Bear’s trip to the vet

I will cut you.

There’s a naked cat in my apartment.

You haven’t met Bearcat; I don’t usually blog about her. There’s a reason — I don’t want to become one of those people who blogs continuously about her cat. Because it could happen. Easily.

Bearcat Louise is 10 years old. She was adopted by a former college roommate and her boyfriend — they thought it would be oh-so-cute to adopt a pet. And he was our college mascot, a Bearcat, so they thought it’d also be cute to name the cat Bear. It was a “smack me over the head” obvious attempt at humor.

They were not good cat parents. The roommate’s sister’s boyfriend (the sister was also a roommate) would hang the kitten from the top of door frames. By hang, I mean he picked her up, put her paws on the top of the frame and waited to see how long she could hold herself up there. The roommate’s sister, an art major, would paint or color the cat’s tail or nose or toes. When the roommate and I moved to a new place that didn’t allow cats (or the sister), the roommate and her boyfriend decided to take Bear back to the pound. By that time, as the only semi-sane residents, Bear and I had bonded a bit. So I sent her to live with my mother and her Rotweiller for six months. (Trust me, Bear held her own.)

Bear and I have lived together since January 2000. We’ve lived in Indiana, Washington, back to Indiana and Missouri. She got lost in South Dakota one time. I gave her a middle name; she gave me a few scars from those sharp claws. I trained her to play fetch (she really does!); she trained me to leave her alone. I taught her to stay off of the counters and the tabl; she taught me a few new swear words. We’re a lot alike, and by now we have a pretty good rhythm going.

The past couple of years, Bear has had to make several trips to the vet. There was a cancer scare, and other identified and unidentified ailments. Bear hates dogs, hates car rides and especially hates going to the vet. I don’t blame her on the vet thing — I hate going to the doctor, too, but no one forces me.

On Thursday, we had to go to the vet. Nothing major, just a six-month check-up. As usual, Bear hissed and growled at the nice vet. (If you’ve never heard an angry cat growl continuously, you should. It’s more terrifying than when the Rotweiller growls.) Just when I thought everyone would leave unscathed, the vet said Bear needed to have blood drawn for a thyroid test. And he didn’t mean his blood.

Bear was taken to the back of the office, growling the entire time, where they attempted to draw blood. First, if you put a needle near my face, I’m going to try my best to scratch your eyes out too. It’s just the way it is. Second, Bear — who was muzzled — put up such a fight that the three assistants working together to hold down the 11.2-lb. cat decided they wouldn’t be able to draw blood without knocking her out. (Looking back, at this point I should have volunteered to just hold her, because I know it couldn’t have been that difficult. And because I already have a few cat-claw scars — they add character, right?)

(By the way, I hate when people baby-talk to animals. Or people, for that matter. I think Bear hates it too, and that’s one reason why she’s angry when she has to go to the vet. One baby-talking woman in the waiting room was so upset when an assistant took her dog to check its vitals that she called her mother because she didn’t want to be alone. That dog was neurotic; it’s no wonder why.)

The vet assistants knocked Bear out for a few minutes, shaved part of her neck (who knew that was necessary?), drew blood, put her in her carrier and brought her back to me. Test results should be back Monday. Bear woke up growling, and the assistant was afraid to put the groggy cat’s collar back on her. I took her home, and haven’t bothered with the collar either. (It’s not like Bear’s going out somewhere and needs ID — she’s happiest at home.)

So there’s a naked attack cat in my apartment. This wouldn’t be a problem, but now there’s no warning jingle-jangle of her tags when she’s going about to pounce on me and get her revenge for that trip to the vet.