Cats and dogs and cars, oh, my

By Nancy Black

They all knew something unusual was happening when my phone’s alarm clock went off so early on a Saturday morning. They followed my every swift move from the bathroom to the kitchen with confusion and anticipation. 

“What is she doing?” they telecommunicated to each other.

Once the leashes came out, my three dogs knew a car ride was involved, so all questioning of my motives turned to excitement. But when I put both our cats in the car, too, the inquisition started again. I had to explain to them enthusiastically, “We’re all going to get vaccinated!”

They were not amused.

My older cat yowled from the back of car, where he was trapped in a cardboard travel box we got from the SPCA when we adopted him 17 years ago. Our other cat was riding in style, snuggled away in my neighbor’s lush airline-approved cat carrier, with its mesh windows and siding. She didn’t let out a peep.

Why would I load up all five of my animals at 7 a.m. on a Saturday? Because the SPCA of Texas, along with and other area animal rescue groups, were holding a free vaccination clinic in DeSoto. If you have animals, you know how much it would cost to get five animals their yearly shots. That’s a lot of money.

So, I packed up my pack and headed south. After our long drive, which was frequently punctuated by loud meows from one of the cats, we arrived at our destination, the South Dallas County Government Center. The parking lot had been turned into the drive thru vaccination clinic.

Hundreds of cars lined up behind ours, and I was behind about a hundred more. But the wait was worth it. Once the event opened up, the process was smooth and enjoyable. Volunteers directed cars this way and that, depending on needs, and every person involved was friendly and kind. It was so lovely to see so many people united to help so many animals and the people who love them.

When it was our turn, I realized my older cat had chewed and torn through his old box and was now loose in the back of my car. A team of volunteers huddled around as I raised the hatch, but he just lay there, not about to move. After all the animals had their shots, a sweet woman brought us a brand-new box for my cat’s ride home. We left with bags of food, toys and treats, too.

The entire experience was great and I, personally, want to thank the SPCA of Texas and for making it happen. They say it takes a village to raise children. Well, I appreciate the people in this village who help raise my animal children, too. 

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