|I keep this photograph of Chase Bird on my computer desktop at work. It's a favorite.|
A couple of weeks ago, we took Chase Bird to the vet’s office to get his rabies vaccination updated and a skin irritation checked.
We waited for a day that we could both go because Chase Bird does not like to go to the vet’s office.
He does not like to go to the vet’s office.
The last time we took him in for his rabies shot, he got away from the vet technician holding him. He ran around the exam room, and then he jumped on top of the counter, where he quickly destroyed the neat bins of empty plastic hypodermic tubes and other supplies. The countertop was a wreck by the time we caught him.
He’s been to the emergency hospital once since then, for stomach issues. He cried all the way there and all the way home.
Two weeks ago, he cried in the car on the way to the vet’s and continued into the office. We talked to him, trying to soothe him, but it didn’t do any good.
While we waited in the exam room, Chase huddled in the back of the carrier, wailing. Finally, I started to sing.
Chase Bird, Chase Bird,
You’re our little boy.
Papa loves you so,
Mama loves you too,
You’re our little boy . . . .
And on and on, making it up as I went.
Chase Bird’s eyes got bigger. He cried a bit, but more softly. His little shoulders, held up high, lowered. He moved up to the front of the carrier where Larry and I could reach his chin to scratch.
When I stopped singing, he started crying again. So I kept singing.
Until the vet and her assistant came in. Then he wasn’t interested in my singing.
Despite his noise and resistance, the vet examined him. We told her how Chase Bird has been licking his stomach and back legs so much that his fur has gotten thinner there.
His licking started soon after we gave him full range of the house last fall. We had to keep him and Sam separated, though they saw each other and interacted through a gate.
After Sam died, his whole routine changed. Our vet agrees that the loss of Sam and the new environment could be making him anxious.
We’re also looking at a possible allergy, making some adjustments in his diet.
He seems to be licking less. He continues to hang out with us and enjoys playing. He still spends at least part of the night sleeping on my feet.
We want to get a couple of diffusers to use for the pheromones that soothe some cats’ anxiety. We try to create a peaceful environment for him.
And I think he likes his Mama to sing to him.
Do you ever sing to your pets?