1: The Collar

1: The Collar

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?

The Collar

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He won’t keep his collar on,” I complained as I attempted to re-secure the protective gear around Nero’s neck. I knew that being neutered would be traumatic for the young kitten, but apparently being forced to wear an E-collar was worse. That was the third morning in a row I had found the crisp fabric flung onto the living room floor.

“Well, he needs to,” my husband responded. “Otherwise, he’ll lick his sutures and bust them open.”

“You hear that, Nero?” I warned. The silky black cat squirmed in discomfort as I fastened the ties of the collar. When I finally finished, he immediately started clawing at the apparatus secured around his neck. He couldn’t wait to remove the hindrance. But he was stuck, at least for the time being.

This pattern repeated each morning for the following week as Nero’s sutures continued to heal. Somehow, during each night, he managed to squeeze his head through the hole or loosen the ties of the collar to set himself free. Sometimes he gave up halfway through his endeavor and left the collar hanging around his waist like a skirt. To him, even that feminine look was preferable to having the nuisance tied around his neck. His perseverance was remarkable, though nonetheless annoying.

Finally, when according to the aftercare sheet provided by the veterinarian Nero no longer needed to wear the collar, I removed it ceremoniously. “You’re free! You’re free!” I announced. I cast the collar aside with gusto to emphasize his newfound freedom.

When I woke up the next morning, I expected to find Nero reveling in his independence. Instead, I saw him walking around the living room with the collar around his neck! I don’t know how he got it back on, or why he even wanted it after enduring a week of torture, but there it was in all of its Elizabethan glory. Despite all of Nero’s resistance, I think he secretly liked looking like a clown.

~Nicole Starbuck

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