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I read an article recently about someone having tremendous problems bathing a cat. This tickled me, and I am moved to describe an incident in the same vein.
Has anyone had to take a cat to the vet? On public transport?
I did, and it was probably the most harrowing experience of my life except for when I had a spectacular bowel disorder which came on during a funeral service. My cat had a Sheep Tick lodged on his head, that could not be removed, so I decided to take him to the vet. When I had bought the cat, I'd also bought a cat basket made from stout wicker for this very purpose.
I went to the closet and took out the basket, but Cat saw it and gave me a cocky, head on one side, look that said, quite simply, "If you think I am going to humiliate myself by putting my fine, furry body in that, you can shove it up your arse, mate".
So I put the basket on the table, and picked up the cat, cooing soft, gentle phrases that would have calmed down one of those dogs that are banned and owned by people with their names tatooed on their foreheads in mirror writing. Cat started to purr, albeit suspiciously. However, as soon as I got him near the door of the basket, his limbs shot so wide that he was clawing at both sides of the room simultaneously. There followed two minutes of what seemed like fighting with an angry furry octopus with more claws than Geronimo's necklace and the temper of Don King with his german helmet caught in his fly.
Eventually I succeeded, because I am over 6 feet and 200 pounds. But I had been scratched so much that I looked like I'd had Freddy Krueger round for tea and angered him with a comment about his mother's facial hair. So, I took him to the bus stop and waited in the queue. Cat sat with his paws folded with an expression of loathing disgust, planning his ultimate revenge.... We got on the bus and sat down. It was the usual group of afternoon, off-peak passengers; Old ladies because they could travel for free and spotty adolescents going to burgle houses. For the first few minutes, Cat kept quiet, shuffling about a little, and licking his bottom. Then it started.
The old lady next to me was rather startled. I think she thought it was an Air-Raid siren, and she started mumbling "Old Fritz is at it again and my Arthur was never the same after they shot one of his balls off" But it soon became apparent to everyone on the bus that it was Cat who was making the racket. Spotty kid at the back took his Walkman headphones off.
Then came the bombshell. It started as the faintest whiff - the merest zephyr of cat shite wafting up my nose. It's worth pondering for a moment what goes on in a cats devilish insides. Consider what goes in at the front end. Certain brands of cat food in the UK have recently been classified as "fit for human consumption". But if I came home after a hard day at the office and found a tin of that laid out for my dinner there would be a great deal of shouting and a trip to the lawyer's. Cat food is vile. There is a common bond that is shared across humanity - everyone in the whole world, when opening a tin of cat food before breakfast shouts "Oh Jesus Fucking Christ" when they get a whiff of it. Even Arabs. So, considering the material a cat has to work with, coupled with a set of bile organs developed by Lucifer himself, you can understand why I was sitting on a bus surrounded by people looking like they were entrants in a Face Pulling & Pointing competition. And then came the urine.
Yorkshire, in North England (where I live) has recently suffered a drought. In an attempt to resolve the situation, Yorkshire Water Limited had to draft in hundreds of water tankers to top up the depleted resevoirs. They needn't have bothered. All they had to do was couple a pipeline to my cat's tallywhacker, erect a sizable distilling facility and provide gas masks to the local residents. I have never seen as much urine come from a living being. I've giggled at horses relieving themselves in fields, and I've seen an elephant taking an impressive leak in a TV programme. But they are insignificant compared to the amount of fluid that a cat can hold when it's angry. Steven Hawking alone can contemplate the multi-dimensionality that allows my 16 pound cat to store gallons of water in its zeppelin of a bladder.
Of course, wicker baskets do not hermetically seal. So the fluid ran straight on to my trousers. My khaki, summer trousers. The crotch of my trousers. It was way before my stop, but I just had to get off the bus because people were starting to threaten me between retches. I walked down the aisle, dripping with wee, holding a caterwauling ball of furry, clawy anger in a basket. I had to walk about a mile to the Vet's, with people looking straight at the dark, damp patch that was my crotch. It was very difficult to retain my dignity. When I got to the Vet's, the man took one look at the cat, whipped out some tweezers and had the Tick removed in an instant. Presenting me with a bill that was large enough to buy food for a platoon of hungry soldiers with tapeworms, he said "You could have removed that at home - you needn't have made the effort to come all the way here". The next thing he said was "Ouch - there's no need for th...", followed by "Oh Jesus, my plums", and rounding off with "That bill has got to be paid - it's no good wiping your crotch with it".