C is for Cat.
I went to the doctor last week. She is a good doctor but also a pill pusher.
Specifically, antidepressants and anti-anxiety stuff.
No matter what the problem is, she always adds, “You know, depression causes aches and pains. We should get you started on meds.” And I always say, “No thanks, you know I won’t take them,” and then toss out the thought that maybe we could work on what I came in for, to which she replies that maybe anxiety is an issue for me.
After being told to arrive 15 minutes early to update paperwork and then waiting an additional 45 minutes past my appointment time, spending that wait time in the lobby where SICK people with FLU have waited, finding out what the cash price of my visit was going to cost me, and then freezing half to death in the exam room while we had our chat, well yes, perhaps I do have a little anxiety.
I paid and made two more appointments and then swung by the pharmacy to pick up the drugs.
When I got home I put the prescriptions on the kitchen counter and wandered off to do something.
Next day I went to make coffee and take my anti-inflammatory meds (basically prescription strength Advil for a $130.00 office call plus the 12 bucks to the pharmacy). The Xanax was gone. I checked the cupboards to make sure I hadn’t stuck it away.
It was gone.
No humans had been in the house since my doctor appointment, so I asked the cat what she did with my pills. She gave me the dumbest look, as if she didn’t understand.
I knew she did it. She has a gazillion toys and just wants to play with mine. Pens, keys, saltshakers, anything that isn’t hers…
So I searched under furniture and appliances. I leaned over the stair rail to see if she tossed the pill bottle to the basement. The Xanax was nowhere to be found. I hoped the lid had stayed on and the dog didn’t get hold of my meds, although she could occasionally use a chill pill.
I imagined calling the doctor’s office not 24 hours after getting the prescription and telling them the cat stole my controlled substance and I needed more.
Note in chart: “Patient may be abusing meds. Offer antidepressants again.”
Rather than stress over the missing drugs, which could create the need to take a pill I couldn’t find, I went about my day and forgot about it.
Come bedtime, I snuggled in with a book and then I heard the cat making a bunch of racket. I tried to concentrate on my book but the noise was too distracting. I got up to see what she was messing with.
When I rounded the corner into the living room, Damcat was curled up on an ottoman pretending to sleep. She’d heard me coming.
I headed to the kitchen, got a drink of water and headed back to bed. As I reached to flip the light back off I noticed something sticking out from behind the wine cabinet.
It was the fortune cookie that went missing from my lunch. But behind it was a pill bottle.
I picked it up, confirmed that it was the missing Xanax, and put it in a zippered pocket inside my purse.
I went back to bed and tried to read. Five minutes later I heard a THUMP noise coming from the kitchen. I wanted to ignore it and doze, but then the wailing started.
Back in the kitchen, I found Damcat and my purse in the floor, all tangled up. While freeing the cat before she strangled herself, I made a plan.
Then I wrapped double stick tape around the pill bottle (cats hate that stuff) and put it in a Ziploc bag. Then I put more tape all around the bag. Then I put the bag in a box and taped it closed.
I found a Sharpie and wrote XANAX in big bold letters on the box. Then I took the box to the garage and put it on a high shelf. Then I made a note to myself in case I ever decide to take anti-anxiety pills and forget where they are.