KITTY AND THE VET Written March 11, 2006 Fiction 1048 Words. Copyright 2006 Robert P. Herbst. All rights reserved. By Robert P. Herbst The other day, as the gang and I sat about in the front of my shop sipping our morning coffee, Hair Ball, the second of my two cats, began making the most disgusting noises.

It looked as if the cat was trying to throw up, but nothing came out. As the rest of us turned rather green at the thought of what might happen, Yodar Hoopelhoffer, the Mount Perry town idiot, watched the proceedings with intent interest. Why anyone would want to watch a thing like this, boggled the mind. Yet, here sat Yodar, completely transfixed by what was going on in front of him. At last Yodar turned to me and said, "Hair Ball, has a hair ball and the cat can't pass the thing in either direction. You need to take your cat to the Veterinarian." Paying a bit more attention to my long suffering cat, I realized Yodar was quite right. I'd suspected this was a hair ball, but Yodar's comment seemed to confirm my suspicions.

The very next morning I dragged the cat carrier out of storage and made ready to put kitty into the thing. This was much easier said than done. Hair Ball, "Spread Eagled" all four claws over the entrance to the cat carrier and absolutely refused to be put inside, much less have the door closed after the fact. The battle between man and cat went on for several minutes, until, Hair Ball, realized, I was stronger and not about to give up. Once inside the cat carrier and the door securely locked in place, Hair Ball, began making the most frightening noises.

It sounded as if I'd captured a Badger or some other ferocious beast and was transporting the thing in this flimsy looking cat carrier. The more frightening the noises coming from the cat carrier, the flimsier the container looked. The trip to the Veterinarian's office, though only a few blocks, was a study in the most ferocious noises I'd ever heard come out of a single cat. Hair Ball, was obviously not amused by the experience and wanted the entire world to know just how things looked from inside the cat carrier.

On arriving at the Veterinarian's office, I found the waiting room crowded with people and their sick pets. They smiled politely at me, but I was treated as a plague carrier because of the fierce sounds coming from the cat carrier. The people around me stared with wide eyed amazement at the cat carrier and began moving as far away from the carrier as the four walls allowed.

About this time, Hair Ball, got a whiff of the many dogs and other critters waiting in line with us. Judging by the shift in weight within the cat carrier, kitty had moved to the far end of the container and coiled there in anticipation of a life and death struggle. The volume and frequency of bone chilling noises emanating from the container in my hands grew in volume and frequency, as the people in front of me in the line, round eyed with fear and surprise, made way for kitty and I to approach the check in counter.

Suddenly, I was the only one in the room with a problem. At the check in counter, I carefully explained kitty's problem to two young ladies who weren't quite sure they wanted to have my cat carrier anywhere near them. The volume of screeching, growls, snarls and scratching from within the cat carrier now filled the room. Both dogs and owners now cowered as far away from my cat carrier as the confines of the room allowed.

Those who had not already made their way to the door and escape, now edged themselves in this direction. Suddenly, what had looked like a visit which might take several hours, now melted away into a cursory, "The Doctor will see you NOW." In the examination room, I placed my very animated cat carrier on the examination table and waited for the doctor. He arrived within seconds and asked me to take Hair Ball out of the cat carrier for examination. Somehow, I got the distinct impression, he really didn't want my kitty out of the carrier and potentially loose in his office. Hair Ball was, by this time, having an absolute fit inside the cat carrier. I opened the door to the carrier and reached inside for my loving kitty. I was suddenly alone in the room.

Kitty had spread eagled inside the cat carrier now, and refused to come out. The doctor, speaking from just outside the door to the examination room, told me kitty, would need to be anesthetized before he'd do his examination. However, he went on, he was sure it was only a hair ball and if I'd feed kitty this very special food he was about to sell me, the problem would go away.

I got the very distinct impression, he wanted me and my cat carrier to go away quickly and take the cat and the problem with me. "Ordinarily," he said, "an office visit is $30.00. However, if you leave now, I'll only charge you $15.00 because I never really examined your cat, --- there is a cat in inside there, isn't there?" Leaving the Veterinarian's office, I found the other pet owners gathered in the parking lot staring at my cat carrier with great apprehension.

As soon as they knew which was I wanted to go to get to my car, they cleared the way, as if by magic. As I place the cat carrier inside my car the volume of noise from within the carrier began to subside. By the time I arrived back at my flat, all was quiet. I carefully placed the cat carrier on the counter and opened the door. Hair Ball strolled leisurely out onto the counter top, looked at me and began making an even bigger hair ball. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if I took kitty with me, in the cat carrier, when I went to the supermarket and found myself in one of those endless check out counters lines?