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.