The 2,000 Dollar Cat Penis

People talk heroically about saving lives. I’ve done no such thing; however I did once save a cat’s genitals, much to my father’s chagrin. That last sentence sounds like a cross between absurd and perverted so I’m going to elaborate.

Once upon a time, when I wore the same shirt every single day for a month and never washed it, my mother underwent chemotherapy. It was a difficult time for her and the only creature that consistently brought her joy and comfort (because I merely brought dirt and increasingly large amount of grime) was her cat Splat*.

In between treatments my parents decided to take a mini-vacation. I was living at home at the time so I was charged with taking care of their home and pets. Before he left my father handed me a credit card instructing me to use it in the event of an emergency.

Splat had been slightly ill before my parents’ mini-vacation but watching my parents’ car disappear into the distance pushed him to the brink of death. Responsible daughter that I was, I rushed Splat straight to the veterinarian.

Splat was dehydrated and very sick. The prognosis was grim, there were crystals in his penis and the only way to save him was to cut off his penis, or carry out expensive operation to remove the crystals. Apparently this is a common problem with cat penises. (Or is the plural peni? I don’t really concern myself with the grammatical intricacies of cat genitals.) To top it off, afterwards Splat would eat an exorbitantly expensive food in order to prevent a reoccurrence.

“Well” the vet asked, looking to me to make a decision, “what will it be?”

“How much is the operation to remove the crystals?” I responded tentatively.

“Two thousand dollars” said the vet grimly.

Not possessing a penis, I wasn’t sure of the value of one. In my experience all of the men I met seemed to value theirs greatly. In fact I remembered reading about a man who had fallen asleep on railroad tracks and awoken a triple amputee. Upon learning the extent of his tragedy, the man’s first concern was whether he had lost his member; he was elated that he hadn’t. But on the other hand, Splat had been neutered a decade back, so as long as he was still able to urinate, it seemed that his penis was mostly decorative rather than functional. A bit like a pompom on top of a winter toque. In light of that, it seemed like the obvious decision was to get rid of the penis entirely. Then I thought of my mother’s dismay when she arrived home to discover that her cat was missing a part. I was charged with taking care of the house and the pets, and ideally my parents wanted both to remain as they had left them.

Uncertain as to whether this constituted an emergency but sure that it would end with my mother arriving home to a whole, happy cat, I handed over my father’s credit card.

Two days later, I drove a still woozy but rehydrated Splat home from the vet. My mother hugged him close “My poor Splat, you almost lost your penis” while my Dad gazed in horror at the bill.

It wasn’t rushing a child from a burning building or pushing someone out of the way of a speeding car, but until his dying day, every time Splat groomed his junk, I thought about my decision and was proud.

You can't see his junk, but let me assure you, it was both expensive and beloved. Much like Waterford crystal but with more pee. (Photo Credit : My Dad)

You can’t see his junk, but let me assure you, it was both expensive and beloved. Much like Waterford crystal but with more pee. (Photo Credit : My Dad)

*Names have not been changed because Splat was an animal not a human, also what with possessing the most expensive feline penis on the planet, I feel the world should know his name.

Naked in Public: The Nature Edition

Tis the season for stand up paddleboarding, a time when Canadians shuck off their parkas, then pack up and head to the local provincial park to balance on flat pieces of fibre glass. Paddling my way down a river is one of my favourite ways to pass a late spring morning. The fact that this sport is the sexy, new activity that every celebrity is trying, of course adds to my enjoyment.

(Photo Credit : celebuzz.com)

Of course I look exactly like this while paddling on the river. Except that I’m not in Hawaii. Or that tall. And I don’t own cute bathing suits. Ok this looks nothing like me paddleboarding. (Photo Credit : celebuzz.com)

Tragically it does not add to my canine companion’s enjoyment of the activity. Although I would counter that if Maddie was given a paddle, her love of the sport would increase exponentially. Yesterday found me peacefully making my way up the river, Maddie perched on the nose of my board, staring balefully at me, her doggy eyes questioning when we would head back. On a separate piece of fibreglass paddled my friend Natalie*. 

There is one thing that you need to know about Natalie; she is the most organized person on the face of the planet. On this day my friend had packed; a towel for the beach, dry clothes in case she became sweaty or fell in and sunscreen even though she applied a coating to her entire person before venturing out of the house. By contrast I brought; Maddie, a doggy lifejacket and the slightly off colour dog towel to dry Maddie off afterward.  I have no doubt that if I had chosen to perch Maddie on Natalie’s board, the public nudity would never have occurred. In life, some people are destined to make good decisions while the rest of us get to flounder about and watch. I really wish I didn’t watch so often.

So there Maddie and I are, paddling along. Well, I was paddling and Maddie was trying to telepathically communicate how much she hates paddleboarding, when the little dog shifts, loses her balance and falls in the river. The little King Charles Cavalier can swim, however dogs don’t come with handles whereas lifejackets do, thus she was wearing hers. Grabbing hold of the polyester handhold, I removed her squirming form from the water and placed the dog gently back on the nose of the board. 

As you can see, Maddie loves water. (Photo Credit: northofthegrid.com)

As you can see, Maddie loves water. (Photo Credit: northofthegrid.com)

There Maddie sat, miserable and now sopping. However it was a warm day, so I hoped she would dry quickly. Glancing down a couple minutes later, I realized her little doggy haunches were shaking violently. The only thing I had with me on the board was the now soaked dog towel. A brighter person like Natalie might have stowed such an item on the back of the board, where there was little danger of contact with sopping wet water dogs.

So I did what any sane, animal loving person would do. In the middle of the river I started to strip. Off came my sweater. I wrapped it around Maddie’s tiny back, the sleeves I secured around her stick thin legs. She continued to shiver. 

I had no choice. “Don’t look back” I cried to Natalie, not so much for my dignity but to save my friend from the shock of seeing my doughy, pasty, white torso on the serene river as I removed my shirt. “I wasn’t going to” was her reply. In Natalie’s world stripping to save animals from hypothermia is never a possibility because precautions like hot water bottles and extra, dry blankets would have been packed in water-tight Ziploc bags.

Standing on the bright yellow board in my bra, my chalk coloured, winter skin almost fluorescent in the sunlight, I contemplated whether I could reasonably remove my pants to warm the poor, still shivering creature in front of me. I concluded that while the lifejacket would cover my nude mid section, I couldn’t expose the world to my discounted, moss green, lacy underwear which makes it appear as though my butt is growing lichens. Natalie and I continued to paddle for a bit, with Natalie shielding her eyes from the reflection of the sun flashing off my pure white arms. 

I don't bear any resemblance to Taylor Swift but my backend looks  exactly like this in my discounted underpants. (Photo Credit : www.mv.com)

I don’t bear any resemblance to Taylor Swift but my backend looks exactly like this in my discounted underpants. (Photo Credit : http://www.mv.com)

Arriving back at the dock with a dog is always a bit of a scene to begin with. Maddie dries herself by running back and forth and then stopping intermittently to give her little body a vigorous shake. Having just watched her shiver violently for almost an hour, I didn’t want to deprive her of this joy so I neglected to put her lead back on. So I dock, then off goes Maddie, freed from her floating fibre glass prison, my damp shirts trailing behind her, leaving me to attempt to help dock the paddleboard with a young ranger, my pasty muffin tops bulging out of the lifejacket as I scrunched myself up and scrambled on to the dock.

“I’m going to need some private naked time in your storage shed.” I said to the park ranger as I called Maddie out from behind the wall of lifejackets and oars.Trying to be discrete, despite the situation, I grabbed my shirt from where it had fallen on the dock and marched towards the open shed, with Maddie’s lead in the other hand. Natalie stood nearby, no doubt searching the crowd for a new friend.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of people who are detail oriented and thorough enough to carry out a hit without being caught or suspected in response to having their name published on the internet.