As you may remember from the few rare posts I've done about Rocket over the years, she is not what you might consider to be a pleasant animal.
She's pretty and fluffy as all hell, but don't be fooled - she is a monster.
A monster with a taste for Vet Face.
How so? Oh, let me just give you a quick list of examples. When you read these, go ahead and multiply their occurrence by 100 and their bloodletting by 1,000:
- When I was in college and dipping my toe into the dangerous waters of self-administered depilatories, she caught a whiff of Nair and went 100% bonkers tearing through my house like someone had lit her tail on fire. (I had not.)(Though I considered it after I saw the damage she did on her tear.) In her ammonia-inspired rage, she tore 3 framed posters (classy) off the walls, overturned 2 chairs, knocked the (very full) trash can over and hissed at her litter box. When I tried to
restrain herpick her up to calm her, she filleted both of my forearms so dramatically that I still have scars. That was 12 years ago.
- Once, when Bubba tried to get her into the cat carrier, she magically doubled in size, began grunting like a wild boar and shit a giant pile on the floor. When Bubba finally captured her with the help of two sofa cushions and a beach towel, she still managed to wriggle free a single hind claw with which she, nearly literally, sliced him a new one. When they arrived at the vet, they actually treated him first because he was actively bleeding. Or maybe because they were just afraid of her. And rightfully so.
- When I went to pick her up from the aforementioned vet visit, the vet tech approached me in the waiting room after I'd been sitting there for 20 minutes to ask me if I could please come retrieve Rocket from the kennel because she "wouldn't come out". When I went back to see what all the fuss was about, two women with towels were standing back from an open kennel and covering their mouths in horror while the inhabitant of said kennel hissed like a loose cobra, my dear Rocket.
She is a beautiful, cuddly looking cat without front claws who is slow as all hell and uncoordinated to the point where she can hardly be categorized as a cat anymore, but if you approach her with any intention of affection beyond, perhaps, scratching her between her ears or feeding her a raw bloody brisket, she will rip your face off. Or at least make a hearty attempt.
Well, she would have up until about 6 months ago.
See, this cat, she has started to slow down. She's just about 13 now, which I didn't think was *that* old for cats, but her stride tells me differently. She's very slow. She's awkward and uncoordinated. She doesn't really jump anymore. She runs only to beat the dog into the house or to her food. And she just always looks uncomfortable. Like her bones are creaky.
She reminds me of an old lady.
So, because I try to be a somewhat diligent pet owner, I decided to take her to the vet. For a, like, check-up or something. I say, "or something", because this cat hasn't had a check up in a long time. Like, years? I don't know. She's an indoor-mostly cat and so I've not had any call to put Bubba or myself in harm's way just so that we can transport her to another place and put other people in harm's way. And when I say, "harm", I mean, of course - Rocket.
So what I'm used to are dog check-ups. Because the dog is a social being who accompanies me to work and out walking the neighborhood and to the beach and mountains and other places where she comes in contact with cooties, ticks, rabid wild snowmen and the like. So, she needs check-ups and shots and chicken baby food from the jar because our vet is very sweet like that. Then they coo and fuss over her because she's "perfect!", has the "heart of a marathon runner!", is "the ideal weight", "so sweet", "beautiful", "so young for her age" and so on. It's lovely. Jada loves going to the vet. They give her treats, cuddle her and afterward I walk her down to the dog bakery (yes, this is California, we have these things) and let her pick out a toy or something gay like that.
I'm a social butterfly.
Rocket though? Totally different story. A bad story. That has to start with putting her in the cat carrier, and you know how that goes.
Thankfully, sort of, her Cat Carrier Ferocity has mellowed over the years a bit. And my neighbors (oh how they've saved me) loaned me their top-loading carrier for the transporting of said face-ripping beast. It helps. A lot. And I think it helps that she is slow and creaky, so doesn't put up a fight. She's not wild about me picking her up, but she is slow enough that I can move my delicate parts of the way of her swinging claws before they can open up my forearms.
Well, all of this alleged mellowing of old age has done me a fat lot of good because OH YAY, I've come to find out that, after 3 rounds of orally administered antibiotics, she has been acting a hero but is still infected with an unkillable cootie and now requires subcutaneous antibiotics daily for 6 weeks.
Not know what subcutaneous antibiotics are? Yah, I didn't either.
It's a fancy word for, "You're going to have to inject drugs under the cat's skin with a needle. Every day. For six weeks."
A cat whose life mission is to slice me open and display my innards like one might a frog in 7th grade science class. A cat who has terrified hundreds of people in her 13 year lifespan and rendered seasoned vet techs to quivering messes with her well-seasoned low growl. A cat more raccoon than feline, more wild than domestic, more teeth than fur.
And I get to shamble up to her on a nightly basis and jam a needle in her scruff.
I'll let that sink in for a minute.
Good times, right? Something to get off the couch for, right? Wrong.
So I guess what I'm saying is that, of all the hats I might wear on a day to day basis, this isn't my favorite.
Oh, and if you don't hear from me for a few days, Call. The. Police. - Rocket did it.