Yesterday was a rough day for Eliot. Somehow, fleas found him and we've spent much of this year unsuccessfully trying to get rid of them with over-the-counter flea treatments. Since that didn't work, he's been scratching himself raw, and the night before last I found a big patch of red, bare, rashy skin on his shoulder. I took him to the vet yesterday.
So in addition to two of his least favorite things - being put in a cat carrier and going for a car ride - he got to experience the terror of being in a small box in an unfamiliar setting (the vet's) surrounded by the sounds and smells of large dogs, he got a thermometer stuck up his butt (oh, the indignity), and he got pricked with a steroid shot (ouch!). When he finally got back home again after a second, even longer car ride due to traffic, he had not one but two pills forced down his throat (an antibiotic and a flea repellant), and then after a bath in the kitchen sink, had to endure being coated with wet flea shampoo for 15 minutes before being put back in the sink for the rinse cycle. He did like the part where I dried him off with a towel, though.
He had to be wondering what he had done after all of his flea-bitten discomfort to bring all that down on himself, but he's already visibly much improved. The area on his side is still bare until the fur grows back, but it's no longer red and rashy, and he's scratching a lot less already. He may not realize now that it was all for his own good, but long after he's forgotten all the trauma of yesterday, he'll be a happier cat once again.
P.S. Nobody tell him he's going to get another bath next weekend!