This morning I had to do something that I dread every time it rolls around -- time to take my cat Chloe, to the vet for her annual check up.  As soon as that cat carrier comes out of the cupboard, she knows what’s coming and pulls out every trick in the book to avoid getting inside.

She runs away from me, and hides in all the places she knows I can’t reach her, looking at me with those big wide Puss N Boots eyes.  And when she’s finally in her cat carrier, she wedges herself against the door, trying to force it open so she can get out, all the while making that horrible mewling sound that sends shivers up my spine and brings tears to my eyes every time.

On the drive to the vet, she hyperventilates, with pupils dilated, her mouth wide open and panting. I hate putting her through so much stress and panic, but I know these visits are essential and for her own good. I just wish I could tell her that!

I wish I could just pick her up, give her a cuddle and say, “Chloe, we’re going to the vet this morning. Everything will be fine, ok? They’re just going to make sure that I’m looking after you properly and that you’re happy and healthy.  And even though I’m taking you out of your home, and the places the smells that are familiar and that you love, it will only be for half an hour, and then we’ll both come back home, and I’ll give you a good brush, and we’ll spend the morning soaking up sunlight on the balcony together, OK?  So just know that this is for your own good, and you just have to be brave for half an hour, and it will all be over.”

It would be so much easier on both of us if she understood what was happening, but of course, we can’t have that conversation, and so whenever she’s shut up in her carrier, and taken into the car, trapped and surrounded by all these loud, strange noises and unfamiliar sights and smells... no wonder she has a panic attack and starts to hyperventilate.

She has no idea what’s happening to her.

When we got into the vet’s room and I got Chloe out of her carrier, she immediately turned to me and buried her face into the crook of my elbow.  I felt my heart swell, because even though I had brought her here, even though it was me who had put her through all this, she obviously understood enough to still trust me enough to turn to me for comfort.

After everything was done and we were on the way back home, my mind turned to some times in my life where I felt like Chloe -- petrified, panicked, trapped... wondering what the heck was happening to me, and what I’d done to deserve this.  I remember questioning things, seeking desperately to understand...

And I wondered if perhaps God was upstairs looking down, knowing it was happening for my own good, thinking it would be easier on both of us if He could explain what was happening to me, wishing He could tell me that if I was brave for just a little longer, it would all be OK... hoping that I would understand to still trust Him enough to turn to Him for comfort.

I’d like to hope so.


Shireen says, "I'm 29 years old and I live in Sydney, Australia.  Chloe turned 7 this year and is one of a number of beautiful felines to inspire me and bring meaning to my life."

You can write to Shireen here: -- Shireen  <rainbowdust_77 at>

Shireen also has a blog which you can visit by clicking on this link:

Shireen also wrote about Amber which you can read here:

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

Sponsored Advert