It’s been two weeks since I got neutered and I have to say that it looks like I survived. As you can tell from the above photo, I did not lose any points on the cuteness scale.
Even my nether regions retained their cuteness. Okay, maybe that’s boastful but I cannot help it if I am cute all over.
After my neutering a surprising thing happened, Caplin Rous’ brother Dobby Winnick got neutered too! My vet, Dr. Hoppes, went out to visit him and the next thing he knew he was trundled off to his own vet for his own adventure. In case you don’t know, Dobby has a blog called Dobby’s Day where he wrote about his neutering experiences.
Since that fateful day, I have been paying more attention to this thing called neutering (or spaying in females). It’s a lot more common than you’d think. One of my horse co-pets, Buzz, is neutered. He used to be a stallion (well, a colt actually because he was neutered young) but now he is a gelding. Capybaras don’t get a new name after they are neutered, I don’t know why horses do. Both of my rabbit co-pets are spayed (they didn’t get a new name either). The only types of animals I know of that aren’t ever neutered are wild animals and people. I guess people are like wild animals because apparently nobody cares how dangerous it is for them not to be neutered. Like un-neutered animals, un-neutered people get in a lot of fights (they call them wars) and they have a serious overpopulation problem and certainly there are not enough shelters and adoption centers for all the unwanted humans around the world.
My friend Oscar Reyes from Colombia wrote a nice story about why he neutered his cat and I thought I would share that with you.
I just couldn’t leave him there.
A small coal-furred lump lying half-drowned at the edge of the road, after a hell of a downpour, so common in Barranquilla, Colombia, at the end of the year. I saw it, thought it was a dead rat, and that would have been that… till it moved. A kitten. He couldn’t be more than a few weeks old, drenched to the bone, weak, his little eyes tightly closed, lying in the path of cold running rainwater. One moment later, he was in my arms, under my shirt.
Poor little kitty! He was also feverish and had to force him to swallow some canned cat food I had (I owe another cat, Kiefer); sincerely, I was terrified he would not endure the night…
Next morning I awoke to find him tightly curled beside my pillow, fast asleep.
I decided to name him Bagheera, after the panther of The jungle Book (well, was that or ‘Salem’) and promised him I’ll keep him sane and happy, that nothing would ever lack for him (a promise I also made to Kiefer, more than ten years ago)… and that included his safety. Many times in the past I have lost little friends because I didn’t take the step I had taken with Kiefer and now I wanted to take with Bagheera: neutering.
This can sound harsh, even cruel, but it’s not. When a cat reaches sexual maturity, it yearns for a mate and a territory… and both things can spell disaster. They tend to wander and they can be stolen or killed by a car or even poisoned.
I waited till he was seven months old and contacted the dean of veterinary medicine at the university I work with.
We accorded a date and last week the procedure was done. Poor cat only ate a little at night: It was indispensable his stomach should be empty of solid food, same that could go to his lungs or throat at surgery.
Next morning, 8 AM sharp, I was at the vet’s office. I gave Bagheera to the assistant (he behaved very well; since me and my aunts are the only humans he is constantly with, Bagheera is very nervous and can get terrified with strangers. Anyone that has endured their claws will agree a frightened cat can be a serious thing) and went home to wait the call from the vet.
Surgery went without problems. I picked him up at three PM the same day (he didn’t want anything with ANYBODY except me, so I had to get him out of the recovering crate), went home, left him and out for the antibiotics prescribed.
Neutering is a routine process that can be done both to males and females. It’s less expensive in males since it is not invasive surgery and will prevent the wandering.
The point is that a truly responsible owner should settle for neutering/spaying, UNLESS it’s a purebred cat, especially one destined for breeding.
Even if your cat returns home safely, it’s more than possible that a female has a litter somewhere, most probably an unwanted litter. In the best of cases, they could get a home… but not always is the case. Not only can be a problem of Public Health, it’s also sheer cruelty.
Haha! Would you believe that, two weeks prior to the surgery, Bagheera began to mark territory… over me?
I just ponder… who owns who?
The surgery had no ill side-effects, he recovered apettite very fast and now he is safe…. and stills meows like crazy when he thinks I must go to bed!