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It’s still February! Do you believe that? How could this shortest month of the year still be sticking around with its bitterly cold weather and prediction of more snow tomorrow? It just isn’t fair. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that for the past few days we at least have had the sun around. But, really, hasn’t that just been a tease — a cruel joke? There it is shining it’s little heart out, tempting me and all those little sparrows in the cedar bush outside with its brightness and warmth. But, just when you think, Hey maybe this sun is a precursor to spring, BAM, the air hits you and I swear that sun is snickering. It’s all wearing me down and pushing me even deeper into my self-dug hole of inertia. Ever since I came back from family and warmth and sun and beach of Florida, I have been stuck, stuck, STUCK. Nothing has moved forward on the “Earn-Some-Money, For Heaven’s Sake, Ann” front nor the one that screams in my ear every day about “Marketing, Marketing, Marketing!” There’s nothing to be said other than to admit, honestly, right here and now, that I have evolved into a Slug!

To make matters worse, I have had to put up with sharp little cat-arrows being slung my way from the back of the couch. Rose is not happy. And when Rose is not happy, Nick and I suffer greatly. This all started in late January when I noticed that her eye was

Rose magnificently ignoring me.

Rose magnificently ignoring me.

not looking so great. I told her so and she told me that it wasn’t my eye so mind my own business. But then, the No-Nonsense Trainer was over, took one look at that eye and proclaimed that it needed a Visit to the Vet. Rose told her to Mind Her Own Business too.

This was not an easy decision going to the vet. Firstly, because we, the cats and I, didn’t have a vet so how were we going to find one now? And secondly, and in some ways more importantly, to go to a vet in Toronto usually means that you will be in debt for the rest of your life. I haven’t felt guilty about not taking them for check ups and shots and all that stuff these ten years they’ve been hanging out with me. My philosophy has been — and I told them this right from the start — that we were going to wing it as far as vet visits went. When they got to the point of needing one, we’d go. They were in agreement with that decision. I mean, really, they’re indoor cats, I feed them good healthy food that costs as much or more than mine, they have two floors to run up and down so they’re getting their exercises. In the summer, they even can go out on the porch and tease the birds and eat my plants and pose for the neighbors. It’s all been fine, really — until now and Rose’s wonky eye.

Right-off-the-bat, I eliminated all the vets in the neighborhood where friends had taken their cats and after many thousands of dollars, came home without their pet and their money. It’s always easier to eliminate what you don’t want than to find what you do. This left me with internet research — not always a reliable source of information when it comes to anything but what choice did I have? I narrowed the search down to one that was close enough that a cab ride there wouldn’t get into high double figures and which got good reviews for friendliness and whose fans said they had the lowest prices in town. Considering what vets charge, that latter could still be well out of my reach.

Appointment made, I just had to persuade Ms. Rose to get into the carrier. She complained because she had to go out in public in that drab brown plastic box that did nothing to show off her natural beauty. Why, she asked, had I not purchased a new pink carrier or maybe lime green to set off her shiny black-and-white coat. No, here I was forcing her into using dead-Dex’s hand me down, for heaven’s sake. It was shameful. I didn’t have an answer for her, but I did have Len waiting downstairs to drive us over so I bumped her bum into the box and locked the door

She was remarkably well behaved for her first visit in ten years. She let out a few polite, “Meows”, in the waiting area. When the vet looked into her eyes, I could tell she was not flattered, especially when he poked her with a needle of antibiotics. The eye would heal, he said, but then added those words that any cat and cat owner hates to hear: Dental surgery, cha ching, cha ching cha ching. Worse, it meant two more visits at least for Ms. Rose. This was not going to be easy.

I hid the brown carrier while I went down south, hoping she would forget about its existence so when I had to put her in it again, perhaps she would think it a novelty, an adventure. Not to be. It took massive doses of cat nip and Temptations to get her near that hated cage to go to that blood sucking vet. Even her first cab ride home, sitting in the back seat like a princess, did not eliminate her pissiness at me for putting her through this. We had one more day to go. I was not looking forward to it because Ms. I-Love-Food Rose would have to fast for 12 hours before surgery. No Temptations could be used to lure her into that plastic hell.

I didn’t sleep the night before wondering how I was going to get her hungry, pissy self into that cage. Rose is not stupid — fool her once, ok, twice, lucky break, but a third time, wasn’t going to happen. I could think of a whole lot of other things I’d rather have been doing that morning — and so could Rose, I’m sure. But we did it and she came home grumpy at me and Nick. Nick, being the wise brother he is, just went upstairs and hid under the covers on the bed. She never looks for him there. I tried to convince her

Putting Nick in his place.

Putting Nick in his place.

that it was probably a good idea to take the drugs that they gave her. I mashed it into powder and put it in her food. She took one bite and went over and ate Nick’s. I tried opening the mouth and throwing it down but that was more than she would tolerate. Someone suggested peanut butter but that only got a impatient sniff from her before she walked away. So, I, somewhat guiltily, decided to let her heal as she chooses to heal. I just hope that Nick and I can stand being around her during the process or, I should say, that she will continue to tolerate us being in the same house with her.

Surely, at some point, Rose’s crankiness and February will indeed pass, or, I should say, at least February will!