When Kitty Such was alive, I used a technique I learned from--of all places--the For Better or For Worse comic strip. I pulled out the carrier, which happily (for me) had a top opening, as well as a side opening. I opened the top and left it by the door where Kitty didn't see it.
Then I grabbed a towel and a the brush and gathered her up, spread the towel in my lap and brushed her until she was limp. This is where the FBOFW comes in: immediately I wrapped the towel about her so she looked like a chubby kitty taco, snuggled her in my arms and popped her in the cage.
Of course, one was obliged to slam the top down immediately as she could get out of the taco wrap in 5 seconds flat.
All the way to the vet I heard the plaintive "Mommy, WHY are You Torturing Me?" song. And if she was staying for a kennel (and spa) visit while I was on vacation, you can bet I got cussed out nine ways to Tuesday all the way home. ("Meeeeow! Meeeeow! Meeeeow!"
The funniest time, I hate to admit it, was when she was so mad, she decided to indicate it by peeing in her towel free carrier and looked at me smugly as if to say "There you miserable woman, SMELL the heat of my rage!"
She didn't bank on us going around a corner which caused the urine to run towards her. Poor kitty was backed up flat against the back of the carrier screeching her fear of her own bodily effluvia alllllllll the way home.
And yes, I had to bathe her once we got home.....and I had just paid someone else to do that! I think we were both punished that day.