Prepping a Big-Boned Cat for the Big Move

Preparations are officially under way for our semi-epic move from California to New Mexico, and I think I may be in denial about just how soon our move actually is because I’m mysteriously calm. But here it is, we’re semi-packed, still need to buy plane tickets, and I have a very, very cantankerous cat to transport on Friday.

Last week my husband and I took our cat to the vet’s for a check-up, vaccinations, and sedatives for the flight. Zeus is a 23-pound black and white behemoth who is the king of nap-time snuggling and has defied the veterinarian community by maintaining his portly stature despite a strict diet.

He hates car rides. He meowed the entire drive and shed half his weight on the way to the vet’s. But he’s no meek and mild pussy cat. Oh god no.

Once inside the waiting room, he began growling, soft and low. Then we brought him back into the exam room, where we had to dismantle his carrier around him to avoid losing an arm by reaching into the carrier to pull him out. My husband gingerly set Zeus onto the scale: 22.7 lbs. That’s my big boy. Hark! What is that I smell? Nervous diarrhea. Mmmmm.

We set him back into the shell of his dismantled carrier. The vet decided not to take his temperature. Check. She also opted to have one of the techs administer his shots. Check mate. With the approach of two techs, Zeus was positively shaking with fury. They threw a towel over his head and my husband gripped the back of Zeus’s head while one of the techs had a firm grip on his back. After the first shot, Zeus emitted a howl/hiss/growl that I’ve never heard come out of him before. The techs looked scared. After the second (and thankfully, final) shot, Zeus nearly wriggled free of the tech’s and my husband’s death grips. Nervous diarrhea strikes again. But that may have come from one of the techs this time. The techs didn’t try to clean it up. They told us to keep the towel and informed us we’re on our own.

We fastened the top half of the carrier over Zeus and the vet returned to give us sedatives, a prescription for Xanax, and the ominous parting words: “If those don’t work, good luck.”

Please tell me our flight will not involve diarrhea…

2 Responses to “Prepping a Big-Boned Cat for the Big Move”
  1. christine says:

    I’ve flown several times with our calmest cat, Bella. She was a champ and the whole thing was remarkably uneventful. I’ll be sending calming vibes your way. Good luck!

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