Neutering Theo: a Cautionary Tale (or should it be Tail…?)

You know, there are some darn good reasons that kittens get neutered early these days. When you go to adopt one at a shelter or other facility, they’ve usually already been taken care of. Of course, that’s because so many people can’t be trusted to take care of that on their own, thereby allowing their cats to roam free and impregnate or be impregnated at will. Shame on those people.

But anyway, if you don’t neuter a male cat early, he gets even more Cattitude than he was rightfully born with. And since Theo had so much to begin with (a good friend of ours said, “I like him! He’s got a BIG personality.” And boy, was she right.), he just got more and more aggressive as he got older.

We were on a tight budget (both of us being artists and all, we are not rolling in money) so when I heard of a volunteer MOBILE vet clinic coming to our area I jumped at the chance. Called “Catsnip” (clever name, huh?), they would set up in a local mall parking lot and you could just drop off your cat in the AM and pick him up a few hours later. At least that was the plan.

We drove Theo over there (he’s wonderful in the car, very calm, never howls and just sits quietly in his carrier) and left him in the allegedly capable hands of the mobile vet folks.

Not more than an hour or so later, I got a phone call and a very terse and pissed-off voice told me to come get our cat, that they could not neuter him. I said, “What? Why not? What’s wrong?” and they told me, “We are not equipped to handle an animal like this. We don’t have leather gloves or restraints and he’s attacking everyone and trying to tear up the van!”

I couldn’t believe it! Theo could be aggressive with us, true, but never that bad. I guess he just freaked out so totally much that he lost it. I hightailed it over there and picked him up. Of course he was just as calm and sweet as could be in the car, and by the time we got home, a distance of only maybe 3 miles, he was fine.

We researched some local vets and ended up taking him to Church Street Animal Hospital, which is where we still take him for his “maintenance.”

But I never could get the picture of Theo freaking out all over the vet out of my head. Here’s a quick rough sketch of how I think he must have looked.