Ever since I was a tiny kitty living in that miserable shelter, I hated going to the vet. All that prodding and poking during an office visit unsettles my usual sense of aloof calm. Then, I must endure awful medicine in my eyes, ears, nose, or mouth for days. After suffering an allergic reaction to antibiotics, I meowed in protest, “No more Vet!” Since then, I have managed to avoid any trip to any kind of animal doctor. Take a few pointers from me on avoiding vet stress.
Resist the Bait
My owner (or my human, as I like to call him), thinks I’m a fool. He pours a few of my favorite kitty treats into my food dish. Immediately, I come a-runnin’ when I hear that delightful sound. As I head around the corner, I spot that dreaded cat carrier, which can only mean one thing – an imminent trip to the vet. Then I see my human sitting a few feet away from my kitty treats.
Stopping dead in my tracks some ten feet away from my human, I ponder my dilemma – a classic approach-avoidance conflict. Although the treats are tempting, I also run the risk of getting shoved into that cat carrier. Hmmm – tough call. After careful deliberation, I walk away. When my human follows me, I sprint like a bat out of . . . the attic.
As I listen to my human’s phone call to the vet’s office in which he cancels my appointment because he can’t catch me, I purr a sigh as my vet stress abates. When my human hangs up the phone, I run to my dish and relish my treats. How comical to watch him grunt in frustration!
Escape the Fate
I refuse to reveal how my human catches me on his second attempt to haul me to the vet because I don’t want to give other owners any ideas. Trapped in that prison cat carrier, he hurls me into the front seat of the car. What’s this? Somehow the catch on the carrier door is loose.
Boom! I make my escape out of the garage. My human closes the garage door to stop me, but I’m too quick. Waiting for the door to reopen, he loses sight of me. It’s so much fun to watch him call my name and entice me with cat toys.
Finally, he promises, “Okay! You win, Penelope. I won’t take you to the vet.” After I hear him call the vet again on his cell phone to cancel my appointment, I let out a loud meow. Only then does he see me behind the bush in the front yard, where I have been hiding all along. Now the score is vet stress: zero, kitty cleverness: two.
Best Bet: Dodge the Vet
On the third attempt, my human calls his SWAT team of friends to capture me and escort me to the vet’s office. While perched on the examining table waiting for the vet to arrive, I espy a missing tile in the office’s drop ceiling. One easy jump and I start roaming in the rafters. It takes three of the vet’s staff members to retrieve me. Boy, was that vet furious!
The Real Lesson in Easing Vet Stress
Close to exhaustion, I reluctantly submit to the vet’s poking and prodding. The examination wasn’t all that bad after all. Then I reflect, “Maybe, I built this up to something much bigger in my mind than it truly was. Maybe, it’s better to face my fears instead of avoiding them.” Maybe, I will prevent a lot of vet stress (and other stress) if I stop avoiding situations that stress me out, and deal with them sooner, with a bit of help from my human. At that moment, my vet stress lost its hold on me.
I hope you can learn from my experiences. Meow! My human just brought home some fancy shopping bags filled with designer clothes -time to indulge my curiosity.
Image is under license from Shutterstock.com.