Saturday, March 10, 2007

Aliya - The cat with a dog's life



We have a couple of cats at home. Don't get the wrong idea, we're not a house of animal lovers nor are we the types who treat pets as surrogate children. Just that these two cats that have been around for a while. I'm not overly attached to them, they're okay as cats go and, as pets go, they're good things to keep.

Maintenance is low key; they need feeding and watering and that's about it. When we moved into the house I had a cat flap put in, one with a magnetically operated door that is triggered by the magnetic collar worn by each cat. I may not win any prizes from the animal conservationists but I must tell you that it makes me chuckle heartily on a few rare occasions when I've heard a loud "bang" from the vicinity of the cat flap and I've investigated to find a dazed cat standing outside, its magnetic collar either missing or broken.

So no, I'm no great animal fan, but these cats, in the words of Basement Jaxx, do their thing. They mooch around, they eat, they drink and they go out and roam and wander back in when they feel like it. Sometimes they bring a mouse or two in and that has to be dealt with, but otherwise they're trouble free.

Except when they're ill.

The other day the wife asked me to call the vet to book an appointment for Aliya, the one in the picture. This cat, that does absolutely bugger all normally apart from going for the odd stroll and being fed, was looking "out of sorts" I was told.

I made the call, not without lots of smirks on my part, just couldn't help myself really, you know me.

The conversation was going well until I had to give the cat's name, it was already registered with the vet.

"Aliya" I said, and then had to spell it.

"And the surname?" the friendly receptionist asked.

"Eh?" I replied.

"The surname" she repeated.

"Of who?" I asked.

"The cat" came the response.

"Well it doesn't really have one, it's a cat" I said, perplexed.

"What's yours then?" she was obviously more used to this conversation than I was.

"Diaspora" came my reply, although I did use my real surname, which you probably know anyway by now.

"So it's Aliya Diaspora?"

"No, it's Rhythmic Diaspora" again I did use my real name there.

"I meant the cat is called Aliya Diaspora" she said, or more snarled, at me.

"Oh right, I get it" I lied. After successfully overcoming this hurdle the rest of the call was plain sailing. I booked Aliya in and answered her question about what seemed to be wrong with it.

"It's been run over?" she said.

"No I said it looks run down"

"So you didn't actually see it happen then?"

"See what happen?" I asked, wondering what I could do to stay calm.

"The accident".

"What accident?"

"The one when it got run down" she barked.

"There wasn't actually an accident, I said it looks run down, you know knackered, tired, not itself." I was deep breathing now. Not in a pervy way, just trying to keep my even temper.

"Oh okay then" she seemed disappointed at this, I assume flattened cats are more costly to fix than cat shaped ones.

The following day as I got in from work the wife was also pulling up with the twelve year old and a cage thing with Aliya inside it. They were returning from the vet's appointment.

We went into the house and I asked twelve year old what was wrong with Aliya.

"You better ask Mum" she told me, teenagerly.

"Well you won't believe this, and it cost £74 to find this out. It's got stress" she told me in rather pained tones.

"He said to give it these tablets for a couple of weeks and come back if it doesn't get any better."

I've heard it all now. A cat with stress.

Whatever next?

Counselling?

8 comments:

drac said...

No. Spa treatment. I'm not kidding.

Also, your Aliya-without-a-trunk looks very much like Salem and Mitzi, the household felines here. Colour, general attitude to life (feed me! miaow! Feed me NOW, silly human!)
At least you don't get pigeons, rabbits, sparrows and the occasional mole deposited outside your door in the mornings. Salem even did a Christmas special, one pigeon each for my landlord and me :)

I would photograph them more, but they seem to have a superstition about the whole camera business and refuse to pose. Pity.

Darwin said...

Haha that's rather funny. Pets over here in the UK get far too much fussing over I think. And yes I have heard of pet therapy somewhere. It's insane!

Anonymous said...

haaaaaa haaaaaaaa thank heavens it is a cat with stress and not a stressed out pussy!!!!!

N said...

I can relate, all I do is eat,drink, sleep and apply for the occasional job...and I'm stressed to the eyeballs....

but that is hilarious!:)

Indyana said...

did i send the prev comment or was it swallowed??? Anyway, I was saying that there is a stray cat that lives on our premises,actually on the garden shed under our kitchen(we live on the first floor, landlady lives below) It seems content eating stuff from our place and neighbours and is fat and scary.even fights with the crows for bits, and enters the kitchen to get more food . What a world of difference from cats in the uk(espy pets) they're almost royalty!

Java Jones said...

Second attempt (again!)

I had a friend whose cat was stressed
and so she called a vet who said it was depressed
and wondered about the reason for it.
She said she couldn’t think why,
but perhaps, she thought, it could have been the fly
the cat chased all day and couldn’t catch
and then it fell in a heap and started to weep, as only cats do.
My friend was distraught but in a flash
discovered that hash
could put it right and so they went back home, the cat and she –
the cat had milk whilst she had tea –
the mix did it and the cat was back in the groove
And what was best
Was the cat returned to being
laid-back from being stressed

Jules said...

So funny!! The UK gets madder and madder. I think you've been had by your vet: 74 quid! What does the cat have to get stressed about?! Sparrows with attitude, aggressive dog moved into neighbourhood, can't take the drum practice anymore, not enough attention at home?! I hope you don't go back - it'll have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) next from visiting the vet in the first place! That'll be 174 quid and a trip to the cat sanctuary for treatment at 100 pounds a day plus expenses. Honestly! :D

S said...

If anything, your vet should be charging you ten times that. They do have to learn five bodies, y'know - as opposed to a doctor's one ;)

Btw, exactly how does one's cat stress itself?