When it comes to my pets, I have always been one of those people.
You know the kind: the ones who take guardianship of their fur-children very, very seriously indeed. The ones who always have a weather eye out for any slight change in demeanor or habits. The ones who pounce on opportunities to better the all-too-short lives of their charges.
It’s a gradual evolution.
You begin as a child who loves the family pet. The child who can’t sleep without Fido or Fluffy nestled close. The child who sobs uncontrollably when their fur-sibling eventually departs, often becoming the first lesson in the incalculably final loss that death bestows.
And then you learn the corollary: that loss does not end the heart’s capacity to love. So another pet pads its way into your life and the pattern of lifelong companionship begins.
I’m unaware of exhibiting overt signs of the fierce protectiveness that has evolved with the advent of each successive fur-child. But now I’m wondering if I’ve gone attitude-blind; if I emit something akin to a rank odor that warns the rest of humanity to give me a wide berth.
This dawning suspicion reared its head following today’s annual vet appointment for my oldest cat, Ebony.
Having owned animals all my life, I consider myself a connoisseur of veterinarians. I know what they should ask. I know how they should present themselves. I’m very, very picky and have no qualms about abandoning a doctor who doesn’t meet my stringent requirements.
But this is the first time a vet has quietly stood to the side and asked me how I’d like things to go. Exam first and shots after? Or vice versa? Or maybe the Benadryl shot for allergies first to mellow the cat out, and then exam, and then final shot?
I am impressed. I opt for exam first and then shots, knowing how my cat will be hyper to get away once needle pierces skin.
It isn’t until after I leave, cat in tow, that I realize the entire staff is behaving with extreme caution, because they recognize the most dangerous of all animals is in their midst.
Shudder in her presence, for she will stop at nothing to protect her own…