We have four cats. This was not by design, but rather by happenstance, for when one has two cats and one has two cats, the math makes four cats. (They're all fixed so we're not talking multiplication here, and besides like I'd do hard math at this time of the night...sheesh, do you know me at all?)
Mixing the households went well enough at first, but feline relations tanked after a fairly traumatic few days where the humans left the rulers of the territory alone with one another and worse, with that person who keeps showing up and talking to us and ohmygod we will just die and ooh, treats, but wait those are mine, not yours and, and, and.
They're separated now when we're out, and have monitored visits with their jailers, erm, I mean human feeding units, present. They have reached a tentative level of the Geneva conventions with one another, provided there is no aberrant sniffing going on. Because goodness knows butt sniffing among felines is tantamount to war. (You don't believe me? Until you've cleaned up two unhappy cats covered in urine and blood at 1 a.m., you.just.don't.know.)
The only time they are of one accord is of course when they must face the horror of the veterinarian (okay I spelled that word incorrectly 6 different ways and still had spell check not provide the correct word. FAIL - spell check's not mine. I knew it was spelling incorrectly, but at least I knew it wasn't "subterranean". And don't ask me how badly I spelled it because I won't tell you. Also don't ask if I had to correct the spelling of subterranean either.)
January is the month of cat vaccinations in our house, which involves at least a day of preparation, and a day of recuperation for the 30 minutes they are out of the house. And that's just the humanoids.
We start by making sure they're relatively presentable - claws trimmed to lessen any frantic swipes, coats brushed so the 15,000 pounds of hair they will drop in the stress of leaving the house might just be minimized. Then there's finding all four cat carriers, and figuring out how to arrange the cats in various rooms so they can't hide nor can they figure out what is going on with the other cats. Some earplugs for us, and we're set.
I won't describe trying to get them all in their carriers, because it exhausts me just thinking about it. Once in, the yowling that had been mere whimpers punctuated with the occasional hiss now reaches "they're trying to kill me" point of at least 1000 decibels (hence the earplugs). We bundle them off to the cars for the 10 minute trip through town, where we proceed to yowl back at them the whole way. I have no idea if it makes them feel any better, but it makes me feel better and that's really the point, right?
The most trauma they experience is to then be in the vet office and have to come out of the dreaded carriers. The horrifying nasty place is now the BEST PLACE EVER and they all usually have to be dislodged by one of us holding the cat and the other upending the carrier off them. (It is rather funny though to watch their faces when they realize they've been thwarted by gravity once more.)
Thwart is a great word but it's awkward to type. So is awkward.
Once they've been given their shots, and are happily back in their little plastic homes, they're much quieter. We then pay a ridiculous amount of money - although to be honest, we'd probably pay more if they offered housecalls for this kind of thing...because really (either that or I'm learning to give them shots myself...if they're going to hate me they might as well hate me for the whole enchilada, not just the carrier and vet's). The ride home is generally pleasant, albeit a little surreal (until I realize the earplugs are still in). We all come home and pass out for the balance of the day, exhausted.
Fortunately the wee beasties are indoor cats and relatively healthy so there's very few trips in general. The few we do take definitely make up for it in cat drama.
(In spite of all this, they really are cute little things, when they're not being obnoxious. They get it from Mr. Eggshells I'm sure.)