Brace yourself. This will be bad. Not end of the world bad, but you are about to get mad at me for sharing this.
Okay, we have talked cats before and we shall talk cats again. Today is one of those.
Let us say that Nala is not one for vomiting. Mylar, the last cat, she threw up plenty. Multiple times a week. I was a bit of a cat-puke expert.
Now, let us say that Nala just happened to throw up last week. That the product presented to me was odd-looking. Let us say that I might have been a bit concerned.
Pretend that I was worried enough to take Nala to the vet. And that, naturally, the vet found nothing wrong with Nala. If the vet had diagnosed the situation so easily, then this story would be all over.
That is not how this story goes. It continues with the vet shrugging their shoulders. With me asking if, since we are here, why not go ahead and run a few more tests, and see if we cannot get answers?
What say I tell you of the vet who rolls their eyes, agrees to run two tests, and then ushers us into the next room. (I do not know why each medical room seems so singularly focused. Got to weigh a cat? Take it out of the room. Need a doctor to take your pulse? Separate room for that. I digress.)
Of course the next room is not empty. That will kill the joy of this whole experience. In the room were two dogs. Two, seemingly healthy, Labradors. Nala the Annihilator does not play well with others. Picture: struggling. Imagine Nala’s back arching as the two dogs, completely unimpressed, circle around. They sniff. They cock their head to one side as dogs do. They look to the vet, then their owner, and then me, wondering why such a small critter would make such a big ruckus.
The next room should be an improvement, right? No dogs, so that right there is a victory, yes? Well, when I say that Nala does not get along with other animals, that includes other cats. Apparently, gigantic cats too. Even a cat that is in a cage in the corner of the room. Think of a pillow made entirely of fur. An over-stuffed pillow. Then give it eyes and ears. Ta-da. Big ol’ ball of fur that we will call a cat.
Nala might just keep hissing at this cat. I might just manage to avoid getting scratched to death. All the while, let us say that the Goodwill Blimp of Catdom is giving us the once over. Turning its head slowly. Blinking. Licking its lips once, out of boredom, then looking us over for a few more moments. I try to keep Nala calm for a few minutes. The vet more or less stands back and lets it all play out. The stay-fluffed marshmallow-cat finally stops gazing at Nala and returns to the Land of Nod. Eventually, Nala and I just might have talked our way out of that room. Because Nala finds such environments stressful.
Where do you think we would go? Where would you guess we ended up? That is correct! In the first room! The place where this story began. Sigh.
Now, imagine my surprise. Think of the look on my face when said vet attempts to hand me a bill for $3,000.
“$3,000?!?!” That is the rational response for any sane individual to expel from their vocal cords.
“I am afraid so,” would say the vet. “Those two extra tests really ran up the bill. It would have been much cheaper to leave earlier.”
“What tests? Nothing happened!”
“What do you think all those rooms are for? We had to send out for Labs. Then we had to do a cat-scan.”
And that, my friends, is my terrible joke. I warned you right in the title. I even told you how bad it would be. Yet, you went ahead and read it! Shame on you! How can you be mad at me when I warned you from the beginning? You should know better.
(Also, you have to be mad at Brant Hansen. I heard it from him first.)