Monday, February 25, 2013

the trials of Coconut

I finally had Coconut, the partially tamed feral cat we appear to be keeping, neutered.  I had put this off as Coconut was not tame enough to put up for adoption or be handled, but the time had come (or, according to the head of my rescue, was long overdue).   It was presented to me, by a more senior crazy cat lady in the world of crazy cats, that Coconut should be processed through Feral Fix and given back to me.

"Feral Fix" is a program whereby feral cats are neutered for free and re-released.  The tip of one ear is cut off, to signal that the cat has been neutered.  We agreed that since Coconut was not easy to handle, it made sense to neuter him through Feral Fix, where it is assumed none of the cats can be picked up, rather than through the regular neutering program."I'll tell them to make a shallow tip," said the more senior crazy cat lady.  "It won't bother you, will it, having his ear tipped?  I'll tell them to just take a little."

I was dreading the day. Since no one can pick Coconut up, cramming him into a small box seemed highly problematic.  "I need all hands on deck for this," I said gloomily.  The last time I tried to pick him up, he sank all his fangs deeply into my arm, ran away, and wasn't seen for hours.  Everyone stood at battle stations, ready to grab the cat, and I threw a large towel over him and then quickly wrapped him up in it before he could react.  I then roughly crammed the towel-wrapped cat into a waiting carrier.  "That was easier than I expected," I said wonderingly.  Cries arose from within the towel.

I couldn't face taking Coconut in myself, as he is my greatest failure and I'm embarrassed around the other crazy cat ladies.  I had negotiated with the Sober Husband to deliver him to Feral Fix, which he did on the condition that "I only have to drop the cat off, right?  I don't have to do anything more? I just say, "Here is the cat' and walk away?"

A day later it was time to pick up Coconut.  Lola and I drove over to the SPCA's clinic.  It was reported to me that Coconut "had not done well."  Evidently he had not gone gently into that anesthetized night.  The clinic attendant who returned him to me said she was not surprised he was not tamer.  "Once a meanie, always a meanie."

This offended Lola and me.  "He's not a meanie," Lola said fiercely on the way home.  "She called him a meanie!"  We knew Coconut was frightened, not vicious.

At home we reviewed our instructions.  We were supposed to "feed and care for animal in his trap for one day."

"In his trap!" We laughed.  At home, Coconut had shot out of his carrier.  We had intended for him to spend a day in Iris's room, resting away from the other cats, but he rocketed out of the door the moment it was opened and reestablished himself in the resident cat population.

I looked at the Feral Fix handout again.  It instructed me that I could return my feral to his colony in a day or two, but "the ultimate decision is up to you."

"What is 'the ultimate decision'?  It sounds like 'the Final Solution'," I said.

Coconut, meanwhile, basked on the back of the couch, unaware that he was meant to be convalescing "in his trap", subject to an "ultimate decision."


GodsKid said...

Ummmm -- maybe "his trap" is your whole house?? ;)

NonymousGoatsePants said...

I just noticed the new description. It's missing a period. I assume for me to add "incisive commentary":

Meandering anecdotes and an occasional incisive comment, courtesy of an overeducated, feminist former-professional, who is continually outsmarted by her overly-gifted children and genius spouse and who seeks refuge in books, Xanax, and the occasional cocktail, and deperately dreams of being covered in gravy!

Silliyak said...

Also no mention of cats or your exercise regime

NonymousGoatsePants said...

A least fix the friggin' period. You're exacerbating my OCD.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Out of orneriness I put an ellipsis in. The DH likes to issue orders, not obey them!