Sunday, December 26, 2010

What you should know if you're about to get your cat neutered

December 14: So, I just backdated a post about Ovid and Ziggy, two brother cats who came to me about three months ago. They're nearing their sixth-month birthday...

Today: Alicia and I got our cats neutered today, after some hesitancy. We read extensively on the procedure and solicited opinion from various people before coming to the decision that, bottom line, there were no drawbacks to neutering our two boys. I expressed doubt because I reasoned there was nothing wrong with our cats, who were barely six months old, and wouldn't it be better to wait and see whether the two actually got aggressive with each other, or sprayed, instead of rushing ahead with a permanent, potentially life- and personality-changing procedure? But the more research I did, the more I was able to let myself be convinced that neutering cats doesn't actually change them, and so the decision was made.

The vet seemed experienced and trustworthy enough. We actually took the cats to him on Saturday, but Ovid had thrown up earlier that day so he advised we bring them back another day. I suspected he just didn't want to work on Friday, or something, but we agreed to postpone. So we were back today and I put my name to a release form and paid the 70 dollars for each cat and watched as they sedated them -- Ovid first, his eyes going blank, his head dropping like dead weight off to the side -- and brought them from the other room after the 10-minute procedure -- again, Ovid first, his body limp, eyes glued shut by special eyedrop fluid -- and advised us that they might be disoriented after waking, and that we can feed them after six to eight hours. Apparently Ziggy was going to wake up first -- as if that detail mattered.

Here's the thing the vet should have told us, which is what you need to know if you own a cat and deliberating whether to get him neutered: be ready for your heretofore adorable, lively, all-too-trusting pet to hate your guts for eight hours and show its hatred of you by alternately threatening you with a combination of hisses and chill-inducing growls and threatening to do itself bodily harm by wedging into awkward nooks and refusing to eat or drink. It's absolutely gut-wrenching and demoralizing and all kinds of soul-crushing.

Read rest here.



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