This morning we took the kittens, by now cats, for their annual vaccinations, prompted by a deluge of email reminders from the vet. The half a dozen emails made sense when I looked at them, two jabs each for three cats, feline enteritis and feline leukemia, presumably generated automatically. Thankfully when I rang the vet the receptionist made an appointment for all three under the name of Mr Fidget, so I only got one text yesterday confirming that they looked forward to seeing me today. Still, it means it has been a year since our visit to the rescue centre, and our realisation that we couldn't leave one solitary kitten from the litter behind and would have to take all three.
Things did not bode well when we first got up as the only black and white cat in evidence was Mr Fluffy. We debated last night how much to feed them: too much and they wouldn't feel like coming in for their breakfast, too little and they might be driven to go out rabbiting and again not be bothered about missing breakfast. Fortunately Mr Cool and then Mr Fidget came when called, although Mr Fidget was not really hungry and soon became suspicious that we were up to something, even though we were trying to behave entirely normally. As the time to set off to the vet got closer we shut them out of more and more rooms, until they were limited to the kitchen and the inner hall and it was time to stuff them into their cat baskets.
Mr Cool began to panic and crash round and round in his basket, and as soon as the car started to move Mr Fluffy and Mr Fidget began to yowl, but we got there without anybody having a heart attack or an accident on the seats. I'd booked a nine o'clock appointment so that there would be the shortest possible delay between shutting them in at breakfast and setting off for the vet, which had the advantage that things were still running to time and we were called in after only a short period of contemplating dogs in the waiting room.
The vet we saw had given them their first shots when they were little, and vaccinated and microchipped our previous generation of kittens. She has unnervingly sound instincts when it comes to cats. It was she who told us that she thought the grey tabby had a compromised immune system while she was still a kitten, then became embarrassed and told us to forget that she had said that, but she was right in spotting that the grey tabby was not a good doer. Always thin as a rake, her spirit blazed defiant to the end but her kidneys packed up when she was only eleven, and that was after years of problems with the pads of her feet. I felt quietly relieved once the vet had weighed all three of the artists formerly known as kittens and listened to their hearts and palpated their stomachs, and pronounced them fit. My aunt's vet diagnoses heart defects in her cats so regularly that my advice was that she should find another vet.
Mr Fidget is once again the heaviest, as he was when we first got them. Mr Cool after an adolescent growth spurt that put him in the lead by a considerable margin is now in the middle, and Mr Fluffy remains the smallest under all the fur. The vet was pleased to hear that they all got on with each other, and frankly amazed to hear that they got on with our old cat, and sent us on our way with the hope in the nicest possible way that she would not see us for another year. It must be a satisfying part of a vet's job when your customers come in with a basket of rescue kittens, and return a year later with them all grown into healthy and well adjusted cats.
When we got home Mr Fidget and Mr Cool thought that they wanted to rush into the garden and sulk, but changed their minds at the offer of cat treats, and in the end they all came to sit with us and Our Ginger while we drank coffee, so there were no hard feelings about having been taken to the vet. It is a relief to have got that out of the way, though.