Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Our cat Asia doesn't like to visit the vet (created 2011-11-29)

Our cat Asia is like most cats in that she does not like going to the vet. But I underestimated the depths of her feelings.

I took her a couple of weeks ago to get her shots and to look at a loss of appetite and a generally listless disposition. She had an infection, which required some antibiotic treatments. We postponed the shots because she was running a fever. She had enough from that visit to last a lifetime, apparently. So when I went looking for her last week for her appointment, she was so well hidden that I just could not find her. I had to call and reschedule her appointment. She reappeared in the evening and acted as if nothing had happended.

Yesterday, I came home extra early to make sure I could find her and get her to the vet. She was in the bedroom, and I decided to play it cool. I just hung out in the bedroom, lulling her into a false sense of security. She was hiding, but after 10 minutes, she thought she was safe and came out from under the bed. I just played it cool some more and let her wander around a bit. The door to the bedroom was closed, so she couldn't wander too far. After another 10 minutes, she was in the corner of the bedroom and I walked over, trying my best to act normal.

She wasn't fooled. She crouched down low and when I reached down she darted by me and ran under the bed. She gave me a big hiss to let me know her unhappiness at my attempted abduction.

Under the bed, she was out of reach. Everytime I reached under, she shifted to the opposite side of the bed. I went back and forth several times and she always darted just out of reach, hissing each time to emphasize her unhappiness.

I tried stuffing some pillows under the bed to keep her on one side or the other. That didn't work either, as she could slip by whenever I got close. At this point, I started cursing and yelling at her, which didn't help the situation at all. It's not wrong to curse at a cat because they don't understand any human swear words. Besides, she was using a bunch of cat swear words, so we were even.

At one point, she darted behind a bookshelf and I could nab her from above. But I couldn't get a good enough grip to lift her up effectively. I was only able to make my hand a target for several bites and scratches. Then it was back under the bed again.

Now I was really angry. I had to cancel one vet visit and I was not about to cancel again. But as angry as I was, she was angrier and showed it by peeing all over the carpet.

It was time to go nuclear. After blotting up the urine stain, I took the mattress and the box springs off of our bed. This is a queen sized bed, so it was no mean feat. But it was worth it. Hah! Nowhere to hide now, Asia. She tried to sneak between the mattress and box springs, both standing up now on their sides. I pushed the two together on the far end, opened them up at the near end and she was cornered.

I was able to get a good hold on her and she wasn't able to bite or scratch. Or maybe she didn't want to bite or scratch anymore. She hissed a couple of more times just on principle, but didn't struggle too much as I put her in the carrier.

I got to the vet's office 20 minutes late, but they were still able to fit her in. The only bad part was when they took her temperature. If you're a cat, they don't stick the thermometer in your mouth.

We got home and she seemed happy enough as I let her out of her carrier. She's been keeping an eye on me ever since though. Cathy can pick up Asia and cuddle with her, no problem. But Asia keeps her distance from me.

I've got a couple of scratches and bite marks on my right hand, but nothing too serious. I shouldn't let a cat stress me out so much. Even when I was yelling and cussing, I knew that she wasn't being mean. She was just scared.

The problem, of course, is that the only time I pick up Asia is when I am about to do something she doesn't like, such as trimming her back claws (her front claws were gone before we got her) or taking her to the vet. I need to be like Cathy and pick her up regularly just to give her a quick hug or to deliver a special cat treat. I've got a while to get back in Asia's good graces. If she stays healthy, her next vet visit isn't until November 2012.

After all of this, I have to say that I still like cats more than I like dogs.

What now?

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This page was written by Steve Simon and was last modified on 2010-11-03.