How Peep Visited the Vet and Drove Me Crazy


I think of our cat Peep as such a benign little soul. But that’s only till she has to see the vet.

She has a fearsome reputation there. Such a sweet, jolly cat–and she turns into the Tasmanian Devil on a bender.

But first you’ve got to get her there. She yowls and cries the whole way there, 20 solid minutes of it. The same thing, coming back: but by now she’s so upset, she throws up in her carrier. And I’m about ready to dive out of the car. There has to be a better way than this to spend the morning.

She wasn’t there for any painful or difficult procedure. Just a check-up, with some blood work. So why does she go positively crackers over any visit to the vet? Her sister, Robbie, is not much better. These cats just can’t stand a visit to the doctor.

What’s so horrible about it? I don’t get it. I mean, I know what’s so horrible about it for me, but why are the cats so fantastically upset?

I have to say that all the cats I’ve ever had were the same way. Only my rats and my iguana could face the doctor with equanimity. (I have always wanted to use that word.) Poor Buster practically declawed himself, trying to escape from the carrier.

Do veterinarians know how much cats hate and fear them?

It just doesn’t seem fair.

Now I’m Not Here

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I have to take Peep to the vet this morning, my wife has a whole list of things she wants checked.

I’ve been experiencing below-average viewer numbers lately, which makes me wonder if I’ve done something wrong–so I’m leaving Byron the Quokka in charge. He says he can get those numbers up. I’m sure he’s eager to impress me. We’ll see if he can make it happen.

“Have fun!” he says.

There are some cats who would not be amused.

Robbie the Celebrity

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This is our cat, Robbie, as she appeared in The Old Farmer’s Almanac some years ago. Now that’s fame! I’ve never had my picture in the Farmer’s Almanac–have you?

Robbie’s bigger now, but she still maintains that solemn expression on her face. I’m happy to say that her celebrity has not gone to her head. She remains the same lovable cat we’ve known all along.

I’m afraid that that much fame would have quite overthrown my reason; but Robbie handles it well.

Manipulated by Cats

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This is shameful. I know I’m being manipulated by my cats, and yet they succeed in manipulating me anyway. Neither of them has yet jumped onto my head while I’m brushing my teeth, but they do try to stop me writing.

Meow. Meow. Meow. It’s like the water torture. Robbie is agitating for cat food. I say, “Do you think I don’t know how full of it you are? Do you think I don’t know that as soon as I serve up the food, you’ll walk away and let Peep eat it all, so you can keep on bugging me?” Meow, she explained.

Except at mealtime, Robbie totally dominates Peep. Then the food is put out, and she turns into the incredible shrinking violet. All right, this time Peep didn’t eat it all, so now Robbie’s having some.

*Sigh* Back to work. If they’ll let me.

Enough Agility to Get You into Trouble

Cats sometimes behave like they’re convinced they can do absolutely anything that pops into their heads. Their athletic ability lets them get into predicaments that would never befall a human being. Some of these they can get out of.

Our cat, Peep, when she was a kitten, somehow got up on top of the refrigerator–I didn’t know she could fly!–then got inside the plastic bag containing my ice cream-making machine, and then caused the whole shootin’ match to come crashing to the floor. Happily, she emerged totally unscathed; but my ice cream-making days were over.

Video Treat: Naughty Cats

This video was sent to me by the Robbie & Peep Marching & Chowder Society as proof that my two cats aren’t so bad, comparatively speaking.

Obviously cats have been around human beings way too long, and have picked up a lot of iffy habits from us. The poor honest dogs don’t know what to make of it.

Sanity Break: Ollie the Kitten

My wife is in love with this noisy little character, so here he is: Ollie the talkative Siamese kitten. By now he has grown up to be a talkative cat.

Shouldn’t let him bite, though. It reminds me of how I used to think it was so cute to get down on all fours and encourage Buster the kitten to ride on my back. He really took to it, and when he was a full-grown very big cat, he’d hop on anybody’s back. That did not always go over very well.

Sanity Break: Cats Acting Like People

Don’t worry–it’s not about cats lying, running for public office and then betraying the cats who voted for them. Cats will never learn to imitate the finer points of fallen humanity.

But they can imitate certain things they see us do. My cat Henry used to try to horn in when I was playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball; but his idea of the game was to flip the little plastic men to the floor and bat them under the bookcase, and I couldn’t have that. You should have heard the back-talk he’d give me.

Anyway, let’s unwind. Join me in enjoying these cats.

Here’s What My Cats Did Not Do

I have posted this as an instructional video for my cats, Robbie and Peep, who totally ignore me when I’m sick. When Patty is sick, they can’t be pried from her side.When I’m hors de combat, it’s “Cats? What cats?”

Notice the cat solicitously licking the poor guy’s face until it breaks into a smile. All right, he seems to be only a little bit sick. So that makes it okay to ignore me when I’m a lot sick?

I hope they learn a lesson from this.

If You’re Lonely for a Cat…

I wouldn’t dare offer this advice if I hadn’t once taken it myself, and was blessed for doing so.

When our cats Buster and Missie died, years ago, Patty and I were just about crushed with grief. Those two cats loved us like crazy, and we loved them.

A few days afterward, we met a friend who had just lost her dog some weeks ago. She and that dog were very close, I knew.

She let her daughter talk her into going to the animal shelter and bringing home a rescue dog. “That’s the thing for you to do–go to the shelter and rescue a cat,” she said. “In fact, the sooner you do it, the happier you’ll be.”

So we went to the shelter, and I learned something there–something that I’ll never forget.

Here it is: There is always a cat out there that needs you. (This applies the same to dog-lovers.) I felt like I wanted to bring all those cats at the shelter home with me. We wound up with two kittens, Robbie and Peep.

So if there’s a cat-shaped hole in your life–fill it! There is a cat that needs you, in a shelter somewhere: a cat that will love you, and be loved by you.

It doesn’t have to be a kitten. There are mature and even elderly cats who need homes, and who already know how to behave themselves indoors. Cats whose owners have died, or been hospitalized. Nice, calm cats who will not climb up on top of your refrigerator and knock things down.

See, this is one of those extra blessings that God thought of including in His creation–one of those things that we never would have thought of.

There is always a cat or dog out there who needs you.