Mar 21, 2008

This is Willow. She is secure in her feminity.

A kitten show up at our house a couple of months ago. She was just tiny little bag of fur and bones mewing pitifully from under the bushes when I got home from work one afternoon. Of course when I saw how skinny she was I had to feed her, and then I felt compelled to pet her a little, but not enough to encourage her in any way of course, and then I told her to scram and not even think about hanging around since we were all full up on pets in this house. No vacancy. Or words to that effect.

And then she showed up again the next day. And the next day…you can see where this is heading…and before we knew it she was Number One Housecat..

We (okay, I) named her Muffin and I adore her because she reminds me of my beloved William who died two years ago. Muffin settled into life at our house, making fast friends with the other animals except Chong (none of the animals want to be friends with Chong). She and Shelby are BFF, and it is indescribably cute to watch Muffin and Willow playing together. She was quick to learn how cat doors work too, letting herself out for several hours every day for extended excursions trying to track down her birth family (maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part).

All was well until a couple of weeks ago when she returned home from attending to Urgent Cat Business of some sort, limping badly and dragging her front leg. When we took her to our Veterinarian the next morning we learned that someone (Morley suspects a kid) had shot her with a BB gun and a pellet had lodged in her shoulder where the leg's nerves and muscles are, damaging a nerve and paralyzing her front leg on the passenger side.

After $$$$ spent at the Vet’s office and a week's worth of care at home, the paralysis slowly went away and she regained the use of her leg. To speed her recovery along, Muffin cleverly devised her own physical therapy regime which involves pouncing from behind furniture and grabbing our feet whenever we walk by. Apparently putting people into cardiac arrest is very therapeutic for cats.

But on to the point of this story. We've never been sure how old Muffin is, but we figure she’s about six months old because last week she started letting us know she's ready to start dating if you know what I mean. And we're talking really, really ready for dating as in urgently ready. As in Must. Find. A. Man. NOW!!! (I've had that very same feeling myself but that's a story for another day) (and besides it was a really, really long time ago) (Hi, Morley!).

Anyway, we realized the time had come to get Muffin spayed quick-like before we found ourselves with a batch of muffins in the oven, so to speak. I called the vet who had treated her paralysis and made an appointment for “the works”—a spay job, front tires declawed, microchip injected, and remove the pellet from her chest which the vet didn’t want to remove earlier because she was so swollen (the cat, not the vet).

A couple of hours after I dropped her off at the animal clinic this morning I got a telephone call from a very sheepish, embarrased vet.

It turns out my sweet little Muffin is not a cute little girl after all. Muffin is a dude.

I had to ask the Vet to repeat the announcement a couple of times before it sank in. Apparently she had been a boy all along but nobody noticed until now, not even the vet who's been treating her, er him, for two weeks! It makes me wonder what else that cat has been hiding from me. And it also makes me wonder exactly how comprehensive the curriculum at that veteranarian school is.

Anyway, the good news is we saved a few bucks neutering a He cat instead of a She cat. The bad news is we need another name for our girly-man cat.
I ran “Stud Muffin” up the flagpole but Morley refused to salute it.

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