rate, they now know for sure, that this is their home, we are their people, and everybody is staying put. Brysco and Wyatt quickly and fully recovered.
Tim and I, on the other hand, were exhausted and relieved that it went much better than we feared.
First vet visit - check!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.