Thursday, August 5, 2010
Dogs Have Masters......Cats Have Staff!
This is what my husband said to me this evening.....
I took our cat, Captain, to the vet EARLY this morning to get his annual shots and checkup.
When I entered the clinic, there were already three dogs waiting for their appointments......a Boston Terrier, a Jack Russell Terrier, and a large white Labrador Retriever. The two small dogs sat with their owners on one side of the reception area; the lab and his owner sat on the other side. I started to sit on the side with the lab, but thought better of that idea considering the owner was sitting exactly in the middle of the bench seat. It felt a bit like crossing a moat full of crocodiles.......The lab's owner would have to move down so that I could sit down; the lab was painfully large...... The sharpness of the fact that I had the only cat in the room began to occupy the forefront of my thought.
So......I made a spot turn and carried my tabby cat to the other side. I sat in the only open space...right between the Boston Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier. Captain was rhythmically making a sad cry. Of course, dogs come in on a leash.....cats have to be in an animal carrier...... no one could see how beautiful and well cared for our Captain was......all they heard was the pitiful cry of a reluctant cat.
Awkward is the best way to describe my feeling......The Boston Terrier began to stir as Captain cried more and more......His owner seemed a bit stern and told the terrier to be still. I smiled and said "Hi", to the Boston Terrier....This was a
bad move because it just excited the dog even more than he already was. .... His owner became even more stern. I found myself apologizing...to the Boston Terrier!! I whispered, "Sorry".
The Jack Russell Terrier seemed oblivious to the squeals coming out of my animal carrier. Her name was Lily. Lily was shaking so violently that my heart went out to her......I've never seen an animal enjoy visiting the vet.
While the dog owners were comforting and disciplining their pets, all I did was sit there and feel uncomfortable. Captain obviously did not want to be there any more than the dogs did, but since he was in the carrier, I did not comfort him. Taking a cat out of its' carrier while in the waiting room of a veterinarian's office is a cardinal sin......one I wasn't about to break.
I tried to have a conversation with the young owner of the Jack Russell Terrier. While she smiled and gave short answers to my questions about her dog, I had the impression, imagined or real, that she didn't associate with CAT OWNERS!!
I didn't even attempt to talk with the owner of the Boston Terrier. I thought I had probably already burned my bridges with her........and the Boston Terrier, as well!
Finally, Captain's name was called and we went to the examining room. He received his vaccinations and buried his sweet head into my chest after the shot was administered. It hurt!!
The vet asked me several questions. I couldn't answer all of them because Soo-Jin takes care of Captain..... I have a dog.....a Snoodle named Charlie. But, (sigh) I am the person that always takes the family animals to the vet.....
As I left, I couldn't help but reflect on the different experience I have when I take our dogs to the vet. The dog owners will usually ask me what kind of dog I have. One time, a woman gave me her entire dog history concerning her terrier mix...There is a "bond" that we dog owners have.........Dogs and cats just don't mix....
So, when I shared my experience with my husband.....how I felt like Captain and I were treated like Second Class Cat and Cat Owner Citizens.......He said, "Dogs have masters, cats have staff."