Positive Vetting

Columbo, reflecting on the meaning of existence

Columbo, reflecting on the meaning of existence

Today I took Columbo to his new vets. I was meaning to do this ages ago but I couldn’t find a convenient time during working hours to do take him there. Usually he hates going to the vets and adding in the fact that this was an entirely new place for him I was quite nervous about him getting a bit stressed.

As it turned out he was very perky this morning and I got him into his box quite easily (which makes a change). I turned up right on time at the vets for his 9am appointment and introduced him to the staff in reception. As always they remarked on what a big cat he is and how cute he looks. He has a particularly large head for a cat and he sometimes looks more like a teddy bear than a pussycat.

He’s had a bit of a tough week, especially on Wednesday with Bonfire Night fireworks going off all around my house until after 10pm. From my bedroom window I saw for free a magnificent display going on in Victoria Park which was very much better than the one I paid to see on Saturday. I kept Columbo indoors all evening, and he coped OK with the noise from the fireworks especially when I distracted him with his favourite brush. On the other hand, next door’s small yappy-type dog barked every time there was a significant explosion within earshot producing irritating sounds which neither I nor Columbo appreciated.

Surprisingly he didn’t look at all miserable in the vet’s reception and when I took him through to the consulting room he sat upright on the examining table with his ears pricked.  At other vets he usually moped around and tried to hide, which is a difficult task given his size.  This time he was quite comfortable during the quick examination at which he was pronounced fit and healthy.

One thing cats do when they’re nervous is to sweat from their paws (practically the only place they sweat from). Often when I’ve lifted Columbo from the vet’s table, wet pawprints have been left behind. Not this time, though.

The vet then wanted to take a blood sample in order to check his glucose levels. This has previously been the traumatic bit. The vet I saw today, however, had a different approach to all the others. Instead of taking a vial of blood from the throat area, which requires shaving the neck and introducing a needle into the big vein to draw the sample, this vet used a tiny needle to extract the merest dab from one of his ears. He certainly felt it, but it was all over in a flash. His blood glucose came out around 7 which is very good, considering that in stressful situations (like visits to the vets) the level usually rises.

As the vet typed up the notes and made out a prescription for more insulin, Columbo felt comfortable enough to take a little stroll around the room and explore a few of the interesting cupboards. I’ve never seen him so relaxed in such a situation before. I always imagined that the smells of other animals (some of which are in distress) is what affects him when he goes to the vet but although there were other cats waiting in reception, he wasn’t fazed at all.

Last thing was to weigh him. I’ve been trying to control his food to reduce his weight and it seems to be working slowly. This time he was down to about 6.35 kg. Still quite hefty, but heading in the right direction.

So then it was back into the box and out to reception. They had his insulin and needles in stock, present and correct, all ready for collection and, after I’d pocketed the gear, off we went. I was back home by 9.30. I let Columbo out of the box and, his excitement for the day over, he settled down to sleep on the sofa.

One Response to “Positive Vetting”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Nice pic. My father’s phrase for cats in reflective pose (I couldn’t resist that), which he perhaps borrowed from his job as lecturer in modern French literature (my father, not the cat), was “contemplating the feline condition”.

    Here in rural Shropshire I have taken up with a neighbour’s cat who is fed but not let into their house. I clandestinely do the converse, and have all the joy of owning a cat with none of the responsibility. Until I install a catflap I keep my door open on the chain at night. It is a joy living in a small village where that is completely safe.


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