January 29th, 2006:
I recently had to take my cat Steve to the vet, because when male cats reach about six months of age, they start thinking nasty thoughts and want to urinate on everything. He hadn’t done any of that stuff, but because I agreed to the conditions the Humane Society outlined when I got him, even though he spent his first months with me purring and being an all-around good pet, I was having him neutered.
A cruel, but necessary process.
Before the castration, I had to get him up to date with his vaccinations. Apparently I had skipped on a rabies shot or two since I got him, and they aren’t fond of bringing “strays,” as the vet called Steve (I almost clocked him), into their facility.
After the doctor had finished giving Steve his needles, a nurse came in to arrange an appointment for his emasculating operation.
I had already been on the internet to research the procedure, so I only had a couple of questions for them. Simply to make sure that what they planned to do was the same.
At some point during the nurse’s description of the operation, she said, “So when we remove the testicles, we…”
I stopped her.
“Wait, wait – you remove them?”
“Yes, we take them out.”
“Oh… I was researching this, and on just about all the sites I went to, they just tied a couple of knots in the cat’s tubes and then sewed him back up without removing them.”
She just shrugged.
“Well, we take ’em.”
I had only had a female cat before Steve, and she was fixed before we got her, so the whole neutering thing was new to me. But after my research, where I really did read that it was common to leave the cat’s testicles inside, vasectomy style, I didn’t feel so bad about taking Steve to have it done. I mean, cutting a few wires is one thing, but taking his power station!?
No, I had some reservations about that idea.
After taking Steve home and thinking about it a while, I decided that I wasn’t going to let those monsters steal his mojo. Sure, I’d let them go through with the surgery, but there was no way they were going to throw my cat’s masculinity in the trash!
Two weeks later, the day of Steve’s operation arrived. I caged him up and took him in…with one additional piece of cargo.
I walked to the receptionist, introduced Steve and myself and told her why we were there. Then I asked her a couple of unusual questions.
“So, what do you typically do with the… extractions?”
“…the testicles?” she replied.
“…throw them in the garbage?”
“I see. I see. Would you mind holding on to the testicles? That is to say—”
“–you want us to…keep the testicles for you?”
“Well, I… guess we could. I can’t say we’ve ever had this request before.”
I then pulled out the sanitary-looking spice jar I filled with rubbing alcohol and had knotted inside a plastic bag.
“Just drop them in there!” I told her, adding, “You don’t anticipate there will be any problem, do you?”
“Well, like I said, we’ve never had this kind of request before, but I don’t think there will be a problem.”
At that point, some other receptionist started trying to put doubts in my head, saying stuff like, “Well, because it’s an actual body part and not a tooth or, some sort of bone growth, there may be some legal issues about us giving these to you.”
I too had wondered if there would be any ethical or legal complications, but I somehow doubted this woman was too high on the totem pole, and was skeptical of what she was saying. When a bearded doctor stuck his head out and barked for her to get some coffee going, I totally disregarded what she had said.
Still, I wasn’t too confident when I left the Animal Hospital that they’d go through with the plan.
It was early in the morning and I had to go to work. I borrowed my brother’s cell phone and left the number with the animal hospital so they could call and inform me when Steve got out of surgery.
It was a long wait, but finally the phone rang.
It was the nurse who had told me two weeks before that they remove the testicles.
She started telling me how everything went okay, and that Steve was “just fine” and “recovering nicely.”
In my mind though, I was thinking, “Yes, yes — but what about the balls? THE BALLS?!”
“And we kept the testicles for you!” she said. “We put them in the jar you brought us.”
“You did?! Fantastic! What do they look like?”
“Ermm. Well, they’re kind of…pink in colour?”
“Pink? Really? Wow!” Did they float or sink?”
“They sank to the bottom of the jar.”
“Neat! I thought they’d float.”
“Nope. They sank.”
So that my friends is how Steve, despite being initially told otherwise, was able to keep his balls after all!