This morning Marlow had an appointment at the veterinarian. He needed a check-up before getting the prescription sedative I had requested. Probably not a bad idea, for most cats. I did tell them at the time I made the appointment that Marlow was more than a little nervous and although I had a carrier in which to contain him for transport, the exam itself was apt to be somewhat problematic.
We arrived promptly at 9:30 and went directly to the cat examining room. The vet tech started talking to Marlow and asked how to open the carrier. I unlatched the top and opened it. We both stroked him gently and he lifted his head ever so slightly to glance outside the carrier. She asked him if he was ready to come out. And he was. He flew out of the carrier in a streak of orange and started darting about the small room. Twice, mistaking the mirror attached to the back of the door as an opening, and flinging himself against it. With no escape in sight, he climbed up the bags of dog food stacked on shelves against the rear wall to get to the highest shelf and disappeared behind the bags at the very top.
The vet tech and I stood in silence for a few moments. Speechless. She goes
“It’s ok, he can chill for a few minutes.”
After a bit, she left the room, returning shortly with a little wet cat food in a paper bowl. I removed some of the dog food from the top shelf so Marlow could see us and placed the paper bowl on the shelf where he could smell it.
Nothing. She goes
“Do you think he’ll come down?”
“No.” Thinking: not a chance. “But if there’s a step-ladder around here I’ll get him down.”
She brings a ladder, I get Marlow and return him to his carrier. The veterinarian arrives and we all decide on a small dose of general anesthesia to minimize the amount of stress he is clearly experiencing and to administer his vaccinations safely. I found out later that they could have bathed him while he was under.
But it’s a good thing that bath didn’t happen because as soon as we returned home and I opened the carrier, he ran to the fireplace and jumped up INTO the chimney. Speechless for the second time in one hour.
I didn’t know it was possible for a cat to get into the chimney. I mean, I knew he was getting into the fireplace because he was dirty and it was obvious that particular kind of dirt was coming from the fireplace. But I didn’t know the flue opening was large enough for a cat. Turns out it’s a fairly substantial opening. He stayed up there for several hours. He was upset with me and although he climbed down two or three times during that interval, as soon as he saw me he jumped right back into the chimney. Finally he jumped out and I was able to close the flue behind him.
So he retired to the bedroom to regroup under the bed. He’s covered in soot, by the way.
Good thing I got the prescription for acepromazine because the next round of stress will be coming in another day or two when I wash his fur with soap and water to remove that sooty grime. Poor kitty. Poor Diane. I’ll be wearing safety goggles and Cristy will be standing by ready to call 9-1-1 if Marlow decides to escape from the kitchen sink by brute force.