August 18, 2009
Today is the big day for the kitties. We have had it written and circled on the kitchen wall calendar for two months. Today is the almost Free Rabies clinic to be held at the Smithville Flats firehouse in Smithville Flats.
A week ago I checked it out first by driving there — 13 miles from my home each way. So far and so different are the laws of nature over in the next valley that when I left Route 12 at the “10 Miles to Smithville Flats” sign the sun was mostly out with some big elephant type clouds closing in on it. Two miles into the research trip the heavens opened up and the wipers went at full speed while I made my way along the twisting country road to find Smithville Flats. I did. There is a cute country store and a few small houses. The white clapboard firehouse building was all locked up although the reader board outside proclaimed a pancake breakfast coming there on Saturday. No signs about the traveling rabies clinic.
As a community service the county offers a nearly free traveling clinic for pets to get their shots. I say “nearly free” because they expect you to pay $5 for the serum. It’s better than a full priced trip to the vet when you have two healthy cats, which I do.
I was told about this clinic, closest to my home in Oxford, by a vet’s office. The vets, I think, offer their services for free. Not sure, since this is my first time going to a rabies clinic. My cats are one year overdue for their shots and since they both spend daytime hours outside; we are kind of rural with wildlife available to wander on the property at any time.
Anyway, I have been planning “the seize and capture” action into the carriers event for some time. I waited until they were both nicely settledinto their mid-morning naps. PD Budd, the smaller and more skittish of the two, was easily surprised out of the basket. They own one round basket with soft bedding by the bird watching window. Sharing this prime location has been worked out between them as either cat gets there first gets in or whoever is the heaviest and most forceful pushes the other out. Usually this mean that Buddy Budd gets the basket when he wants it. PD was stuffed into the best, sturdiest carrier before he knew it.
By the time I got the softer duffle bag like carrier from the closet and into the bedroom, Buddy Budd was awake from his nap and looking into the shadowy recesses of PD’s carrier to find out why he was whining.
Getting Buddy into his carrier was a lot like stuffing myself into an old bathing suit in the springtime. Somehow he seems to have outgrown the carrier. After I shoved and kneaded his long, heavy, black body into the red bag his eel-like moves allowed him to escape twice. I needed to close the zippers with a twist tie because he easily pulled them open. Wrestling match over we all got into the front seat, turned the air conditioning on high, radio too and away we went to conquer rabies for another three years.
On the way to the Smithville Flats firehouse Buddy spent some of the time trying to scratch his way out until he went to sleep. Also not long before we were on Route 12 before the Smithville 10 mile turn off, someone pooped. The air conditioning helped blow the smell into the backseat and the radio blocked out a lot of PD’s whining. And so we drove through the countryside. No cars on the road just us. Also, no Rabies Clinic at the closed up firehouse. 11 a.m. an hour after I thought he clinic started and no one there. The only place with people in Smithville Flats is the country store when I entered and asked. The slight woman with a tight perm behind the counter listened to my problem and promptly called Whitey on her cell phone. Yes! There’s a Rabies Clinic at the firehouse tonight at 5:30.
Home we drove another 13 miles to sounds of moaning and scratching. By the time I pulled into the drive I looked at PD through the black screen on his carrier. He was lying on his side, tongue hanging out, panting, looking at me in desperation.
I let them out, discovered the pooping culprit… PD. They immediately ran into their house while I did some garden watering. Little do they know that we are going to repeat the capture and stuff procedure at 5 p.m. How little they know, how much they trust.