In my mind, finding out about a rabid skunk attacking my elderly neighbor as she watered her flowers is somewhat of a big deal. And the fact that my dear husband knew about it and didn't think to tell me was an even bigger deal. [Now, I’m wondering, in his mind, what would constitute a big deal?!] We live out in the country, and occasionally one hears of rabid animals, but this was just a bit too close–less than one mile from our house.
That prompted a call to the vet to make sure all of our pets were up to date on rabies shots. Both cats, who technically are outside cats, were due; so in an effort to save time and gas, I decided to take both at the same time. I enlisted our youngest daughter's help, since the cats are hers anyway. Getting 17 pound "Friendly" (and, no, he's not) in the cat carrier is a feat in itself. And trying to get both cats inside the same carrier, well, not even a possibility. So my daughter and I rigged up a second carrier made with a laundry basket and a towel. An inner voice warned me this might not be the best plan, but visions of Old Yeller were prominently playing in my mind.
All was well on the way to the vet. Apart from a brief encounter with an overly friendly and nosy great dane in the lobby, we made it uneventfully into the exam room; and when each cat was examined, vaccinated and pronounced safe, we headed home. The ride home was a bit different. Little "Tres" [who once was a boy cat until I took him to be neutered and found out "he" was a "she"--which is altogether another post] was not happy, and neither was Friendly. His mournful cries only made things worse, and my daughter struggled to keep Tres’ laundry basket jail-cell intact. Not happening. So she opted to hold Tres wrapped in a blanket. I’m not sure just what happened, but we were almost home when I heard, "Oh man, gross! My leg’s wet," and then black fur and cat urine flew all over our back seat. When the car finally came to a stop, doors flung open and all exited like a scene from National Lampoon’s "Family Vacation." Cats and kids went for the hills, and I went for the baking soda, club soda, FeBreeze, disinfectant, and whatever else I thought might remove the offensive odor. Nothing, I mean, NOTHING helped. I called my loving husband, (who, technically, is at the root of all of this), and he said he had something at his shop which might help. So, with windows rolled down, and fingers pinching my nose, I drove the 2 miles hoping for a miracle. The entire de-odorizing process took close to an hour.
Meanwhile, I received a phone call from my daughter–"Mom, there is something on the floor upstairs that really, really stinks. . ." (Reminiscent of the "Mom, can I vacuum glass" incident.) In the midst of the earlier melee, Friendly had somehow found his way into the house and upstairs, far away from that crazed, middle-aged lunatic who was frantically flinging chemicals at the car. I guess all the day's events–car rides, great danes, vet appointments, shots, cat carrier confinement, crazy women-- had traumatized him, and in an hour’s time he had managed to vomit or poo in every room upstairs. I am an animal lover, but at that moment, if I could have put my hands on some of that tainted cat food we heard so much about in the news last summer. . .