I much prefer a trip to the vets than the doctors. Unless it’s not routine, which is awful. Today was the Rudi Dog’s day for his booster vaccination, which means I’ve had him for three whole years. He’s now transformed from the malnourished, scared of his own shadow lurcher from Navan of December 2007 into a passable impression of a pet. He used to double-back upstairs when he saw the lead, try to run off blindly if there was a sudden noise, and a car passing by on the street caused severe mental trauma. He still growls like a gurrier when approached if he’s half-asleep but, I suppose, some of us wouldn’t be without him now.
He has to keep his Coat of Power on in the vets. He feels naked without it.
This conditioning abounds in the animals in our house. Apparently, the cat starts tapping on the duvet after the first weekday alarm goes off about 5.30 am – the eerie light illuminating her fat tabby face. “Come on! Time to get up and feed me” she commands “I heard the alarm.”
When my alarm goes off about an hour later the dog starts what can only described as light shoving with claws, which reaches an urgency of whining and licking your face if you don’t jump out of bed forthwith. You would be forgiven for thinking he was desperate to go out and relieve himself, but I think he is more after the digestive biscuit.
Once we are out of bed the fish join in. What people in the room? Shoal attractively at the front of the tank in anticipation of fish flakes.
I also know of a house mouse down the road that is trained to a bell on the back door. If it hears the bell, it knows the door has been opened, and legs it back in. Now that’s clever.
So the weekend, where there are no bleeping alarms, throws the pets into confusion.
Am I on my second sleep? Is she ever going to vacate my pillow? Where is my biscuit? Their general restlessness and pacing and prodding gets you up anyway.
Pavlovian responses are not just confined to the animals round here either. Mine is: it’s Saturday so I’d better lose some money. At Ayr the Gold Cup that features 20+ runners over 6 furlongs, where being drawn high helped yesterday, the going changed overnight and at least half of them are trained by forked tongue Dandy Nicholls, has my response wavering though. So no Ayr for me; I’ll lose it in Berkshire instead on The Paddyman in the Mill Reef. Or maybe I’ll bundle it all up and throw in Hawkeyethenoo to make it a proper Saturday experience. I’m salivating already.
No, I haven’t taken up another financially draining pursuit. Bingo Little is the rather marvellously named new addition to the menagerie at the Moggie Motel in Navan from whence the Rudster came.
The Moggie Motel is notable, not only for the fantastic gardens the cattery overlooks (check out the link), but for being the first Feline Advisory Board approved cattery in Ireland. This accreditation is rarer than hens’ teeth (that’s the teeth of many hens Emily if you’re reading). I have tried to get our Bibi in one, but you need to book years in advance, so it’s a pity Navan’s not down the road.
Anyway, Bingo Little has been rehomed with Xena the Warrior Princess Yorkie and Meg the lurcher plus others, after suffering bullying by the two other chihuahuas he lived with. Look at that face; how could they?