Friday, June 17, 2005

Kitty Teeth

I dropped off Ashley at the vet's the morning to have her teeth cleaned, and am now breathing a silent prayer that all goes well with the anesthesia.

We couldn't give her any food after 10 last night, which was okay with her because she's not a night eater. However, this morning she started with cries that escalated from the insistent to the pathetic to "Damn this lousy service, I'm never eating here again!"

We didn't feed Chico either, although obviously it would have been okay if he'd eaten. We could have put him in the bathroom with a dish of food, but he wouldn't have eaten it. This is because Chico never eats when you first put the food in front of him. It's usually: You put the food in front of him, he runs and jumps all over the house, and Ashley samples the food from her dish and from his. This would be like, if you went to a restaurant and when the waiter brings the food you do ten laps around the restaurant, and then when you come back your dining companion has eaten your salad and your soup.

We feigned nonchalance as we battened down the hatches, trying to second-guess where Ashley would be likely to hide once she saw us pick up the carrier. Then Jim held the carrier and I held a beach towel to throw over her head and wrap her in. She kept slipping out like a greased eel, slinking under cabinets and bookcases until I finally cornered her behind some boxes on top of the refrigerator and dropped her butt-first kicking and screaming into the carrier. I felt like Cruella DeVille.

Then we feigned nonchalance for another ten minutes while I put on my work clothes and make-up. She wasn't fooled.

I grabbed a cab outside the house. On the way uptown, the driver, a middle-aged Jamaican man, said, "Tell me...these blind people who walk with the do they get dressed? How do they know what they are wearing? Does somebody help them?"

"I guess they do it by feel," I replied.

"I saw a story on the news, these blind children were riding bicycles, and they could tell where they were going because they would make a noise. A clicking noise, and it would bounce off the buildings. So they would tell where they were going like bats. Bats are blind, but they can tell where they're flying by sound."

So, reinforced with this knowledge of animals, I arrived at the vet and checked Ashley in at the desk where they showed me an estimate to get my kitchen refinished. A guy was checking in a little dog. The guy was scared about the anesthesia for the little dog.

Before I left, I told her what I've told every cat I've ever brought to the vet: "Hey, we always bring you back. On the day we don't, you won't care."

And now I wait, holding my breath until I hear that she's okay.

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