I took out their carrier two days ago and left it in plain sight, just so that they don't freak out when they notice it. They seem pretty laid back about its presence.
At 2:30 this afternoon I see that Cat A is in the upsteirs office (fondly known as The Cats' Room) and I shut the door to KEEP her in there. She promptly starts yowling at the door like she's being strangled. I get out of the room to find Cat B sitting right outside, looking like his interest has been piqued. I pick him up and throw him into the room, and then go and get some of their favourite treats from the kitchen.
Back in the room, both cats know that Something Is Up. The eyes are round and green and suspicious. I dribble some treats into the carrier; Cat B goes in to investigate. I pull the zipper half-closed, pour our some treats on the floor beside the thing for Cat A who comes to sniff at them. I pick her up and try and stuff her into the carrier. SHe develops four wooden legs and attaches them stiffly to the sides of the carrier, begging to differ. While I'm struggling with her, Cat B oozes out beside her and escapes. I stuff Cat A into the carrier and give chase to Cat B; by the time I have HIM in hand, Cat A is out. I stuff Cat B into the carrier, and watch him eel out of the side entrance where the zipper wasn't quite closed up tight. Cat A is under the desk. Cat B is on the windowsill. I grab Cat B and stuff him back in - making sure that the zippers are all tight - and chase after Cat A, who is making noises of outrage and leaving marks on my wrists which look like I've just tried and failed to commit suicide. I finally grab Cat A and hold both sets of paws and stuff her into the carrier upside down, only releasing her when she is fully inside. Meanwhile the carrier is now between rdeck's feet and he is holding down the furry head of Cat B like a police officer packing a perp into a patrol car. I release Cat A and we both grab for the top zippers. There is a "NYOOOOOOOOOOw!" sound from the carrier where two cats are not both complaining vociferously about the whole affair. Well, but they're both in, and I'm pretty much ready for a cup of tea now - if going to the vet is stressful for THEM, it's four times as stressful for me because I have to GET them there...
They caterwaul their way to the vet from the back seat (translation: "OOOOOH, woe is me, they are taking me in to be made into a muff...") and we finally get to the vet, whereupon both cats SHUT UP and go catatonic. Cat B won't even consider going out of the carrier now, holding on with all possible appendages (he'd hang on with his tail if he had any to speak of). They are weighed (Cat A is a little lardass, but Cat B is losing weight a little - he was 9.2 pounds the last time he was at the vet's and now he's 9 - doesn't seem huge but you know, I worry. It's what I do.
The vet comes in and looks at their teeth ("perfect teeth! you don't even have to come in for a cleaning!"), their ears, their eyes, their butts, listens to their hearts, stuffs a vaccine into their haunches, and tells me they're looking good and goodbye until next year. This time we have absolutely no PROBLEM getting them into the carrier - they can't scramble in fast enough. DO you suppose it would help, at home, if I wore green scrubs when I try to stuff them in there in the first place...?
Not a peep of them in the car on the way back, quiet as the grave, maybe they're afraid we'll take them back if they protest. We get them home. I'm told to look for signs of lethargy or difficulty breathing if there is a really bad vaccine reaction but otherwise they should just take a nap and then carry on as normal.
The whole thing took a little over an hour. I'm KNACKERED.