Tom is feeling better.
He had to go have his anal sacs expressed again today for his check up. The right was clear, the left not quite as much, but so much more improved. He doesn't need his medicine any more, so he'll eventually forgive me for this week's torture. Basically, we need to keep an eye on him. We have to peek once a week, and if he doesn't let us peek, then there is likely something wrong. He's normally a Rising Butt Syndrome cat (pet along the back and the hind lifts), but this week we could watch him fighting the instinct, "No! Bad human! Leave my tail alone! oh that feels good- pet me again! No tail! No tail!" Poor boy. Still, I did get a little bit of purr out of him at the vet's.
Every pet has their own comfort choice on how to be at the vet and what I can do to help them feel more relaxed. Kenya Dog does best when I sit on the floor with her. Sassy does best when I cradle her in my arms. Tom, I've only last week discovered, needs to sit on my sweatjacket. It's a sweatshirt I've modified into a cardigan and quilted. It thoroughly smells like me, and I wore it to the office and took it off when I got there, so I warmed it with me. I noticed the counter was cold and the floor was colder, so I spread it on the counter and let him lie on it. He thought that was comfy enough to offer a purr. So I'll keep doing that every time I take him there. Of course, when the vet is finished examining, he likes to run into the carrier. "No touchie butt in here!" But I leave the door open until it's actually time to go, and keep myself visible to him.
Some cats are more traumatized by the carrier, so sometimes I confess I don't like to use it. Colin was very bothered by the carrier. He showed more stress being in than out. So I took him to the vet and trusted him to stay in the back seat while I drove, and he did so. Sassy also does the same- but Sassy is the perfect lump. She could get a job in theater if you want a prop cat. She'll stay where she's put until hunger or the result urge her to move. It's all the same to her if a carrier is used or not, and because of her size it's easier to carry her on a shoulder than a hand. Spider *needs* the box. She will hide in the car if allowed. The only time I allowed her to win the going-into-the-box argument, she crawled under the driver's seat of the vehicle and would not move for 3 hours. I will win the argument instead of enduring that again. Fortunately, that was on the way home from the vet and not on the way to, so I didn't disrupt their schedule. Pepe is going in the box simply because I cannot depend on him not to crawl all over me while I drive. He'd do that all the way there... and on the way home he'd be such a nervous wreck he'd be clawing at all the windows. He needs the confinement for his safety and mine.
But Tom is the first cat I've had who views the carrier as comfort. Nothing bad happens *in* the carrier. And he will hide in it when he feels he needs to. Even if he behaved well enough in the car to be out of it, and I think he would be, I'm still going to use the carrier for him. He needs that comfort. And I'll bring my jacket for him too.
Of course, safety wise, all pets ought to be restrained in some way for travelling, I know this, but I don't do this, any more than I consistently wear a seat belt when in the back seat. The vet's office is 2 miles away on streets that are all 30 mph, which is no excuse.