Reader, I am ashamed to admit it, but I liked it when the vet stuck a thermometer up Humbug’s backside. Humbug did not, and that’s where my enjoyment came from – childishly punishing the little stripey fucker (as he is usually affectionately – known).
Off his food (seriously not like him), having clearly lost weight, and lethargic, I was worried about him. A couple of days ago he’d vomitted… So this morning I phoned the vet to try to get a first-thing appointment. No dice – earliest would be 11.40, which would scupper signature-collecting on The Petition with a new volunteer. Gritted teeth, said yes to that slot, aware that if I didn’t get the cat attention when he needed it, I’d end up spending at least six weeks in an Intensive Care Unit myself.
In the next two hours Humbug mostly sits in silence, clearly not enjoying himself. But then, of course, when I go to get him, he’s managed to prise past the barricaded catflap, then clamber (Humbug clambers) over the back gate and so in the alleyway. Captured, he loudly and repeatedly voices his displeasure as we got to the vet (thanks Phil).
Diagnosis – well, given no fever etc, probably just gastroenteritis. The magpie and the pigeon he murdered possibly not agreeing with him. So, an anti-nausau injection, bland food sachets, and worming tablets. Talk about weight – loss, I’m suddenly sixty pounds lighter…
But of course, this “ill, but gets better when medical attention booked” schtick is one that parents of homo sapiens are all too familiar with. And it’s mostly women who do that caring role for the little blighters. And I have the cash, now, to pay for the little furry fucker (who is sleeping on the floor as I speak).
All this is true, but it’s a conscious effort to remember these multiple privileges, and that on balance I am in paradise. I seem to be one of those people who is too self-centred and entitled to internalise emotionally what I know intellectually, so have to constantly remind myself. I’m no better than a bloody cat….