Saturday, 16 March 2013

Yorick goes to the Vet

I suppose that for any parent the first kill must be a defining moment  – and for us that was certainly the case! Although I have to say at this point that I feel that the mother of my kitten is taking less of an active interest in his development than I would have liked – anyway - an unashamedly, unabashed, emotional excerpt from my diary -
“Yorick has made his first kill! This was after having closely observed Shadow getting on the outside of a middle sized gecko. So the other day there he was - bless - dismembering a particularly aggressive looking piece of grass which he had both stalked (sorry!) and dragged under the outside seats for the coup de gras (sorry again!). What a mess. Grass seed everywhere, but how we cheered this new right of passage! Shadow, who watched from a distance was suitably po-faced and, I regret to say, I tad disdainful”
Yorick in hunting mode. Well actually Yorick in snail 
kissing mode
But every silver lining has a cloud; for every golden moment there is at least another of supreme embarrassment.

It was a dark and brooding Friday and it fell to me to take the youngster to the vet for his second round of shots. During his previous visit (I was not present) it is alleged that he had managed to get his head through the gaps of the extremely robust cat transporter. The one with titanium hardened bars designed to keep elephants out. We made it to the  surgery without any problems. Clutching the cat carrier in one hand and his dear little medical card in the other:- 

  • Name of Cat - Yorick
  • Breed - DSH (what does that mean? “Foundling” would have been fine.); 
  • Date of Birth  - dunno, some time in October; 
  • Weight - very very light
  • Description - scraggy.

It’s a rather fetching yellow - the card that is - not the cat.

Deluxe Cat Transporter. Titanium bars and bomb-proof floor
As we sat patiently waiting for Barry (the vet) to deal with some random American pedigree dachshund, Yorick started to make agitated "get me the hell out of here you double crossing bastard" sorts of noises and pushed his head through the bars of the cat carrier. Inextricably pushed his head through the bars of the cat carrier. "Barry?" I said in a pitch that barely concealed my sense of panic. Taking in the unfolding drama in an instant and with the benefit of years of intense training he said "Oh dear" in a calm veterinary sort of tone. "Don't worry we'll sort that out in a moment" he enjoined and continued to carry on with the owner of the spoilt brat daschund! 

So there we sat, head through cage while  embarrassment was heaped on further embarrassment as another client arrived in the surgery. The world did a half degree tilt as I noticed that the newcomer was not only another daschund, but this one had two noses. I kid you not. It was a congenitally deformed daschund. Not so much challenged as over supplied in the sniffing department.

Well as you can imagine they had lots in common and lots to talk about. Picture it. The vet cheerfully engaging with an American with a pedigree dachshund safely ensconced in a deluxe go-faster travel hamper with CD plates, and an Asian gentleman with fractured English with a double nosed dachshund sitting vacantly on his lap; and me with a frantic kitten of no previous abode but now with its head firmly and permanently trapped between the bars of its bullet proof kitty carrier.

With a cheerful "Well lets see what we can do about this" from the vet, we ushered ourselves into the thankful privacy of the surgery. While I tried to pacify the rear end, Barry attempted to angle Yoricks' head diagonally to push him back through the bars. Yorick was hugely unimpressed by this manoeuvre. "I think I'll get some pliers," said the vet. "Thank god the kitten does not understand English," I thought, "Don't you worry now young Yorick," I soothed with forced jocularity to the victim - who I could swear muttered - "eF Orff"!

Well the pliers didn't work - elephant resistant titanium bars you see. It would have taken the jaws of life to have widened those bars. So as a last resort (god knows what the last, last resort would have been) it was a soap job. The front end of Yorick was lathered with liquid surgical soap. After much pitiful meowing and screeching, and encouraging and at times exasperated commentary from Barry along the lines of "well it went through this way so it has to go back the same way" ears were flattened and the silly sods' head was finally reunited with the rest of his scrawny little body.

And then he got the injection.

We returned exhausted to the waiting area to the very sympathetic Asian gentleman and a dachshund with 4 nostrils who looked just as vacant as when it had first arrived.

I put the kitten and the cat basket, separately, in the car. I kept the kitten on my lap and drove home. He purred loudly all the way and I wonder what was going through his mind as I was reflecting on the vets’ parting words which were "Well, see you in three weeks time, after Christmas, gosh is it that time already? How time flies", and hoping that in three weeks time the head will have grown large enough not to get ensnared again and that the planned de-knackering procedure can be carried out without undue stress - except for me of course.

On getting home the dogs were of course most curious about this fragrant apparition; this Yorick. "This Yorick?" they said, sniffing suspiciously, "This Yorick, for we knew him?" 

"Na" said Hamlet "Never smelled 'im before."

"Two slightly embarrassed dogs wondering who the
 intruder might be" OR "Meester Yorick ? 
You wanna see heem? Who wants to know?" 
And so a life of discovery continues.

I am hugely pleased to report that Yorick is demonstrating admirable concern for environmental affairs, and is – in the biblical sense always willing to lie with the lion (or is it the bear).
Yorick lying (in a biblical sense) with the lion - 
or more correctly a rather fat and very comatose small dog
For us (well me - to be truthful) it has been a fulfilling journey. I feel that the dogs have benefited from our new family member. If the other two cats have felt threatened or somehow pushed out, had their noses disjointed then so be it – tough shit! I can take their scorn!

My only concern is Jaws – our only remaining goldfish. What is she thinking about this new white furry thing that keeps  . . . what is this new white furry thing that keeps patting . . . is this new white furry thing that keeps patting its . . . . this new white furry thing that keeps patting its paw . . . . new white furry thing that keeps patting its paw against  . . . . . the glass of my world . . . . oophs lost me train of thought again  . . . bugger . . . . .

 . . . . . . with a 3 second recall this contribution could be an awfully long time in coming, but life outside the tank must continue.
Yorick striking up an utterly pointless and one sided 
conversation with a couple of goldfish - or is it one? 

1 comment:

  1. Time you pu this into book form Steve - could be a Christmas stocking winner!


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