Cat gets unexpected
Some news has a way of turning a worldview on its ear, of making one doubt her bearings, forcing her to re-examine
everything she ever knew to be true.
sex change operation
My husband and I unintentionally turned our home into a zoo this year, giving shelter to one stray cat, picked up
outside a hotel in Spear Fish, South Dakota during our vacation in October. We aptly named her "Dakota." Later, we
took in a she hamster. We call her Itty.
Itty lives in a cage and never goes out on the town. Dakota never ceases to work on a jailbreak.
Being responsible pet owners we decided to get Dakota spayed. Being thrifty, we waited for February, the month of love,
when because of a county-wide program, you can get a deal at the vets on spaying or neutering your cat or dog.
We took her in a week before so the vet could be sure she was healthy and up to the surgery. Then the operation day
came. We starved the poor baby, denying her food and water from midnight on. I wrestled her into her carrier in the
morning, apologized profusely to the cab driver when she meowed all the way to the vets, and slinked away like the
traitor I was when I abandoned her at the animal hospital where the possibility of any little Dakotas would be forever
I did get a phone message that morning that my vet was worried about two masses near my cat's mammary glands. She
wanted to send those for a biopsy because breast cancer is something even girl cats have to worry about.
I didn't get the message in time so the vet went into surgery without hearing from me. At the appointed time,
I called to make sure my cat had come out of her operation OK. The nurse summoned the vet.
"There's something unusual about your cat," she said. "She's a neutered male."
Yes, Miss Dakota is a Mister. My vet said she had heard of such occurrences but never dreamed it would happen to her. She and two other doctors fished around in Dakota's innards for a while in a futile search for her uterus. Dakota having already a different vet at another hospital on a number of occasions, it didn't seem possible but they decided to check for the obvious.
It certainly wasn't obvious, but it was true. Dakota belongs to the other team.
Ah, but there was more. The worrisome tumors? Not breast cancer, but two shot gun pellets. Apparently, Dakota made
out better than Wild Bill Hicock did in Deadwood. He's a true son of the Wild West.
I thought I had a sour-faced over-sized female cat that acted like a dog catching bouncing balls on the stairway.
I'm learning not to call herů.um, him, "Beauty girl," and "the Princess," now that I know he is a sour-faced
normal-sized male who acts like a dog and plays stairway soccer.
Dakota and his balls.