How to get blood from a cat

Is this the Beast of Bodmin Moor?

Is it harder to get blood from a stone or a cat?

I’m not sure, but stones don’t scratch. Or bite.

We had to take all three pets into the vet the other morning for their rabies tests, a standard part of their pet passports. You know those identity documents that all the best travelling cats and dogs have!

The rabies bit of it all has to be kept up to date and that involves getting a regular booster and then checking the blood to see whether there’s enough immunity. Well that’s what they tell you, but I wonder if it is really a money-making scheme devised by vets and animal pharmaceutical companies. But without it, there’s no travel for the fur babies…

……So off we trot to the vet.

The first challenge in this process is ensuring the pets are nil by mouth from the night before, just in case they need to be sedated.

For. A. Blood.Test.

Now, you see, you would have thought that was a mighty big clue, right there. Someone, somewhere had considered the possibility that getting blood from a dog or cat might not be an easy thing to do.

But I brushed off the foreshadowing of doom, pre-occupied as I was with stuffing grumpy, non-compliant cat s(x2) into the cat cage (x1).

This is not an easy thing to achieve. At least not whilst retaining all your skin and sense of humour, in situ.

I sneaked up on Monty, cuddled him and then stuffed him head first into the cat carrier, fiddled with the cat cage door which has an annoying clip-on feature, and then went in search of Stella.

Stella doesn’t much like the cat carrier. Possibly because each time she’s been in the cat carrier she’s ended up going to the vet and being poked with needles. There is also the added insult to injury in that travelling in the cat carrier means being squashed with her head under Monty the younger (but more dominant’s) bum. Stella the Queen of cats, does not appreciate this rear end treatment, any more than I appreciate being wedged under the sweaty underarms of a man who’s been marinating in garlic for the past week, on the Tube.

The only way to get Stella into the cat carrier is by carrying out a covert mission that would make the SAS proud. All I’m at liberty to say is, it was quick and dirty, and she didn’t see me coming.

Once she was safely ensconced, I set off for the vet.

Bailey the dog was the first victim patient. She happily pranced off to the consulting room and returned soon after, the smile still hanging from her panting chops. But then Labs are like that. They’d be smiling through a nuclear holocaust. Next up, the cats. The vet nurse was a little too incandescently cheerful, as she carried them away.

Then we waited. And waited. 15 minutes went by. 25 minutes past. At 45 minutes past we heard a bloodcurdling yowl from the back of the Vet’s.

Were they treating the Beast of Bodmin Moor back there?

Another 10 minutes passed before a harrassed Vet nurse rejoined us in the waiting room. She grabbed the nearest seat and sunk into it. Her hair was a mess, all blood had drained from her face and she was rubbing her arms vigorously. I thought I even spotted an exasperated tear in the corner of her eye.

Apparently, Monty the Ocicat, isn’t keen on lying back and letting the vet nurse drain his veins. Oh no. He’s not even assured by the safe-cuddle (think straitjacket)  of three vet nurse assistants holding him down. He’s got teeth and he knows how to use them. After clipping a discreet band on his neck they had attempted to get the needle close to his jugular and ended up instead with the needle on the floor and Monty’s teeth near the vet nurse’s jugular. They tried again with the first forepaw, which was tricky as it was constantly in motion attempting to scratch out their eyes, or to forcibly insert a claw up a nostril, or two. When that failed they tried the second forepaw, successfully getting as far as clipping it of fur before Monty remembered he has teeth that can efficiently dismember a pigeon in 30 seconds. Or provide a primitive piercing through the nurse’s index finger.

In the end they decided that the only way to get close to sucking Monty the Ocicat’s blood was by sedation.

I’m assuming they meant sedating the cat, but looking at the vet nurse’s face they could just as easily have been talking about sedating her. Reluctantly I left Monty to their care and the feline happy drugs and returned after lunch to pick up one very grumpy cat and the vet’s bill.

£300 later, I decided I was the one who needed sedation. And Monty the leopard like cat? Oh he’s purrfectly fine…… Little sod.



'How to get blood from a cat' has 4 comments

  1. August 10, 2012 @ 8:05 pm Steve

    We took our little kitties to the vet for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Hatred at first sight. Our placid little girls became feral in an instant.


    • August 13, 2012 @ 10:52 am vegemitevix

      Amazing isn’t it how quickly they turn back into wild animals when faced with ‘danger’. Monty is typically such a smoochy sweetie but man take a needle to him and watch the fur fly.


  2. August 11, 2012 @ 10:44 am Roy Robart

    Nicely written – Très Amusement


    • August 13, 2012 @ 10:52 am vegemitevix

      Ah thanks so much for commenting. It was funny but thankfully don’t have to do that again for quite some time!


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