Well, I must love him because I just paid £181.30 to the nice vet for operating on him this morning. I don't usually shell out that sort of cash for randomers who turn up at my door wailing, but since I let him into the house 6 months ago, Gary has kind of grown on me. I still generally don't like cats though, let me make that one clear...
I'm actually a dog person. Dogs are loyal, they get excited to see you and care about you. It may be superficial, but I'll take it, I'm not proud. They mainly just want to sit as close as possible* to you and be petted.
*Unless there's a fire or other source of heat in the room, then you are history.
Cats poo in other people's gardens and hide it, this is very bad. An unwelcome surprise for gardeners and small children, cat poo can also be dangerous. When your neighbour's cat delivers you chocolates, you don't ever enjoy them.
Talking of gifts, cat presents are not the sort of thing I like either. I'm a vegetarian. Raw crumpled mouse isn't usually my snack of choice and never once appeared on my Christmas list. Bring me a bag of Pistachios or a copy of The Beano Annual 1981, then we're talking.
Vets Bills. Oh heck vets bills. This is a post I've been asked to write, and Gary has to help pay for himself, so no being embarrassed everyone's going to know you have a tiny winky. You're taking one for the team lad.
We didn't want a cat, but Gary adopted us. He
mainly makes us aware of this by refusing to go away, trying to lie on us and refusing to
leave the house. He
won't go outside. No interesting gifts for us or the neighbours. Instead he wants to play fetch, and he wants to sleep a the bottom of our bed. This completely negates most of my arguments about cats. Except the vet's bills....
I reviewed Gary shortly after his arrival, and made the error of suggesting that he was cheap to run. He's completely infested my house with fleas and had a blockage in his willy 3 times. This has made him, at an average over £120 a month, THE most expensive pet I've ever had. He's more expensive than the kids and we haven't even had him snipped yet. We should probably have just bought ourselves a gold-plated platinum cat and stared at it a bit. It would have been cheaper, and easier to photograph.
The Vets at our local practise are lovely. We're really getting to know them now. Gary is very amenable and just lies on the table - usually because his bladder is full and he can't really be bothered to move. Today was the first time he was taken straight 'out the back'. You can't quite see where they took him to, but I hope it's as good as these Beverly Hills dog kennels, with staff cuddles and cat milk on demand, because he didn't even stay overnight for his £180 and only had one meal.
He did however have his bladder emptied for him, and I imagine the relief was visible on his dopey anaesthetised face. Cats aren't really designed to pee a full pint.
He came home with a proviso though - he had refused to prove his restored ability to wizz while he was at the vet practise. Gary had witheld a sample all day despite being on a drip, and really needed to go before 8pm or we had to take him to the emergency vet, and then he'd have a bigger operation which was going to smart quite a lot, and an in-patient stay which would be about as much fun as a week for him at dog camp.
So we watched and we waited and pretty much all he did was sit bolt upright and stare at us with huge drugged pupils, and expect more food. I managed to get him to drink an entire bowl of water using only a small handful of cat biscuits floating around as bait. But no pee.
Gary usually pees over the drain in the bath. As he's my only cat-owning experience, I prefer to assume this is perfectly normal. To my own horror I actually placed him in the bath and spent 20 minutes chatting encouragement to him, while he sat in the bath bolt upright, staring at me with his huge drugged pupils. I even did that scratchy thing on the porcelain, and ran the tap, just to give him hints. Nothing.
So the deadline had passed and the small kids were put to bed, and we had to discuss which one of us was going to Google '1001 ways to make money fast', and who was going to take a joyous night-time visit to the animal equivalent of A&E. Gary meanwhile had stopped staring, strolled off and was curled up in a ball on the end of our bed, and when I tried to rub his side, rolled over onto his back and stretched out purring for a tummy rub.
I don't know about you, but I like the vet to take over at this point. I'll just step back and defer responsibility to a real grown up. I've never had a cat before Gary, what does it even mean? This doesn't seem to be a distressed cat. Has Gary had a secret wee?
Behaving like sensible grown ups, my partner and I then spent the next hour staring at the cat and attempting to convince ourselves he had been for a stealth pee. Cat anatomy, length of time required to get 2 small boys into bed and 'how strongly cat wee would smell if the cat had been on a drip all day' have never been such hotly debated topics. No sleep was going to happen unless someone witnessed, well, heard at least, flowing liquid.
And then something magical happened. Gary got a 10pm call from his new friend, The Vet, enquiring as to his health and arranging another date for tomorrow morning. I could pass the responsibility! I told her everything that had happened, in way too much detail, and described using a mere 4000 words the entire cat belly stroking hour. Never have I been so pleased to speak to anyone who has costs me so much money to visit. She agreed there'd definitely been a covert toilet visit, and just like that, she'll see us first thing tomorrow to check on his progress.
Damn. This is when I realised just how concerned I was about the cat...
He's cost us £30 a week, and the kids are going to have to endure a few more weeks of crispy toilet roll. Is it worth it?
It has to be... I'll admit it. I deeply care for the cat. Just Gary though, I'm still not a cat person...nope. And no more vet visits, please, or we'll have to send him out to work. Crumpled moths don't fetch much these days...