Last month, being frugal, I bought a disposable carrier to take my cat to the vet for the first time. When I actually put her inside, though, the twenty-pound Siamese fit inside the biodegradable cardboard box like a coat a size too small. She growled in the car, but the actual visit was uneventful, quiet even, until the vet left the room post-shots and I put the cat back in the carrier and closed the lid. Suddenly, something in her flipped.
First I saw a claw, grasping outward in a cartoon dinosaur birth, and then a whole leg. I frantically put my hand over the hole like it was a burst pipe, as if somehow this problem were like water pressure. Within minutes, her full head emerged– all the blood had somehow rushed to her head and she sat there staring me straight in the eye for one terrifying second, her ears cherry-red and popping veins. And then, the box started to rock back and forth.
That’s when a vet tech walked in the room, and saw me huddled on the ground, trying to hold together the remains of the box and stuff half of a cat back inside at the same time. Not apocalyptic, but a worst-case scenario for the morning.
But the vet tech just laughed. She found a spare carrier, gave it to me for free, and shooed the cat inside. “I kind of want to take a picture,” she said. My New Year’s resolution is to be more like that vet tech. Because unless something is on fire, sometimes it’s a good idea to just stop freaking out– and maybe Instagram it.