Adventures of a Clinic Cat: Cool and Calm

Adventures of a Clinic Cat
Entry 435

It’s that time again – Snack Dispenser made an appointment with Dr. K at the Veterinary clinic for my Annual Wellness visit. So now I’m hunched down inside my carrier in Dr. K’s front office waiting my turn. If I have to be here it’s at least good that I’m not sick or injured. I don’t get as freaked out about the carrier or the trip here as I used to, and this new calmer me seems to put Snack Dispenser more at ease as well. Just one year ago the sight of the carrier coming up from the basement sent me scurrying for cover.  Now Snack Dispenser stores it in the upstairs hallway with the door open and it has become just another piece of furniture. I still don’t consider myself a happy traveler. I’d much rather be home overseeing the wildlife activities in my backyard. I used to be so vocal in the car that Snack Dispenser would try to drown me out with the radio. She never really succeeded though – I can howl with the best of them. But for some reason this past year, I’ve been more settled and secure on our car rides. Just another sign that I’m becoming wise and majestic as I mature.

Dr. K is now giving me the once over. She’s both gentle and efficient. She knows I don’t like her dwelling on any one specific body part for too long. I get looked at, felt over and listened to. Actually, some of the touching doesn’t feel too bad, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to offer up a purr – that just isn’t me. She’s talked with Snack Dispenser about all of the stuff I’ve heard many times before – what I’m eating, how much exercise I get, changes in my indoor/outdoor activities, deworming and flea control, etc… I tune most of this out since I have no control over any of it, and the plans that Snack Dispenser and Dr K make for me have been keeping me pretty healthy so far. My ears perk up though when they start talking about my weight. Dr. K is giving me something called a Body Score – 7 out of 9. Apparently this is not so great; I’m supposed to be a 5 out of 9. I guess this means my body is getting a little too round and I need to shed a few pounds. Dr. K is scheduling me for a more detailed body condition assessment with her Technician, Katie. I think I know where this is heading… Probably some new kind of food in my near future. I hope they know who they’re dealing with here. I don’t take change too well. Dr. K finishes up by giving me the appropriate vaccines for my lifestyle. Sharon rubs the base of my ears while this is being done, and truthfully I hardly feel anything at all – a tiny skin pinch at the most. I’ve had worse during an average play session with Boris.

Back I go into the carrier for the trip home. Dr. K turns to Snack Dispenser and asks how the Feliway is working. What’s she talking about? I don’t know anything about this Feliway stuff. “It’s incredible” Snack Dispenser tells Dr. K. “I spray it in his carrier 15 minutes before we travel and he’s calmer than he’s ever been in his life!”

“That’s great” says Dr. K, “we’ve had good success with it for a variety of stress-related behavioural issues in cats, and we use it here in the Veterinary Clinic.”

Now my curiosity is really peaked – what is this Feliway anyway? I’ve since learned, without getting too technical, that it’s a behavioural pheromone replica of the natural feel-good pheromone that cats release when they face-rub objects Anchorand people. Its purpose is to reassure and comfort us cats in otherwise uncomfortable situations. It’s not a sedative, doesn’t make me drowsy, and has no bad effects on people, cats or other animals. I’m just finding out now that Snack Dispenser has been spraying my kennel with this stuff for the past year! As I said before, I’m a lot less antsy than I used to be during our car trips. I had put this change down to maturity and improved self-control, but now I find out it’s all Snack Dispenser and Dr. K’s doing. Oh well, I guess feeling good is feeling good no matter how I get there. I’ve also learned that they have a similar appeasing pheromone for dogs called Adaptil. To me, all dog behaviour looks neurotic, but if it helps they should be making and selling this stuff by the barrel.