A Love Story by Zoe
It’s February 14th, my friends! And you know what that means. Before I tell you my love story, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Zoe the Fabulous Feline, and I live with a human named Emily. I write stories; my human likes to paint. I say art has its place, but reading is the higher virtue.
So, I want to tell you a love story. But, first, let us define “love,” shall we? There is the love between humans, be it romantic, familial, or platonic; love between animals; love by humans for animals, and certainly vice versa. One can love food: Fancy Feast, sliced, in gravy—my favorite—and chocolate, my human’s favorite. (She insists chocolate is indeed a food.)
We can also love things, although that is the kind of love humans need to learn to do without. And as we all know, there is love of money. A love trap, for sure.
There is also the kind of “this-will-hurt-me-more-than-you” kind of love. This is what I want to tell you about today, specifically as it pertains to the bad habit my human has of taking me to the vet every so often. Too often, if you ask me.
I have written before about my visits to the vet’s office to get my nails trimmed. One time, the vet had the audacity to say I was overweight and to convince Emily to starve me for a while. Oh, I know what you’re thinking: That Zoe, how she exaggerates! No, I do not. You try living on a third cup of food every day and see how you like it.
Anyway, after my last vet appointment, the cat carrier was somehow lost. This made me sad—not! I figured if she couldn’t find the carrier, she couldn’t take me to the vet again. I had an appointment yesterday and, fortunately for me, Emily still couldn’t find the carrier. I sat smug and safe in my condo, and even smiled at her when she went out, telling me she’d be right back. I thought, Take your time. I’ll just have me a nice snooze.
I was awakened by the sound of Emily’s key in the door. She came in, arms laden with bags. That was no surprise. What came out of one of the bags was a surprise; she had gone out and purchased a new carrier! She set the thing down on the floor and unzipped one end of it, placing something inside before walking away.
After a respectable amount of time, I sauntered over to the carrier. Gave it a sniff or two as I walked around it. She has good taste, I’ll give her that. The carrier was quite pretty, black with pink and white flowers, pink straps, and a pink shag “rug” inside, as well as a soft pink pillow, embroidered in white with the words I love you.
Accepting my fate, I didn’t fight when she put me in the carrier. Like I said, it was pink and soft and I looked good in it. I know I looked good because Emily took some pictures. Then she took me out to the car and off we went. I enjoyed this part of the trip, but I knew what was coming, and I would bide my time.
There were no other creatures in the waiting room this day, so I had no reason to growl, hiss or spit. This played right into my strategy of allowing them to see how mellow I had become. My plan was to be so well behaved that they would take me out of the carrier this time, and when they did, I would bolt. They would never get me on that torture table!
While we waited in the exam room for the vet to arrive, Emily put a treat in the carrier. I turned my head away. She brought me here and there wasn’t much I could do about that. But I could refuse her bribe. The vet soon came in and said that it was also time for my physical. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. Still, she didn’t say “nails” so I wasn’t worried. I sensed my chance to bolt was coming. But the vet opened the carrier from the top instead of the side, and then all she did was reach in to pet my head and ears. I was cool with that; it felt very loving. Next, she held me firmly by the scruff and pressed on the side of my throat. Like magic, my mouth opened—really wide. Surprisingly, I heard her say, “Thank you, Zoe.” Apparently, pressing on that spot causes the mouth to open involuntarily, giving the examiner an opportunity to look at the victim’s teeth and gums. (I admit, I was impressed.) Finally, still holding me by the scruff with one hand, she used the other to poke all around my belly. I did not like that one bit. But being in that scruff-hold, all I could do was growl.
Finally, Sarah entered the room. Sarah is the vet’s assistant, the technician that often has to do all the dirty work. Like holding down fabulous felines like myself while someone else clips the nails. She carried a large towel (straightjacket) and yellow leather gloves. About four inches thick, they went all the way up to her shoulders! Sarah put this protective gear on as she told my human to return to the waiting room. The part of the visit I detested was about to begin.
At the door, Emily turned back toward me and said, “It’s okay, Zoe. Remember, I love you. And this is for your own good.” Sure it was. She left and the horror began. I hoped Emily could hear my cries and screeching.
After the torture was over, Sarah brought me back to the waiting room. She set the pretty black and pink carrier down on the bench. Emily cooed at me, again telling me how she loved me. You have a funny way of showing it, I was thinking, when she foolishly put her hand on the mesh panel behind which I sat . . . sulking, I will admit. I swatted her good. Of course, I did not extend my claws—what little I had left—because I didn’t want to hurt her. I wanted only to show her that I was very unhappy.
When we got home, she put the carrier down and unzipped the opening. Without looking at her and with my head held high, I walked out of my pink and black jail, the previously-ignored bribe firmly in my mouth. I made my way to another room, out of her sight, to enjoy my well-deserved treat. A faint voice trailed me. “Oh, come on, Zoe. You know I love you!”
Emily’s Sunrise Editing Services
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