Posted by: Chelsea Novak | July 8, 2005

Zeusifer and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Worst. Pet owner. Ever.

I’ve been really lucky when it comes to my cat. He’s very affectionate, loyal, obedient and adapts pretty well. Sure he wakes me up in the wee hours of each day and is the master of the incessant meow, but he’s the trustiest of side-kicks and has followed me across the world and back.

Zeus, like most cats, is not a fan of going to the vet. It’s often been something he will endure with a growl or hiss, but usually everything that needs to be done gets done. Wednesday night was meant to be his annual check up. He’s a decade old now, so he gets all kinds of exciting tests that tell me that he’s still rockin’ it hardcore after so many years. I went to our vet’s office, predicting the usual fare as he’s a pretty healthy guy, but things went awry.

For lack of a better way to describe it, Zeus went mental. It may have been because it wasn’t his usual vet, or because he was there alone with me and clued into my anxiety or because the vet’s office was absurdly busy. I don’t know. What I do know is that I had never heard noises like that come from him. He was just not having it.

So it was decided that Zeus would come back the next morning and be sedated for everyone’s sake. That way the vet could get a good look at how he’s doing and hopefully less stress for him. He would have to be fasted that night.

I pretty much didn’t sleep on Wednesday night. He was fine, but I was still shaken by hearing my beloved kitty so scared and angry. This knot developed in my stomach that just hasn’t let go. I felt so awful in the morning when I couldn’t give him his breakfast. As much as I like to think that my cat and I communicate in some way, it was glaringly clear that there was no way to express “You can’t have food because they’re going to knock you out today” though head rubs.

As I’m drinking my breakfast smoothie and Zeus sat beside me meowing “why, why, why?” I watched the reports from London on TV and felt like a fool for being so upset about my cat when evil like that just won’t stop happening.

Anyway, Zeus and I made our way back to the vet. The vet decided that maybe we should try taking blood and things like that one more time before they try sedation. There’s always a risk with it (and a cost) and if that can be avoided, then better for everyone. So we tried, but it was worse than the night before. I stayed calm, stayed composed though I just wanted to cry. Helped them put him in a cage and said what all pet owners whose pets are having a bad day say “He’s normally never like this.” To be fair to him, if you held me down and tried to take blood from me, failed, took away my breakfast and tried to hold me down and take my blood again the first thing the next morning, I’d be violently angry too. Seriously, what were we thinking? Let’s examine a starved and tired cat.

So I left him there and drove into work. I listened to the CBC and thought a lot about the day that 9/11 happened. I got thinking that you can’t truly have an impact someone’s beliefs with a gun to their head, but at the same time how do you stop people from blowing you and your loved ones up?

I went through the day, kind of aware of what was happening, kind of not. I picked up Zeus, who was looking very angry about the whole situation. I tried to concentrate on all the instructions I was being given about getting further samples for the lab and about the blood they found in his urine (present thinking is that it’s there from a combination of the urine extraction that was performed while he was under and something that happens to male cats when the are very, very stressed, all of which should be remedied by a supplement I’ll be adding to his food this weekend). They told me thing after thing, that I was going to do and how we was going to need his teeth cleaned again and that one of his kidney’s is slightly bigger than the other (nothing new there). She showed me the heart stopping bill, which I paid (thank goodness for pet insurance), still rather stunned at how stressed Zeus had been with the process and the patch of fur that had been shaved off his neck for sedation.

I quietly asked “Is he healthy?” There had been so much drama and stress around this. I just came in to get his vaccinations, his annual de-worming and some other tests, but it felt like it was a situation was far more dire than that.

He is healthy. They’re still waiting on his thyroid (I think it would be odd if my cat had a thyroid problem like I do) and parasite tests to come back, which are 99% sure to be negative as he’s indoor (which kind of makes me wonder why we went through the exercise at all, but that’s just the tired pet owner talking, not the believer in preventive medicine). Apparently his heart is in fantastic shape. So yay for that at least.

I brought him home and the first thing he did was eat (a good sign) and he’s been napping big time ever since (as usual after his vaccines). I think he has forgiven me. We spent a lot of time curled up on the bed together last night. He got lots and lots of rubs and I just kept saying “I’m so sorry” and wondered what I’m going to do next year. Having him healthy is so important, but if bringing him to the vet turns into a drama that is so hard on the both of us… I just don’t know what to do about it.

At least we have a year to sort that out.

Today’s sing-a-long song: “In your world” by Muse




  1. You may think I’m weird, but the homeopathic vet has worked wonders on Katie and she’s way less stressed out going there than she ever was going to the regular vet. Plus they never insist on unnecessary crap, which I found was happening all too often at the regular vets.

  2. That title is so sad! I remember when we took Sig to the ex-vet and she used to just cower in her carrier. It would break my heart. We have a new vet (well, we go to the Blue Cross Animal Hospital on the Danforth now) and it is a completely different story. Have you checked out other vets in the area? That might help. Pats to Zeus from me.

  3. Poor Zeusers.

    I know it sucks and it makes you feel guilty, but as long as they make sure he’s healthy, it’s worth it. I’d rather have my Bingo mad at me for 5 extra YEARS straight than be gone from me that much sooner.

    A virtual rubbing to Zeus and a virtual new lip gloss to you.

  4. Best blog post title … ever. (My favourite book as a child.)


  5. Well last week must have been a bad one for cats because I had to cancel my weekend plans to take Miss Vivian to the vet on Friday due to some blood in her urine. She is fine and on some good old meds… but I swear these little furry friends are sometimes worse than kids! But seeing her happy makes the stress worth it I guess.

  6. Chelsea, You are the best pet owner. Just did a story on the worst pet owner in Queensland – a serial animal torturer who was in court for the 4th time on animal cruelty charges (kittens this time)… This woman and her family seriously creaped me out to the point where I couldn’t look at their pictures… You are so far removed from this. Zeus knows he has the best mommy in the world.

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