Never Try to Stuff a Cat into a Box Before You’ve Had Your Morning Coffee

Posted: June 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

I learned two valuable life’s lessons this week. 1) What doesn’t kill you can still make you bleed and 2) Never try to stuff a cat into a box before you’ve had your morning coffee.

Coincidentally I learned both lessons at exactly the same instant the other morning as I tried to stuff my cat into a box. Now, before you call the ASPCA to turn me in, I am not some kind of sociopathic serial cat killer…although I admit the thought crossed my mind this morning. No, I was fulfilling my obligations as a responsible pet owner and getting my cat ready for a trip to the vet for his semi-annual checkup. I’m not sure why I do this, the cats I toss outside and leave to their own devices live forever. The ones I diligently deliver to the vet every six months die early—probably from the stress of getting stuffed in a box twice a year. None-the-less, there I was stuffing him in the box… and there he was flailing away like some feline Freddy Krueger.

My involvement in the whole cat-astrophe was quite accidental.  I was coming downstairs and saw my daughter trying to coax him, with no success, into the cat carrier. As I believe I mentioned, I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet. I try to avoid making major decisions before my first cup of coffee. If I were president of the United States I would advise you not to give me the briefcase with the nuclear launch codes until at least 10am. But in my semi-dazed morning state I forgot all about the coffee rule and got involved with the cat-in-the-box incident.

Being the only two guys in a house full of women I thought I had some sort of understanding with Ollie (that’s the cat’s name. I originally named him “Damn Nate” in honor of the neighborhood kid who brought him to our house because his mother wouldn’t let him have a cat). Anyway I thought we had some kind of understanding…a “bro’s before ho’s” thing. But confronting the abyss of the cat carrier Ollie obviously had some other kind of understanding involving razor sharp teeth and claws.

Later, as I recounted this story in the ER, I received all kinds of helpful suggestions from friends, emergency medical workers and next of kin. One well-meaning non-cat owner suggested I hold the cat tightly and “pour him into the carrier butt first”.  At the moment I tried to “pour” Ollie into the cat carrier he had no butt. He had no head. He was nothing but a writhing, flailing, buzz saw of claws, fangs and fur. You’ll have to trust me on this one.

In the end, needless to say, I prevailed. I do after all possess superior intelligence and opposable thumbs…well, at least one until the other one heals. Ollie, trundled up like Hannibal Lechter made his vet’s appointment, where it is my sincere hope he developed a hatred of the vet far worse than the one he developed of me. I’m just not sure though. He keeps staring at me with that look he reserves for the fish in our Koi pond. Or maybe that’s just my imagination.

I am after all a little light headed from loss of blood.


  1. That is one of the funniest and well written true events I have read in quite some tIme…bravo and I am clapping with one hand to salute you…

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen Clark and Nancy, Alicia Smith. Alicia Smith said: I learned this rule ages ago.RT @sclarkwxyz: Never Try to Stuff a Cat into a Box Before You've Had Your Morning Coffee: […]

  3. I highly recommend laundry baskets. Get the cat onto a large piece of cardboard, slap a laundry basket down over the cat, and then slowly flip the whole thing over. That’s how I did it when I was a kid at least.

    I have no idea why I was on cat entrapment duty, maybe my parents were just really smart.

  4. I feel your pain! My cat HATES going to vet. It used to be a huge ordeal to try to get him into the cat carrier. The old one used to have an opening in the front, and we had to try to stuff/shove him in. Then we got smart and bought a carrier that opens from the top, so now we just plop him in and he has less opportunities to sprawl out his legs and avoid getting put in the carrier. My fiance had scratches all over his arms when we used the old carrier. Vet time is not fun in our house!

  5. turbobrown says:

    I laughed out loud at the part about Ollie’s original name and the back story. Good stuff!

  6. melissa says:

    i have 5 cats. i’ve had to cancel vet appointments because i wasn’t able to catch whichever one was supposed to be seen on that particular day.
    my puppy. he might be worse than a cat. he knows when he is going to be put in his cage and he’ll hide under my bed, directly in the middle. so, whichever side i approach from, he slinks to the other side. to the point where i give up, leave him to roam freely around the house…un-potty trained.
    nice mess i come home to.

  7. Dani G says:

    I totally get it. I have no idea how I ever got two cats into carriers and under my seat on that day 8 years ago when I moved from Los Angeles to Metro D. At one point about halfway through the flight, the girl kitty gout out and she was MAD. My husband shoved a tranquilizer down her throat and the rest of the flight was smooth.

    This story, by the way, is why we started using an awesome vet in W Bloomfield with a House Call Practice: Vet House Calls. The best!!

  8. Sara says:

    That’s why you get a dog…strap a leash on, take some treats and off you go!

  9. DaveMurr says:

    Cats are awesome. Let me know if you need some one-on-one-cat-in-the-box consulting. Took two cats to the vet yesterday and almost came home w/ a kitten who just wanted to be in the box.

    Lure them with false promises of freedom and nine-lives.

  10. Hahaha. I have two cats, one of whom is declawed and she’s the only one who regularly gets to see the vet. The other, we figure if we can keep one of them healthy, the other will be too. The devil cat (AKA: Lilith) knows the sound of her carrier coming out of the closet and will take off like a shot if she hears it. She cowers at the middle of the bed and no matter what you do, she treats your hand like an invader if it gets under the couch.

  11. janice says:

    I had a cat like that. I would toss a huge beach towel over him and throw the whole thing in the carrier, by the time we got to the vet, he had extricated himself from the whole mess.

  12. jamiefavreau says:

    “Bro’s before Ho’s” Nuff said. I cracked up when you wrote that!

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