Vet trips are usually pretty traumatic for Mog and me. Other people will tell you of the scratching and the escapes over the shoulder while just trying to get their fuzzy little bundles of joy into their carrier baskets, and the howling in the car on the way there. I have none of these problems; I just have to watch the dumb-ass struggle and bleed everywhere on the table (actually I don't watch any more, I turn my back while the vet does his thing). But this last one took the biscuit, the crumbs and the whole fucking biscuit making factory.
Earlier this month Mog was due for his annual vaccinations and, as my parents were due to catsit, I took Mum along to get a professional to show her how to do the jabs. Taxi's due in 5 minutes. Where is cat? Cat is in the only place in the flat I can't get to him – behind a chest of drawers in the bathroom cupboard, in his carrier. Yes, clever cat, being in your carrier. Just a pity I can't pull it out without breaking my back. Come on, kitty, out you come.
No kitty appears.
Come on, kitty.
No kitty appears.
Fine. I tip the carrier up so he slides out, and remove the carrier from the cupboard. Cat decides to go to sleep at the back of the cupboard. I have to ease a leg round the corner and poke him in the ribs – several times – to get him out. We are already off to a bad start.
At the vet: Mum does very well, but then we come to blood-taking time. Mog's neck is shaved and the vet nurse comes in to hold him down… and she's a wee slip of a thing, no more than 19. She's looks at the timid, partly bald lump of fuzz on the table. She feels sorry for him.
She has no idea.
Five minutes later and we've given up. Mog has struggled and scratched and bitten and howled and the vet has only got a scrap of the blood he needs to test. Poor vet nurse doesn't know what's hit her; she can't bring herself to pin Mog down as tightly as he needs. The consulting room is covered in fur and claws and cat spittle. My Mum looks bloody terrified.
Cut to: one week later. We're back at the vet, and Mog looks pissed off. He thought he'd got away with it last time. But no – there's a more experienced nurse in today, one that's dealt with him before. She takes him with a firm hand, and I turn my back, wincing. Howls of protest come from the furbag; howls and howls. He's scrabbling and spitting and won't stay still for long enough for the vet to get enough blood. He only needs to behave for 15 seconds, but he's having none of it.
They try his leg – the American way, apparently ("away from the bitey end", I was once told). I busy myself reading the posters and certificates on the wall, tra-la-la. The howling intensifies; he's seething, sounds like he's breathing through water. The vet can't find a vein; I turn around and see foam all around Mog's mouth. The nurse still pins him down as the vet goes in for another try… and Mog lifts his tail, and sends a beautifully aimed stream of piss that arcs perfectly under the nurse's arm and onto the floor below.
We all look at the puddle; we all look at the cat. The vet puts down the needle. "His last results were fine, weren't they?" I nod, looking back at the puddle. "Hmm," says the vet. "Shall we see him back in another three months?"
Mog turns his back on us all. He's made sure of the motherfucking win this time.