Today’s blog-a-book tale is about our ‘other’ cat, MC. No story about the Graveyard is complete without him. He was the exact opposite of Demon. She was as dark as the Graveyard on a moonless night; he was as white as the ghosts that lived there. She was loving and tame while he was as wild as a domestic cat can be— a throwback to his ancient ancestors. His one passion in life was spreading his seeds as far and wide as he could travel and still make it home for dinner. He was a tomcat’s Tomcat, a legend in his own mind.
His one challenge was his small size, which meant that he often came out on the losing end in his battles with larger toms. He would arrive home beat up and battered. One time a chunk of his ear was missing. Another time it was the tip of his tail. I encouraged my Cocker Spaniel, Tickle, to break up the fights to minimize the damage. He loved his job. He would dash to the door at the first yowling and fly off our porch in full bark when I turned his loose. Other than giving Tickle a purpose in life, his efforts had little impact, however.
Pop decided that drastic measures were called for. MC would have to have to lose his offending appendages. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of money in our household for veterinary bills. But there was a solution. We were a do-it-yourself kind of family. For example, cocker puppies are supposed to have their tails cut off fairly soon after birth. My dad would take the litter, tie thread tightly around their tails, and then break out the tool he used for cutting tin. Snip, YIP! And it was over.
Obviously, neutering a full-grown tom cat was a bit more difficult. Our Italian neighbor, Papa Passerini, offered an Old Country solution.
“All you need is a pair of tin snips, a burlap bag, gloves, a pocket knife and a rope,” he suggested. Alarm bells should have gone off— massive alarm bells heard all the way to Italy. But they didn’t. We moved ahead with the medical procedure.
While MC had never been a paragon of feline domesticity, he’d at least let me pat him on the head if food was involved— as long as I was quick and limited myself to one pat. He even managed a brief purr when I picked him up the morning of his ‘operation’ and carried him up to Passerini’s. Any previous pretensions of tolerating people ceased instantly, though, when his legs were tied up and he was dumped into the dark gunny sack.
When Pop cut a slit in the burlap with his pocket knife and reached a gloved hand through, he was met by claws of fury. MC had shed his ropes faster than Houdini. No one, but no one, was going to grab him by the testicles and cut them off with a pair of tin snips. He clawed his way out of the bag and became a white blur as he disappeared into the Graveyard. And there he would stay. After that, I would only see him at dinner time and then only after I had put his food down and walked several feet away.
The good news, from MC’s perspective, was that he was able to continue his tomcatting ways with all parts of his anatomy intact right up until he reached old age and quietly wandered off to tomcat heaven, where, rumor has it, he was twice as big, had eternal youth, and a long line of lovely female cats stretched off to infinity eagerly awaiting him. It’s probably fake news.
Next Monday’s blog-a-book post from It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Me features my sister Nancy Jo and the attack of the graveyard ghost. Did you hear her scream? It’s very scary and you won’t want to miss it.
Wednesday’s Blog-a-Book Post… from The Bush Devil Ate Sam: I challenge the Berkeley establishment to no avail. John Kennedy’s death has a deep impact on my fellow students and me.
Friday’s Travel BogI It’s a wrap on my Harris Beach series with gorgeous sunsets and the ever-interesting Key Hole Rock.
24 thoughts on “When MC the Cat Refused to Have His Danglies Cut Off”
I guess you’re all lucky you didn’t lose an arm.
Generally I find that dogs are dumb but you can’t mess with a cat.
Cats are much more ready to punish transgressors, Andrew. They lack the same level of desire to please that most dogs have. 🙂
I am very fond of cats and their collective characteristics. I have no time for dogs.
I seem to remember that you have noted that a few times, Andrew. 🙂
MC’s fake news is fun to think about. He fought for it, he deserved it!
We had such a cat, except that he was big, and pitch black. McCavity was his name. I’ll confess that this point that I am a lifelong cat person.
McCavity, great name, AV. We had a big grey tom that was ‘uniquely’ named Tom, after our grocer’s cat. The grocer’s name was also Tom. The cat lived in his butcher shop back in the days before health departments would go ape over such behavior and feasted on the scraps!
Lucky cat, that Tom. McCavity’s name came from one of T.S. Eliot’s cat poems.
Lucky indeed, which I’m pretty sure was his attitude, AV. Of course I should have remembered McCavity. From TS Eliot and Cats!
Sounds like the cat was trying to tell you something. Don’t mess around with my Crown jewels!
I think that was the message, Gerard. 🙂
Memories of Liberia! My experience with the procedure involved being anesthesiologist, using ether from the hospital and a sponge. That I didn’t put the cat to sleep permanently was as much a matter of luck as skill, but we did fine. Of course, once the cat woke up, two things became clear: even post-surgery, it could run like the wind, and it had no particular desire to come back.
That set me to laughing, Linda. MC was lucky we didn’t have any ether. As traumatic as it was, it could have been more so! –Curt
Laughing out loud. Thanks Curt for the images this conjures. 🙂
Always glad to tickle your funny-bone, Alison. 🙂 Thanks. !
I sometimes have the notion that when a cat is giving you “the look”, they’re reading your mind…
Eerie, huh Dave. At the very least, reading your expression and body language…
omg Curt… these stories.
What a life, what an experience.
Omg he did not, he did cute the tales off the cockers… I can barely stand it.
and then the attempt of poor MC.
No wonder he never came back cept for dinner and stayed in the grave yard
This boy got around.
“wandered off to tomcat heaven, where, rumor has it, he was twice as big, had eternal youth, and a long line of lovely female cats stretched off to infinity eagerly awaiting him. It’s probably fake news”
I was allowed to watch both MC and the puppy experience, Cindy. It was quite a lot for a youngster to take in. 🙂
Like you cat emojis! How appropriate. –Curt
Quite the story! I’ve never known anyone who has successfully altered an animal’s anatomy, but now that you mention it, there are millions (probably) of animals who have had their tails or other parts whacked by a novice. Just the thought of it makes me shudder, but it’s probably quite common. (I live a sheltered life.)
I never met a veterinarian when I was in Liberia, Rusha, although there was probably one or two in Monrovia. Maybe. And yet, all of those things were taken care of… You van probably go on Youtube and learn how. 🙂 –Curt
That picture of the MC look-alike you chose sure looks a bit demented.
It fit perfectly! 🙂