Lynn Dike

Driving Miss Satan

2007-06-27 10:57

Lynn Dike

So something arrived in my mail that sent shivers down my spine. It was a kind reminder from my local vet that my cat is due for her annual inoculations, the thing I dread more than tax returns or trips to the dentist.

It's the one time of the year when I wish I had a more sedate pet, like a goldfish, or a tortoise - or even a tin of tuna.

When the time approaches I'm filled with dread complete with clammy hands, heart palpitations and beads of sweat on my forehead. It's pure torture, and I'm not quite sure who suffers more, me or my cat.

Strangely enough when the cat carrier comes out, my cat seems quite excited. "An adventure!" she's thinking - and all proceeds in a most orderly fashion until we get to the car.

My cat hates my car. She has no appreciation for the sleek black lines and the robust German engineering. And as soon as I turn the ignition the yowling begins.

Now when it comes to vocal talents my cat is a total prima donna, a lot like Mariah Carey without the tacky wardrobe - a powerful set of pipes, a five octave vocal range and a shriek that could shatter a wine glass.

Communication

Apparently cats never employ meowing to communicate with each other. This sound is meant for establishing contact with humans only. And her communication runs something along the lines of "Get me out of this moving death trap you evil woman."

I've tried putting calming drops into her water bowl, but that had no effect. I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that she insists on only drinking running water in the basin and refuses to touch her water bowl. Maybe I should take the rescue remedy instead.

Once I've tried to pacify her by sticking my fingers into the cat box to give her a reassuring pat. For my troubles I was rewarded with fingers shredded to the knuckles and a few fang marks in my nails. I sure won't be making that mistake again in a hurry, and now I keep my body parts away from the sharp bits.

When I stop at traffic lights, I try and keep a low profile, but I can see my fellow drivers looking around with alarm. I just know they're trying to find the source of the ear-piercing noise.

A brave Homeless Talk seller ventured closer to peer inside the car once, but got an eyeful of a hysterical cat with wild eyes and her nose pressed to the window two inches away, hissing and spitting, clawing to get out.

Brush with death

He stumbled away terrified, and as much as I tried to reassure him, he wouldn't venture close enough to talk to me again. I'm pretty sure he still tells the story of his brush with death to his mates.

By the time we arrive at the vet, my sanity is on a knife edge. I normally storm into the waiting room and offer the spawn of Satan in furry pyjamas to the highest bidder, but strangely enough nobody seems interested in acquiring a yowling cat.

When we are finally ushered inside, the cat is hyperventilating and I'm desperately searching for a large bottle of tequila.

The actual inoculation is the only peaceful period during the entire time. The furry monster is reduced to a playful kitten at the mere sight of my vet and flirts with him outrageously, with not a yowl to be heard.

To conclude this joyous event, there is the huge bill to pay. This involves taking out a second bond to cover your financial losses, as the cost of inoculating a cat is roughly the same price as brain surgery for a human.

Then it's back in the car for the serenade home and it's over. Until next year, when the fun starts all over again.

  • Lynn Dike was judged the winner in News24's first Craft your Column competition. She won a paid column writing contract from News24. Read her columns every second Wednesday on News24.

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