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Friday, October 16, 2015


sophia 6 weeks old

Thursday morning Sophia went for her first ride to see the doctor. She was remarkably calm, possibly for it being her first time. None of my cats or dogs in the past liked going to the vet. After returning home, Sophia took a nap on top of the cat carrier. Cats in the past would not go near the carrier after a trip to the vet. Sophia felt relaxed, even when a needle stuck her. I suspect whatever was in the shot made her drowsy. An hour or so after we arrived home she slept for two hours. We return in three weeks for first rabies shot. She did not seem to be out of sorts during the visit or after. At home, she was her usual playful self. Stopped at the grocery store on the way back for catfood and a package of carrots for donkeys. Sophia seemed a bit anxious when I returned from the grocery store after sitting in the car alone for twenty minutes. She meowed grown-up cat style when I opened the back door to put groceries on the seat. 
kitten in the cat chute
This my first car after years of pickups, the back seat amounts to an enclosed pickup bed. I don't haul wood anymore or do anything else that needs a pickup. What I do haul fits easily on the back seat. I even keep a plastic snow shovel in the back seat and a rolled up sleeping bag. I keep the battery charger on the floor in back. The car has some odd electrical leak I can neither find nor predict. I'll go out one morning in winter and the battery will be stone dead. This means calling a neighbor to ask for a jump start or to borrow a charger. Last time it happened, I bought a new charger. It goes with the car now like a jack and a spare tire. Found one that charges the battery in a matter of hours on sale for the same price as one that takes all day and all night. At the moment, the fifty foot orange extension cord lay extended on the ground between house and car, unplugged at both ends, for next time. I hesitate to put it up, expecting it to be needed every time I turn the key to start the car. I keep it coiled in a five-gallon bucket. No matter how carefully I coil the cord, uncoiling it amounts to untying knots in it, over and over, knots within knots. I would never trust a parachute that I packed.
Sophia's zebra legs
The vet's office sits at the bottom of Twin Oaks Mountain on Hwy 21 at Twin Oaks Gap. The road is a long downhill run in the gap. An air current flows through the gap. Main Street in Sparta is in the channel of air flow through Twin Oaks Gap. Sparta was originally Gap Civil. Another Gap. When the wind is blowing hard, the buildings along Main Street (Hwy 21)  make a canyon. A decade or so ago, the Sparta Revitalization Committee, volunteers, wanted to take out the center turning lane at the stoplight and plant it with ornamental trees. It would take a native maple to withstand the winds that rage through there. They would never plant a native tree. One without a price tag has no value. They were not going to do anything and they have not. Driving to the vet's office in the past with a dog, every dog I had started trembling at the top of the hill at Twin Oaks Gap. The scent of the office traveled up the hill through the gap. Every time, the dog trembled all the way down the long hill to the parking space. Cats of the past cried all the way to the vet and lay in the carrier traumatized all the way home.
Sophia's stripes
I'm curious to see how Sophia responds second and third times. I'm thinking about making a space to keep the carrier with door open and a cushion inside, make it a familiar, comfortable place. As it is, it takes up space and has no practical value at home. I'll do that. I see other people at the vet with dogs that don't seem to have a problem with the place. Mine always trembled while we sat in the waiting area. The hallway to the examining room takes a turn to the right and a turn to the left in a short space, then a left turn into the door. Nash Williams, the vet at the time, told me that a lot of people going out the door of the examining room turn left when the way out is to the right. He said no dog ever made that mistake. They all turn right. Sophia was curious about what was happening to her. She seemed comfortable with the female vet. Her mother was adopted from their office's ongoing selection of cats needing humans. The vet remembered Sophia's mother. Sophia is in good health, weighs 2.8 pounds, just right for her age. 
photos by tj worthington

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