Some of my more loyal readers will know that I write a fortnightly column for the student newspaper at my university. Up until now I haven’t shared any of those columns on here but since I’m not feeling up to writing a blog post right now I thought I would post my most recent one. It’s not available online so I’ve posted the text below for you.
Last weekend I had an interesting time, and by interesting I mean expensive. I have a kitten named Didi, who is cute as a button and loyal as a dog. My husband got her for me as a surprise birthday present, and we have been putty in her paws since the day she first set foot in our flat. Any pet owners among you will know that animals provide an endless supply of funny stories, just look at Marley and Me. If Didi had her own movie, last weekend would have been a great scene to add. Sadly, I don’t think I am about to make millions from a movie blockbuster about my kitten, at least she provided me with content for this week’s column I suppose.
On Sunday morning when we woke to find her crying and howling incessantly, we were like panicked parents of a new born child. After changing her water, giving her food and doing everything else we could think of, we did that stupid thing you always see on American sitcoms. We started talking to her, asking her to show us what she wanted. If a baby can’t, I have no idea how a kitten would show their owner what they wanted. What can I say? Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I decided it would be a good idea to seek advice so I turned to my parents, lifelong cat lovers and owners. Peculiarly, however, they didn’t answer the phone at ten to nine on a Sunday morning. Make of that what you will. I tried their mobile numbers, and for all of the times they’ve moaned about my not answering my phone, they didn’t flipping pick up the phone either. I was forced to turn to trusty Google in an attempt to learn to be a vet in a couple of minute by typing in various combinations of words. The problem was though that other than a lot of moaning, rolling around on the floor and a sore part on her tummy, Didi didn’t have any other symptoms, and all of the possible diagnoses included sickness, swollen stomach or a description of poop that didn’t match. Yup, checking for that one was a fun activity. In a moment of genius (read sarcasm) I decided to share my predicament with all of my Facebook friends in the hope that one of them might be able to save me an expensive trip to vets. In hindsight, I imagine most people didn’t want to read a description of my cat’s bowel movements that early in the day.
While I waited for cat lovers to share their wisdom on my wall, I continued to ring my parents. Finally they answered and confirmed what Paul and I had hoped to avoid- we had to take her to the vets. Sigh. If you have ever had pets you’ll know that it’s a costly enough affair going to vets, let alone when it’s out of hours. To make the whole thing seem more dramatic Didi provided a background soundtrack by continuing to cry in the most pathetic and heart wrenching tone. I hoped the couple upstairs with the baby couldn’t hear her. When we rang the emergency vet they told us that at the very least we would need to pay £80 to bring her in. Ouch. Add to that £5 each way for the taxi. Now I was really praying there wasn’t something seriously wrong with my little ball of fluff. To my shame, I kept imaging awful scenarios in which Didi would have to undergo some long and, more importantly, expensive treatment. For all of her wonderful traits, my kitty can be pretty naughty. I’ve never seen a kitten who attempts to digest so many random and potentially harmful things, I signed up for cat, not a Labrador!
Anyway, back to the story. By the time that we found a vet and the taxi arrived we were getting pretty worried, if there was an obstruction then we needed to get her to the vet as soon as possible. Since I wasn’t dressed (don’t judge me, it was a Sunday), Paul- that’s my husband- took her on his own. Unusually for Didi, she was completely quiet during the taxi ride, giving us all the more reason to worry. When the vet got her onto the table she was still completely silent. As she was examined, not a peep. The cat seemed totally fine. Paul was feeling pretty stupid at this point. When he explained how she was acting, the vet barely managed to stifle a laugh. Didi was absolutely fine, she was just on heat, that’s vet talk for saying she’s horny. That’s right, we paid £90 to find out our cat was trying to have sex. Great. The very worst that was wrong with her was cramps.
Keeping his head down, Paul paid the receptionist, and left as swiftly as he could. I had a bit more sympathy for the cat, not the horny part, but having had period pains I could understand the whimpering. I made a joke about giving her a hot water bottle and some chocolate that didn’t even break a smirk on to Paul’s face. I think it’s safe to say the next time he hands money over to a vet it will be to get Didi spayed. While I write this she continues to howl in the hope of encountering a male lover.
So, what is the moral of this tale of woe? When a cat is horny, you’re going to know about it.
So, what did you think? Just in case you were curious ‘Gair Rhydd’ (the name of the paper I write for) means ‘free word’ in Welsh.
Love Katie x
p.s. The title of this blog post is the name of my column.