I’m thrilled to have Stacia of Dried-on Milk here guest-posting at Abandoning Pretense! In today’s post, she vividly reminds me why I have a dog, and not a cat: because dogs are not insane (generally speaking). Enjoy her story and be sure to follow her on Facebook and all her other social media, linked at the bottom in her bio.

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Taking Sam to the vet gives me a stupid amount of anxiety. It’s impossible to get him into the crate without one of us getting scratched and/or pulling a muscle. The kids swarm at the same time because MOMMY IS HOLDING THE CAT! I WANT TO PET! But Sam does not want to be petted. He pretty much only loves me and sometimes my husband, when I’m not around. The kids? He’d rather lick his own butt than associate himself with those fur-grabbers.

With the kids suffocating me like that it’s even harder to get Sam into the crate. His eyes bug out of his head. He grabs at the lip of the crate, paws splayed out in desperation. I can’t shut the door. My arm is stuck inside trying to keep his head in the crate, which also doesn’t let me shut the door. Sam is no longer the loving kitty I know; he is a wild beast in a fight for his life. It’s a tense couple of minutes. In the end, I’m always sweating and Sam is howling like he’s dying. BUT he’s in the crate. I always win.

I’m sweating just typing this out.

Today is one of those dreaded take the cat to the vet days and we’re on a time constraint. The vet’s latest appointment was 5:30, which means I have to haul ass to get home, get the cat in the crate (see above), get shoes on the kids (5,000 shoes in the closet and not one matches), get everyone in the car (howling cat in crate and kids who are too easily distracted… squirrel!), and finally drive over to the vet’s office in little under a half hour.

Once inside the office everything is sort of okay.We sit and wait. The kids want the free dog treats at the front desk. I almost say, “okay, take one” but the receptionist gives me the stink-eye so I say, “They aren’t for little kids.” Pfff my daughter used to eat cat food all the time. She’s… fine-ish now.

They call us back to a teeny room with no A/C. Holy crap balls it’s stuffy in here, I think. Sam is terrified, but instead of trying to get away, he makes himself as small as possible, which is a hopeless because he’s 12 pounds of fat. His hair is coming out in tufts and flying all over the room, sticking to my already sweaty face. The kids are trying to climb up on the high counter to get closer to Sammy.

stacia - vet pic

They succeed and are on the counter. At this point, I don’t even care anymore. They are making so much damn noise and it’s so fucking HOT. The vet comes in. So now it’s two small kids, three adults, and a terrified cat in a teeny-ass room with cat hair coming down like cotton in the middle of a sticky summer day. So fun.

Sam gets his shots and his check-up, and is all good. He can’t get into the crate fast enough to hide from all the poking and prodding from the littles. I don’t think having a thermometer stuck up his butt helped either.

While I’m checking out, the kids are still asking for free dog treats. UGH, just this once? I glance at the receptionist. She looks back like,you can’t be serious? Ok fine, I’ll be a responsible mama and not scar them for life with free dog treats. However, if they did have one they’d never ask for them again. Just saying.

While I pay the bill, EZ says he has to go potty. Ava offers to take him to the bathroom. The cat is howling again now. The vet’s office isn’t that big so I watch my kids go into the bathroom at the end of the hall. I finish with the bill but they’re still not out of the bathroom. I can hear them all the way down the hall (over the screeching cat) doing God knows what in there. My kids are not quiet children.

I stand outside the locked bathroom door and ask in my nice I’m-in-public voice, “What’s going on in there?” Ava says everything’s ok and that she’s helping EZ onto the toilet. (He hasn’t even gone yet? It’s been 10 minutes!) But then I hear tinkling and EZ says, something wanting to touch something-something, but I’m not sure because it’s hard to understand a 3-year-old’s voice though a door while a cat is screaming at you. I quickly lose my nice I’m-in-public voice and switch to panic mode: “DO NOT PLAY IN THE TOILET! AT LEAST FLUSH THE TOILET FIRST! WASH YOUR HANDS! OMG OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW!!! ”

I did mention the vet’s office is small, right? Yeah, okay. That’s when I hear laughter erupt at the front desk. Dude, it was funny; I’d be laughing too. But I am too focused to care: “PLEASE STOP TRYING TO INFECT YOURSELF WITH ALL KINDS OF NASTY!”

The door opens and all four hands are dripping wet from (I can only hope) washing their hands in the sink. I push them out the door and into the car while the cat continues to scream from his crate.

It wasn’t until much later when we were all sitting on the couch at home that I noticed that EZ’s undies had only been pulled half-way up, exposing his bare butt.



stacia bio pic

Stacia Ellermeier is a graphic designer who moonlights as a parenting-humor writer. She finds inspiration in her two littles, her husband, and a cat who barfs on everything. Often referred to as the modern day Lucy Ball, she’s known for running over the orange directional cones at her daughter’s school and her extreme skills of self-embarrassment. Stacia was a Top 4 finalist in Blogger Idol 2013 and can be found spewing verbal diarrhea on NickMom, Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop, Go West Young Mom, and her personal blog:Dried-on Milk. She loves chapstick, books, Starbucks and Target. Follow Stacia at @driedonmilk on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+ or Instagram.


  1. Ugh. One of my worst nightmares used to be taking the two cats in for their annual checkup while still wrangling my son who was still just a toddler. It was practically freaking impossible.

    But they’re dead now and life is a lot easier. I KID. Well, they are dead. I’m not kidding about that part 😛

  2. Oh, Stacia…I’d happily forgotten the days of juggling kids and animals at the vet. When I’d get home and try to explain what the vet said about the animal in question, I’d just draw a blank because I’d been focusing more on keeping the kids out of the garbage with the used syringes and examination gloves. I survived and so will you. Honest! Loved your post.

    • LOL I know! The vet asked about Sam’s ears, he’s got allergies and I was drawing a blank because… GET OUT OF THE TRASH CAN, OMG!!!!

  3. The crate wrangling. The howling. The hair flying. All part of the glory of a Cat Mama and the Vet Visit!!

    This had me cracking up the entire time. Literal out loud laughing through the whole post!! LOVE it, Stacia!!!

  4. We used to have 4 cats. Then we added 2 dogs. Then we added 2 kids. 4 + 2 + 2 = we were all kinds of crazy. So, yeah, I’ve felt your pain.

    We’re at 2 kids + 1 dog now–so I’m just laughing at your pain. 😉

  5. This (very funny) post is helping to lessen my guilt of not getting my kids a pet so far. Also, why do they make dog treats look like tasty, delicious human snacks? I don’t think dogs care much about food presentation.

    • I know! There’s this pet specialty shop that we go to get the cat’s food. Ugh he’s a damn princess who needs fancy food otherwise he barfs all over the house. Anyway, they always have these fancy treats that look GOOD! The kids are always asking for those. I’m certain they don’t taste as good as they look.

  6. Now I remember why I’m so glad the cats are gone. Thanks for discouraging me from giving in to my kids’ begging for a kitten.

    I’ve eaten dog treats. They’re not that great–mealy and bland. I used to work in a pet supply store, and people would come in and ask, “How are these?” and we’d be like, “Well, the DOGS seem to like them…” So the girl I worked with and I tasted them one time, and from then on people would ask and we’d answer (honestly), “They’re a bit on the mealy side, and they don’t have a particularly strong flavor, but generally they’re not too bad,” and people would give us strange looks, and we’d look right back at them like, “What? You ASKED.”

  7. OMG I have done this so many times before. I think my vet wanted to cry when he saw I was pregnant with my third child. They hate us there, except for all the money we give them.

    • LOL I never thought of it from the perspective of the VET being driven crazy! (Who cares about him? He’s getting paid!) 😉

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