Three days ago Hrimnir had an… eummm… “surgery”. Yup, the kind of surgery that leaves a tomcat walking rather wide-legged for a few days and which leaves him with the faint yet fast fleeting impression that he’s missing something. In polite company we prefer to refer to the procedure as “he has underwent an *ahem*-ectomy” or “he’s said goodbye to his Glockenspiel” (German for a “carillon”, a musical instrument composed of at least 23 cup-shaped bells played from a baton keyboard using fists and feet). But, in other words, it is called: a castration, an orchiectomy, a neutering, a spaying, a fixing. Weird that so many names exist to name the removal of feline unmentionables. But I found only one word for the victim: Wikipedia has informed me that from now on Hrimnir is a “gib”. A castrated tomcat.
All feline denizens of the House of Chaos are -as a rule- subjected to castration. I have several reasons for this and only one of them is purely egoistical (number 4 in fact). All others are about saving my beloved furry friends’ lives, and making said lives much more comfortable to boot.
1.) A virile tomcat will most likely try to establish the largest territory possible. He needs to patrol this territory on a regular basis and leave his messages about property ownership accordingly. It means he’s forced to go wandering a lot and many dangers abound in the wide wild world.
2.) A virile tomcat must needs establish a harem of nubile queens, whom he must service when they are in heat. A queen in heat emanates a scent that is utterly irresistible to the tom and he will go to great lengths, often travelling for many kilometers, in order to track down the source of this tantalizing smell and make it his. Again, he’ll be forced to wander a lot. And the pheromones do so terribly addle his brain and faculties that he may become careless and fall easier prey to the dangers of the road. Literally.
3.) A queen in heat will attract many virile tomcats and they must need fight each other in order to vie for her favour. Cats in fight is a terrible sight, but the wounds are worse. Feline scratches and bites carry many ugly bacteria deep into the wounds and these will subsequently fester. If you’ve never found your tom shredded to pieces you can count yourself lucky. But I’ve found one shredded to pieces and infected like hell. Trust me, you don’t want to know the rest of that story.
4.) A virile tom will advertise his manly status by “spraying”. Bluntly said: he will pee against walls, objects, in corners, anywhere inside and outside your abode. And the urine will carry an extra scent that will make you gag with revulsion but leaves a passing queen swooning in adoration. What makes it even worse is that it is very hard to remove the stink. Having your tomcat castrated young enough, before he begins spraying, can avoid the onset of this behaviour. Some still will commence though, but most of the time it works. The House of Chaos hosts 4 feline denizens and none of them spray.
5.) Spraying has one other extremely dangerous side-effect and sadly the House of Chaos has been the scene of such: if the cat sprays against an electrical outlet or an extension cord he risks electrocution. The late Rataplan Frankenstein The Mobile Disaster Area, who had not been castrated, has had such an unfortunate encounter with Mister Electricity and his tragic demise followed soon after.
So you see, I had to make a stone of my heart and turn over little Hrimmikins to The Man In White. He was delighted with the health of our tyke, calling him “a small but well-muscled bloke” and fondly handling the subject of his examination before giving him back to me. I was to position Hrimnir in front of the travel-basket, when TMIW gave the sleep-shot the kitten would be startled and dash for the safety of the box. Hrimnir hates the travel-basket though, and after the shot I had to force him inside, leaving TMIW staring at us in wonder. Rarely does a kitten prefer the safety of his mistress’ arms above that of the box. And when I closed the door the tyke was feisty and trying simultaneously to claw his way out of the box and punish me for his incarceration.
90 minutes later I was to pick him up. Hrimnir had been operated together with another little tomcat so when he woke up he was not alone. He was awake yet drowsy but all was well. What a relief ! The Man In White admonished me not to feed him until the evening for he might become sick. Needless to say the first thing he did when he came home was trying to find a bite to eat. (Because Hrimnir was not allowed to eat prior to the surgery I had taken away all of the cats’ food the evening before. When in the morning I came downstairs all of the cats were sitting around their empty bowls and staring furiously at me, then at the offending bowls. As if they knew the reason for this bleak situation all 3 of the adult cats next harrowed the kitten.)
When I opened up the travel-basket and added a warm comfy towel for his pleasure, Hrimnir insisted to go into the Garden, regardless of the fact that TMIW had admonished me to keep him warm and comfy, oh no, he had to go out into the Garden of Chaos and eat some grass there, then proceeded to lie down there on the cold ground and have a nap. What could I do ? I took him back inside and he would crawl out of the basket and back through the cat-flaps and into the Garden again. I had to go to my art class and leave him for a few hours, but Grumpy Man was home so it wouldn’t be a problem.
When I came home again the tyke was nowhere to be seen, but when I called him he came stumbling over from the neighbour’s garden ! He had gone for a stroll, of all things, still dazed by the anesthesia and everything. But he did spend most of the day and the next day sleeping a lot, curled up in a tiny ball of kittenish misery. Only today did he run around again, jumping and dashing with his old exuberance and none the worse for wear. He’s already forgotten his ordeal.
It’s only when he tries to groom his behiney that he notices something is still wrong. But that, too, will pass. He’s safe now.
Dazed and drowsy, and wanting desperately to get out of that darned basket. I removed the top for his convenience but he still insisted to get out.
Out in the garden, still dazed and drowsy, and determined to stay there. Fortunately it was a sunny Fall day, 18° Celcius, which is unusually warm for the time of the year. Hmmmm…. that grass is yummy when you’ve got an empty tummy !
It’s the end of the week and that means all kitties and other furry or feathered (or whatever) furriends gather to board the Friday Ark. Are you coming too ?