Desperate times call for …

We visited my uncle and aunt, Rock and Ann, over the weekend. They have a big, red, 15-year-old cat they call Kitty. We began discussing the idiosyncrasies of cats, especially the adventure that is a trip to the vet. Like all cats, Winston does not want to be forced into his carrier. We’ve tried to lure him in with treats, even with pieces of meat, but only one thing works. We tip the carrier on its end, Greg wraps one hand around all four of Winston’s limbs, and we stuff him in. Winston usually manages to wriggle free of Greg’s grip and keep at least one paw clinging to the outside of the cage, which we have to pry loose. This is like trying to pry the shell off a coconut with your bare hands. But lucky for us, Winston is declawed.

Kitty, however, is not declawed. And, according to Rock and Ann, he also refuses to go into his carrier. Rock said Ann is usually able to wrap him in a towel and slide him in, but on one occasion that did not work. Rock, desperate to make the vet appointment, grabbed a garbage can. They coaxed Kitty into the can, and then put the lid on. I guess the scene at the vet’s office is best left to the imagination.

According to statistics I found, about 70 million cats live in U.S. homes. With people. Crazy people. Who voluntarily take in these creatures. For fun.