The Insanity Cage

“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
~Ray Bradbury~

In this instance, a bit of insanity prevailed. Neither Gibbs nor Ziva like their cages (a/k/a evil cat carrier), and they definitely do not like the car ride.

Both should be thankful. Their annual trip to the vet was delayed by six months due to their human’s schedule and lack of desire to take them out into freezing temperatures and snow. Last week Tuesday was V-day and they were not happy.

Ziva wouldn’t even look at me.

I heard the horrific song of captivity (in surround sound) all the way there and all the way back. Most cat slaves moms and dads know what this sounds like. It’s the guttural cries of the unfortunate; the sadness of an unforgiving existence; the insanity of one who has involuntarily been trapped in a cage, thrown into a growling machine, driven for what seems like hours to a strange place, and suffered the ravages of poking, needling, and a cold and smelly exam table.

The insanity is for a purpose: To ensure the furry kids are healthy. Most pet caretakers do the same because their creatures are part of the family. Like children, our four-legged friends rely on us for food, love, play and a warm place to sleep. Although they don’t speak it, Gibbs and Ziva want to feel well and depend on me to make it so.

This trip was different than the usual check-up for Gibbs. I’ve been a little worried about him. As of the last couple of months, his beautiful green left eye has been partially covered by brown spots and the amount of his yowling has increased, at times to annoyance. In researching a bit on the internet, both changes can signal illness in a cat. Not something I wanted to read or believe.

Poor guy. That eye scared me.

Thankfully, the vet declared that this was a melanin change in Gibbs’ eye and she would only be concerned if the brown spots were raised or if they significantly increased in the coming months. Gibbs is not totally out of the woods with his funky left eye as it will be re-checked in six months, but I am relieved that it’s not currently bad news. In the meantime, I have to keep an eye on the eye.

Blood work and urinalysis revealed no major illnesses and the boy was declared physically healthy. Gibbs’ yowling may be from anxiety or attention seeking, so his mom has been giving him extra love and play time. The caterwauling may also decrease once the windows are open and he can talk to the birds all day. At least, that’s what I hope.

As for the Queen, her attitude and physical health are intact. She has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but continues to breathe and snore.

Getting Gibbs and Ziva to the vet in their cages is always an exercise in insanity, a time of loud singing and unhappy whiskers. In the end, I’m always ecstatic when there is a clean bill of health and I can cease worry.

Meanwhile, the kids are overjoyed when they can be released from said cages, safely back home and ready to sleep off the horrible experience.

Life is quite hard for these two. Insane, practically.

26 responses to The Insanity Cage

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Such sad duty. I am very happy to hear that Gibbs is relatively OK and just needs “extra love and play time” which I am sure he will remind you of…frequently. You’re a good mom.

    I am not usually the one to cart them to the vet, but I have helped pack their bags, so to speak. One of our cats (now departed Cookie) used to go in easily but he would wedge his paws against the sides of the gate and not come out. My wife describes the vet holding the crate upside down, and sometimes, having to dismantle the crate in the office.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’ve learned how to successfully get Gibbs and Ziva into their carriers…with some protesting. Gibbs always comes out of the carrier at the vet, but Ziva is a different story. The vet and I took the top off the carrier and she examined the Queen in the confines of the bottom half. It worked out well, except I forgot to ask her to clip her back claws. I can never do that by myself because Ziva doth protest…loudly.

      • Dan Antion says:

        Ooooh, clipping the nails. That’s a line I fear to cross. I remember having to help my wife give our first cat a fairly large capsule for about 5 days in a row. I thought I was going to die. We tried the wrap-the-paws-in-a-towel method, but that still leaves the teeth in play.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I’ve only had one cat who graciously accepted a pill (prednisone) on a regular basis due to allergies. Harley was a laid-back cat and wasn’t afraid of pills, claw clipping, car rides or vacuum cleaners. He was an example to all felines.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        My ex and I got Harley from friends of ours. He was a barn cat and it was around the time that we bought the first Harley-Davidson. Cool bike and cool cat.

  2. Hi Mary. Ooooo…. kitties and the vet — never a happy combination. I’m glad you got reassurance about Gibbs’ eye — I’ve never heard of that. Hugs. 🐱

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I had another kitty years ago who had the brown spots. His was also just a corner change, nothing serious. I’m a little bummed with Gibbs because he had such pretty green eyes.

      • Anything that goes wrong with them is a heartache, I know. Crystal developed inflammatory bowel disease shortly after I moved here. so she’s been sick or on strong meds most of her life. Stop me before I do a Bonnie Tyler impersonation. LOL 😀

      • bikerchick57 says:

        No Bonnie Tyler!! Poor Crystal kitty. I’ll think happy, healthy thoughts for her and a happy heart for her mom.

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    I would have been more than a little worried about Gibbs’ eye too. Glad to hear he’s been given a clean bill of health and I hope that continues.

    I’m still 6 weeks away from Theo’s annual trip to the vet and I’m already starting to cringe at the thought. Getting this 20lb behemoth into his carrier is not for the faint of heart :/

    … and the howling. omg – cats are so uncool.

    • After the first time I used a mobile vet (who was wonderful), I’ve tried to find another everywhere I’ve lived. Some are a lot more expensive than others — a LOT. But with digging and referrals, you might find one. Just throwing that out there.
      LOL, yep — I drove all the way across the country with that yeowling. Twice. o_O

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        It’s funny you should mention a mobile vet because I was wondering why it wasn’t a *thing* given how persnickety cats are in a vehicle.

        I cannot imagine doing a cross country trip with a cat ONCE … never mind, TWICE!! You must have nerves of steel.

        Theo has a charming little habit of just before we get home, he poops in the carrier. He’s mastered the art of passive-aggressive.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I was going to post a video of their yowling, but it was too pitiful. How can a creature who hunts and kills bird and mice be so pathetic in the car? Good luck with Theo. Let me know who wins the wrestling match.

  4. loisajay says:

    Oh, I can relate to the sounds of captivity inside the cage. As always happens, I walk into the vets and all the patients in the waiting room are dogs. Thus, the looks from the dog owners…..Teemu goes next month for his ‘Senior Profile.’ Parker, not for a while. Poor Gibbs. Glad his eye just needs monitoring and nothing more. Of course, the Queen is perfect, as she should be.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The Queen loves you! When I walked into the vet’s, there was a large, nosy dog there to greet us. Thankfully, I received no “looks” from the dog owner and the kids we’re safely in their boxes.

  5. We have to haul our THREE back and forth from Seattle to Spokane (a 4 to 5 hour trip!!!) but since we have been doing it for so long, there are usually only a few complaints at the very beginning…and then they sleep the whole time.

    Let me tell you though, we PAY that night. They know how to get even…up ALL night running, exploring their second home to see what’s developed since their last visit, re-marking territory (ours seem to prefer the PUKING method of marking).

    And the yowling you describe? ALL NIGHT LONG!!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Oh boy. Puking and yowling. What a combination with those three. That’s definitely payback, but hope it only lasts that one night. Have you thought about sleeping in the car while they have at it? 😉

  6. joey says:

    Aw! I’m so glad his eye is okay enough to just keep an eye on 🙂 He is such a handsome fella 🙂
    The cry of feline prisoners is dreadful. Clara actually doesn’t mind her crate, and sometimes in the days before and after appointments, will lounge in it willingly. The boys, uh, NOWA. Catticus is especially brutal, and I usually start trying with him an hour before we leave. He is first. I wear layers, outerwear and gloves and goggles. :/

    They do seem to know when it’s time to chat to the birds…

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Gloves and goggles? LOL! That is brutal, like going to war or handling hazardous materials. Have you tried singing kumbaya to the boys and burning catnip incense before their trip?

      • joey says:

        Seriously, he’s awful about his carrier. I have to invert his crate in a corner, pick him up, carry him to it in the tiny powder room, and shove him in. Shoving him in takes forever, and we both cry after.
        I have not attempted any other rituals, but I will try Kumbaya and some lavender spray next time. Thank you for caring 🙂

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